Suspicious Origin Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Suspicious Origin

SUSPICIOUS ORIGIN has been first published in 2003.

Britt Andersen is a successful producer at a Boston TV network. One night, she's called by her brother-in-law who tells her that her sister Greta has just died in a fire in her family house in Vermont. Britt heads to Vermont, meeting her brother in law Alec and her niece Zoe.
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After a few days, Britt is convinced that Alec is the one who set the house on fire and she helps the local police to find clues against his brother-in-law. But, after Alec's arrest, Zoe's unshakeable faith in her father's innocence forces Britt to examine more carefully Alec's guilt. From this moment on, the young woman will devote herself to find proofs that would clear Alec of Greta's murder. By doing so, she will irritate the person responsible for the fire.
The review of this Book prepared by Daniel Staebler

Atria, April 2003, 19.95, 352 pp.
ISBN 0743423585

When Kevin Carmichael wakes up one night, he sees his neighbor's home on fire and he rushes out to try and save them. He manages to save ten-year-old ZoŽ but is unable to get to her mother Greta who dies of smoke asphyxiation. Luckily, ZoŽ's father Alec was out of the house at the time so the child has someone to cling to in this tragedy. Alec calls Britt Anderson to tell her that her sister has died. Though the siblings were estranged, Britt races to their side.

When Britt arrives, the surviving father and daughter are staying at a neighbor's home. ZoŽ takes to her immediately but Alec is cold and rude. When the investigation into the fire shows that arson was involved, Britt begins to gather evidence that shows Alec is the perpetrator. It is only after he is arrested that Brett begins to doubt Alec's guilt. She does her best to prove his innocence, but her efforts nearly gets her killed by somebody who wants Alec found guilty.

Patricia MacDonald, well known for her suspense thrillers, has written a work that rivals the novels of Marry Higgins Clark. The protagonist is a feisty woman who fights for her beliefs and is then not afraid to admit she might have made a big mistake. The story line moves along at such a brisk pace that readers will finish the book in one sitting and then put it on their keeper shelf, because it is too good to give away.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Suspicious Origin

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 45%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 35%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   depressing/sad    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   50%    -   70% Special suspect?    -   relative Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   local police w/ IQ of a houseplant    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards family/friends Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   business executive Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Unusual forms of death    -   flamed Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Patricia MacDonald Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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