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Past Suspicion (Christian Romantic Suspense) [Kindle Edition]

Therese Heckenkamp
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"Don't trust anyone..." So whispers Robin's mother just moments before she dies. 
Uprooted from all she's ever known, 17-year-old Robin Finley is sent to her mother's old hometown to live with an uncle she's never met. The town is small, but it shelters big secrets. Robin encounters two mysterious young men, a tragic mansion, and disturbing questions about the past. While unraveling the threads of her mother's shrouded life, Robin meets more confusion. Her soul longs for peace and her heart yearns for love--yet she's consumed by suspicion and fear. Why did her mother flee this town so many years ago and never return? Robin's determination to discover the truth ensnares her in a tangled web that spans the years and threatens to destroy her future.

"Past Suspicion is a page-turner, and Heckenkamp is an author to be reckoned with." -- Nancy Mehl, best-selling Christian author

"A riveting mystery that will keep readers turning pages." -- Regina Doman, author of the Fairy Tale Novels

Awards:  Past Suspicion has been awarded the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval.

Christian Fiction Book Categories:
> Christian Romantic Suspense
> Christian Suspense Novel
> Christian Mystery and Suspense
> Christian Inspirational Suspense
> Christian Inspirational Romance
> Christian Fiction Romance
> Christian Teen Fiction Suspense
> Teen Romance Novel

Editorial Reviews


"Her plot is solid, and is very movie or television friendly . . . lots of action; pathos; conflict; glamour; etc. It's all there, and Heckenkamp is a confident and sure writer. She has no trouble keeping all of her balls in the air and resolving them at the end of this page-turner with a flair." 
The Midwest Book Review

"Past Suspicion is a page-turner, and Heckenkamp is an author to be reckoned with." 
- Nancy Mehl, best-selling Christian author

"Heckenkamp is a solid, engaging writer who has created well-developed characters and interesting plot lines. . . I highly recommend this novel to anyone looking for an interesting, engaging read with a cast of well-defined characters."
- Ellen Gable, author of Stealing JennyIn Name Only, and Emily's Hope.

"Past Suspicion is billed as a suspense for young adult readers, yet . . . would be welcome by older fans of thrillers as well . . . a remarkable debut."
- Kathryn Lively, author of Saints Preserve Us: an Ash Lake Mystery and Dangerous Words.

"Past Suspicion is a riveting mystery that will keep readers turning pages. An outstanding effort by a first-time novelist!"
- Regina Doman, author of The Shadow of the Bear and other the Catholic Fairy Tale Novels for teens.

"Past Suspicion" is suitable for readers 12 and up and can hold the attention of readers through age 100. I found this novel refreshing and commend Ms. Heckenkamp for not sullying the story with profanity."
- E. Dian Moore, Christian Freelance Writer and Editor.

About the Author

Therese Heckenkamp, eighteen when she completed the first draft of Past Suspicion, has been writing stories since before she could spell. A homeschooled student, she won numerous writing awards while growing up. Therese lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two children and is currently working on more novels. Her second book, Frozen Footprints, is a Christian Suspense Thriller for readers 16 and up. Learn more at Therese always welcomes reader feedback and comments. Visit her online: Therese's website: Facebook: Twitter:

Product Details

  • File Size: 577 KB
  • Print Length: 324 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0615719325
  • Publisher: Ivory Tower Press (October 28, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005SZ1696
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,429 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great summer read for teens/adults April 29, 2012
"Past Suspicion" by Therese Heckenkamp is a terrific fiction novel suitable for teens and adults as well. It is the story of a young woman whose mother dies and leaves her in the care of an uncle that she has never met. Forced to live in an unfamiliar sleepy little town, Robin plans her escape upon her eighteenth birthday. While tolerating her circumstances and looking forward to "freedom," she discovers much about her mother's secretive past that intrigues her. This leads her to delve more deeply into the mysterious events of her mother's past. Along the way, Robin forms some special relationships and learns to love and to trust once again.

Therese masterfully develops the characters so that the reader truly feels involved in the story and has an interest in Robin's personal outcome. Though I usually prefer to read nonfiction, I was drawn to pick up Therese's book again and again as the characters were believable and their issues were things for which I felt I could relate. This book would make a great summer read for teens and adults! I know you will enjoy it!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A particularly compelling achievement January 15, 2004
It is not often that I write about a woman who cut her first draft of a mystery at age eighteen, but it is true in the case of Therese Heckenkamp, a fellow Wisconsinite! Heckenkamp has already won numerous awards for writing at her young age and lives in Pewaukee, Wisconsin.
Robin Finley has just lost her mother, her home, and any family except an uncle in some small town in Wisconsin, where she is headed for an uncertain future. She meets two young men, almost right off the bat. One is a newspaper reporter, and the other is a "free spirit" who captures her imagination and desire for freedom. Then there is the matter of just what happened to her mother in this small town. She had a mysterious fall off of a balcony at a deserted mansion more than twenty years before. Robin begins to unravel the story of her mother's high school years: the romances; the "fall"; her relationship with Robin's quiet but caring uncle; and the map, which turns into the focal point of the story. Robin also overhears a conversation which leads her to believe she might be in danger:
"The words were spoken with such wrath, it hurt my ears to hear what little I did, but I had to stay and listen. What did this mean? I trembled in my hiding place. The very fact that these two guys-the only two guys I knew in this whole town-were together, alerted me that something was up..."
Being home-schooled, Heckenkamp probably understands something about the brilliant recluse. It shows in her writing. Her heroine is sensitive, angry, hurt, intelligent, stubborn, curious, and has a large heart underneath all of her confusion. She is a typical seventeen year old...Heckenkamp captures the angst of those years beautifully. Her plot is solid, and is very movie or television friendly...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clean and Exciting June 5, 2012
By Aravis
Format:Kindle Edition
After reading several disappointing or even disturbing Christian YA fiction books, I was reluctant to give Past Suspicion a chance. But when I discovered that the author was an eighteen-year-old homeschooler when she wrote the first draft, I bought the book, my expectations high. I wasn't let down. Past Suspicion is a decent suspense novel marked by tastefulness and believability.
Robin Finley, a sheltered seventeen-year-old, is forced to move to Wisconsin from California after her mother's sudden passing. Feeling stifled by the idea of small-town life with an uncle she barely knows, Robin counts the days until her grand escape to freedom on her eighteenth birthday. While working at her uncle's bookstore, she separately meets two young men interested in helping her sort out her mother's past, forever marked by her tragic fall from a local haunted mansion. Robin pores through old newspapers and her mother's teenage diary, trying to find the truth about the accident as the two young men compete for her attention. Now Robin must find out who her mother was - and who she herself will be - in the midst of a sinister plot that takes everyone by surprise.
Robin is a very believable character. She's no angel, but neither is she an aggravating brat. She's a very realistic, relatable teen struggling with a desire for freedom. She has moments of rebellion, passion, stubbornness, silliness, and gullibility, just like any average teen. Robin's intelligence and sense of decency make her very likeable and understandable.
What I really appreciated about this book is its ability to be exciting without compromising decency. Though the book contains elements of crime, violence, and evil, it never goes overboard.
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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Past Suspicion is a very good novel May 10, 2012
From the book description (from back cover):

"As this intriguing story of suspense unfolds, seventeen-year-old Robin is forced from her California home to live in Wisconsin with an uncle she never knew existed. Here in her mother's hometown, Robin meets two young men and, while unraveling the secrets of her mother's past, becomes involved in a treacherous plot, not realizing the importance of untangling her own life if she is to find a direction for her future."

My thoughts:

I think I've mentioned this before, but I am not a huge fan of mystery or suspense novels. Never was. Still, not one to refuse a free book, I happily accepted when Therese Heckenkamp offered Past Suspicion in exchange for a review. (Thanks, Therese!)

As I always when I do a review, I resisted the urge to read the last chapter of the book first. (Yes, yes, I do read the last chapter of the book, usually, what can I say? :) ) It was hard. The book was a page turner. I was quickly drawn into the story and it was hard to put down.

Although the heroine is a teen, adults will enjoy this book. I did. The characters were realistic, interesting and well-developed. The plot was engaging and intriguing. I enjoyed Therese's writing style and would definitely recommend her book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 13 days ago by Sharon D. Severe
4.0 out of 5 stars Good reading
I enjoyed reading this book. It held my interest y to the end.
Published 1 month ago by RubeeDee
5.0 out of 5 stars I was not expecting it to be this good!
Age Appropriate For: 16 and up for mild violence, intensity, and mild romantic themes
Best for Ages: 16 and up

I was not expecting absolutely to love this book. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sarah
1.0 out of 5 stars Teenage reading Material
This book should be marketed to the teenage audience, I felt like I was reading a high school homework assignment.
Published 5 months ago by kathleen
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended
It was a page turner. Recommended highly
Published 5 months ago by MarshallPatriot
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm a Library Director and an avid hobbie reader this book was so good...
Have you ever read a book that when it ended you were instantly looking up another book by the author? That is this book! Read more
Published 6 months ago by Meggen Lawrence
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent mystery
This book kept me guessing until the was well written and I enjoyed all the characters. I highly recommend it.
Published 6 months ago by Shirley
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Jeeps you guessing who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. I would recommend it to adults and late teens.
Published 8 months ago by Barbara Carpenter
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read.
This is not a genre I would normally read, but the title 'Past Suspicion,' and the words Christian and suspense caught my attention. So I purchased a copy and I'm glad I did. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Yvonne Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An excellent book for all ages wonderfully written good clean love/suspense story
Published 9 months ago by DEBORAH WASHINGTON
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More About the Author

Therese Heckenkamp was born in Australia in 1981, but moved to the USA in 1983. Always a fan of books, she started writing stories before she could spell. A homeschooled student, she won numerous writing awards while growing up, including an August Derleth Prize in 2001.

At age 18, Therese completed the first draft of "Past Suspicion," her first published novel, a Christian suspense story for readers 13 and up. Visit for more details.

Therese's second novel, "Frozen Footprints," is a Christian suspense thriller for readers 16 and up. Visit www.Frozen-Footprints for more details.

Therese lives in Wisconsin with her husband and three children, and is currently working on more novels. Therese always welcomes reader feedback and comments. Visit her online:
Follow Therese on Twitter @THeckenkamp.

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