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.
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published February 2nd 2016 by Atria Books
Four stars: A suspenseful thriller with exciting twists that will keep you reading past your bedtime.
Maggie is overwhelmed by the amount of antiques packed into her friend's apartment. Maggie is tasked with cleaning out Celine's apartment after her suicide. As Maggie combs through Celine's apartment, she discovers her diaries, which reveal more to her friend than Maggie ever suspected. It seems that Celine had some dark secrets. Despite her troubled past, Maggie still can't believe that Celine would commit suicide. She continues to hunt for clues that will help her reveal why her friend is dead. When Maggie uncovers a photo of a handsome man with Celine's handwriting on the back declaring this man would be her ruin, Maggie doesn't hesitate to investigate. Was Celine's death murder or suicide?
What I Liked:
- Whoa! What a freaky, suspenseful and exciting read. I have become a fan of Ms. Tucker after reading her Burying Water Series, and I was thrilled to read this one. This is an edge of your seat, adult murder mystery thriller with some shocking twists that will keep you glued to the pages well past your bedtime.
- The suspense in this book is fantastic. I liked that I was immediately drawn into the mystery of Celine's death. The book opens with a terrifying scene that places the heroine in imminent, life threatening danger, before going back in time to how it all started. I loved watching the clues fall into place, and I liked that I was constantly guessing. The ending is a jaw dropper, and I enjoyed seeing how everything came together. If you love a good mystery with lots of suspense and twists as well as a few red herrings, this is one to read.
- I liked the eclectic cast of characters. Maggie, the heroine, is a bit different. She is a wealthy heiress, but she has spent her entire life shunning her parent's fortune. These days, Maggie is all about spending her time in third world countries, putting her wealth and fortune to use helping the less fortunate. Maggie isn't perfect, and she has plenty of flaws, but I found that I admired her courage, determination and her altruistic nature. As Maggie works to unravel the clues, she is aided by Ruby, Celine's elderly neighbor. I loved that Ruby was so much more than met the eye. She comes across as an kindly, innocent old lady who feeds everyone cookies and tea, but she is so much more. She is extremely intelligent and observant. I loved Ruby. Also coming to Maggie's aid are Doug, a savvy detective and Zac, a skilled hacker. I liked both Doug and Zac, and I enjoyed seeing them work. Finally, rounding out the cast is Hans, Celine's friend. Hans is all about art, he is funny and kind. There are were also some villains and characters that I didn't like. I thought the cast was terrific.
- Even though Celine is deceased she still has a voice in the book. I liked getting to know her through her diaries. She had some dark secrets. I appreciated that I was able to dig deeper into her character and understand what made her do what she did.
- The ending is a nail biter. After a thrilling climax and stunning finale. The dusts settles and everything is tied up neatly with an Epilogue. No cliffhangers or unanswered questions. A terrific stand alone.
And The Not So Much:
- I had some issues with Maggie. Even though I liked her character and admired her for the most part, I struggled with her decisions when it came to sex and romance. The scene in the elevator really bothered me. I was shocked at her stupidity and that she would do what she did. Ugh!
- There is a bit of a romance, but it didn't work for me. Maggie is a guarded character, she doesn't trust many people because of her wealth, and in the past, she wasn't someone who was quick to jump into a sexual relationship, but that is what she does once she is at Celine's. The attempt at romance didn't work for me, and I could have done without it.
- It was a bit disheartening to read Celine's diaries and learn of her resentment for her best friend, Maggie. Maggie didn't deserve the nastiness, especially since she was always willing to help her friend. I got to the point where I didn't like Celine at all. Even though I was disappointed to see the rift in the friendship, it was realistic as the two girls came from different backgrounds and with time and distance, they had grown apart. Isn't that the way life goes sometimes?
He Will Be My Ruin is a page turning mystery, thick with suspense, red herrings and twists that will keep you flipping the pages well past your bedtime. I loved the mystery, and I enjoyed the eclectic cast of characters. This an excellent murder mystery thriller. My only hesitation was I didn't like the bit of romance, but other than that, it was an exciting read. If you want a page turner, grab this one and set aside some time.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.