*I received a free copy of He Will Be My Ruin from Atria Books via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *He Will Be My Ruin by K. A. Tucker
Published by Atria Books on 2 February 2016
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Twenty-eight-year-old 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 bottle of Xanax and a handle of vodka, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers secrets in the childhood 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 who Celine herself claimed would be her ruin.
On the hunt for answers 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 who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered.
It took me a while to get words to explain the brilliance that is He Will Be My Ruin! This suspense / mystery / psychological thriller is well done, with a complex plot, and fleshed out characters.
I’ve been a Tucker fan for a long time, and I have to say, her branching out to mystery and thriller like He Will Be My Ruin was a great move! She managed to keep the suspense going, and I was seriously out of breath several times, especially when Maggie was starting to have a panic attack. The beginning was very sad and nostalgic, because Maggie came to New York not to spend time with her best friend Celine, but to pack up her apartment after she had committed suicide. Only, Maggie really couldn’t believe Celine would do that – it was so far off from anything the girl she had grown up with would ever do, especially because Celine’s mother, Rosa, was in remission after a long fight against breast cancer.
As the story unfolded, Maggie was up for a lot of surprises, though. Between Celine’s antique-filled apartment, her diaries, and a hidden compartment in a small box, Maggie uncovers more secrets than she bargained for! Little by little, the girl she thought she knew better than anyone in the world turned out to be quite different from what Maggie had thought. And she also learned what Celine really thought of her – with no holding back at all, since she was never supposed to read those diaries anyway. Maggie’s loyalty never wavers, though, she continues to believe that Celine was killed, rather than killed herself, and when the police won’t listen to her, she hires a PI to help her.
Because Maggie follows some of the clues herself, and her thoughts seemed to follow both her gut feeling and the clues she found, I was looking for clues with her. And I agreed with her more often than not, with a heavy heart from all she uncovered, and how she wavered between hope and sadness just felt so real to me. Both because her best friend was dead, and because of everything else surrounding that. There is a lot happening in He Will Be My Ruin, with more than one sub-plot, and they are all quite intricate and very well done.
I loved that Tucker managed to keep me guessing right along with Maggie! There were definitely some characters that could be the culprit, but there was always enough doubt, or there was someone else who might look even better for it! I loved the interactions between Maggie and Ruby, Celine’s old neigbour. At first, Maggie steered clear of the older woman, due to her claustrophobic apartment – filled with even more treasures than Celine’s. Then, there is the PI, Jace, the sexy super… The cast of characters is amazing, and I just couldn’t stop reading to find out if Maggie was right about Celine’s death or not, and if she was, who was the person behind it all?
Written in first person, present tense, He Will Be My Ruin was an expertly woven mystery, filled with suspense, a little bit of romance, and a tension that never stopped coming.
Not a speck of dust. Celine couldn’t stand disorder. Every single nutcracker faced out, equidistant from the next, shortest in front, tallest in back, as if she measured them with a ruler and placed them just so.
In my eyes, it was a given that Celine would always be part of my life. We were an odd match. From our looks to our social status to our polar-opposite personalities, we couldn’t have been more different. I was the captain of the debate squad and Celin played the romantic female lead in her school plays.
Was Celine still a good person, despite what she did for money? Yes, I believe so. And yet my memory of her has been tainted. no wonder she never told me.