By: K. A. Tucker
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: 2/2/2016
My Rating: 4 Stars
The USA TODAY bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series makes her suspense debut with this sexy, heartpounding story of a young woman determined to find justice after her best friend’s death, a story pulsing with the “intense, hot, emotional” (Colleen Hoover) writing that exhilarates her legions of fans. A woman who almost had it all . . . On the surface, Celine Gonzalez had everything a twenty-eight-year-old woman could want: a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a job that (mostly) paid the bills, and an acceptance letter to the prestigious Hollingsworth Institute of Art, where she would finally live out her dream of becoming an antiques appraiser for a major auction house. All she had worked so hard to achieve was finally within her reach. So why would she kill herself? A man who was supposed to be her salvation . . . Maggie Sparkes arrives in New York City to pack up what’s left of her best friend’s belongings after a suicide that has left everyone stunned. The police have deemed the evidence conclusive: Celine got into bed, downed a lethal cocktail of pills and vodka, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers a scandalous photograph in a lock box hidden in Celine’s apartment, she begins asking questions. Questions about the man Celine fell in love with. The man she never told anyone about, not even Maggie. The man Celine believed would change her life. Until he became her ruin. On the hunt for evidence that will force the police to reopen the case, Maggie uncovers more than she bargained for about Celine’s private life—and inadvertently puts herself on the radar of a killer. A killer who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered.
A special thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
K.A. Tucker delivers a clever and twisted contemporary suspense HE WILL BE MY RUIN –a mysterious death of a best friend, and one woman’s unwavering tenacity to seek justice.
Exploitation. He uncovers your secrets. Your fears. Your flaws—and HE uses them against you. Trust, charm, and belief of HIS lies. It was so easy to allow HIM to get close. Close Enough to KILL.
Celine Gonzalez, age twenty-eight-years-old, gorgeous, with lush locks, full lips, and voluptuous curves, and a tiny waist, with roots from Mexico---men admire her charm and looks. . Residing in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. She had everything to live for, even an acceptance letter to the prestigious Hollingsworth Institute of Art. She always wanted to become an antiques appraiser for a major auction house.
Why would she commit suicide? Her mom had said she had delayed the enrollment for some reason. Why?
Maggie Sparkes was her best friend. She started Village United, a humanitarian venture, a nonprofit focused on high-impact lending projects throughout the world geared toward building self-sustainable village. Teaching children to read and give them roofs to sleep under—water and food. Thirty-six communities around the world.
Now she is in New York City, thirteen days later, after her friend’s death, in the old third floor apartment – looking like an old vintage shop; built in the 1800s, going through her things. The police assume it was a regular suicide, with a mix of lethal cocktails of Xanax and booze. The cops were waiting for the final autopsy report to confirm. An open and shut case. A single note in her handwriting, “I’m sorry for everything.”
The estate proceeds would eventually go to Celine’s mother, Rosa; however, she does not want anything, requesting for Maggie to sell off anything she did not want for herself-- and to use the money for one of her humanitarian efforts, in her daughter’s name.
The two girls had met when Maggie was five. Her mom had hired Celine’s mother, Rosa Gonzalez as a housekeeper and nanny, offering room and board for both her and her four-year-old daughter. The girls became inseparable. They were an odd match, from their looks to their social status—different in all sorts of ways.
It could not be possible. Her mom, Rosa had even fought breast cancer and had won. So why would she do this to her mom and to her now, in his way? Rosa had taught her daughter to be proud and stubborn as she was.
While going through her things, Maggie finds a box. Ten thousand dollars? An ornate bronze key. A scandalous picture of a naked man. Who is this guy? Does he know she is dead? She slowly opens the paper and words jump out which makes Maggie’s heart stop:
“This man was once my salvation. Now he will be my ruin.”
Even though Celine was known for her flowery prose in literature; however, what is the story behind this message? She is unable to find her phone--she has flowers from a guy she never told her about, a stack of money, a picture of a naked man and a diary with missing pages. What if she was murdered and made to appear as a suicide? Maybe the money was for her tuition?
Detective Chester Childs, around fifty a younger Morgan Freeman look, is on the case. All he concentrates on is mild depression and anxiety. Maggie is sure she would not kill herself. A glass with traces of Xanax, OxyContin, Ambien, and alcohol, similar to Vodka. A deadly combo. He says the case is closed.
Maggie will stop at nothing to find this guy and prove her friend would not commit suicide. A wealthy hedge fund manager. Jace Everett, the governor’s son. A successful one. Princeton. However, he sticks to the rich girls, not girls like Celine. He was an SOB and Celine was shy and sweet.
What was Celine involved in? She had never mentioned this guy.
Let the real investigation begin with a host of eccentric characters: blackmail, obsession, greed and dark secrets—the closer Maggie gets to uncovering the truth, the greater the danger to herself.
An entertaining combo of new adult fiction; wit and humor, a whodunit mystery, cool secondary characters, and a feisty female sleuth!
"A smart, sexy thriller. Tucker beguiles in this dark, twisty tale of lurid secrets, lavish lifestyles, and devastating loss. Once you start reading, you won't stop." (Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author)
“A nail-biting thriller...clever twists and turns will keep readers in suspense, and just when they think they have figured out what happened to Celine, the story veers in another direction.” (Publishers Weekly)
“This is one book that can’t help but be placed on the bestseller shelf in 2016…[a] fantastic thriller that will keep readers on the edge of any seat, be it recliner or airplane, until the ultimate outcome!” (Suspense Magazine)
“Tucker’s hardcover debut is full of twists and layers of mystery, with a developed cast of characters that rounds out the plot in this enjoyably compelling read.” (Booklist)
“Bestselling author Tucker spins a compelling web, rife with quirky characters and steamy romps with charismatic men.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“A tightly plotted character study…There’s intrigue, sex, red herrings, and an enviable setting.” (RT Magazine 4 star review)
About the Author
K.A. Tucker is the USA Today bestselling author of 11 books, including Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water. Born in small-town Ontario, K.A. Tucker published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader, and currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures. Website