Publication: February 2, 2016, by Atria Books
Genre: Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
The USA TODAY bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series makes her romantic thriller debut with this 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.
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 Maker’s Mark, 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.
Thanks to the lovely publisher (and author of course), I have discovered my new favourite read of 2016. K.A. Tucker has continuously made me intrigued to read her books, coming from a fellow Canadian author who knows exactly how to captivate readers with her romance and suspense skills. This time around, He Will Be My Ruin really turned out to be my ruin. It turned out to be everything for me. Everything I expected from this fabulous author and much, much more. I found myself unable to put this beauty down, which does not happen often.
While on vacation this time around, I decided to take all ARCs with me. ARCs that publishers specifically sent to me—not BEA ones. He Will Be My Ruin was one of the steady, monotone ones that caught my eye. I read K.A. Tucker’s words before, and somewhat enjoyed her stories. When I looked at the books that I chose one day when I finished a book previously, this one specifically caught my eye because of the setting. New York City, my fellow friends! Dealing with endless amount of suspense and plot twists as well as unforgettable romance, I could not have asked for a better put-together of an adult thriller. This is absolutely memorable and deserves all of the critics going crazy, film offers and positive reviews. I kind of felt dead without Maggie and this story afterwards.
"A quick glance out their peephole and they've seen our faces, I have two choices: I either leave, or step inside. If I leave, will my secret stay safe with him? Taking in a deep breath, I step inside."
You see, I was even planning to format this review into “The Highlights” and you guessed it, “The Lowlights.” But I reminded myself that there were not any lowlights. This story was written to perfection. Every word, phrase, chapter was written with passion and you feel the suspense throughout. Readers see flashbacks back and forth from different perspectives—from Maggie and Celine’s—we cannot even configure the true ending to the mystery, or how things will turn out by the end. The biggest thing that whacked my mind? HOW WE THOUGHT WE KNEW, AND THEN WE DID NOT. My oh my, authors are just so talented with making you think that your prediction is correct, and then it turns out that it is not, and then that it actually was by the end. But you cannot give yourself any more credit since you changed your mind. There’s this whole establishment that I went through. And many others will go through the same thing.
After you have heard me being very light on the true nature of the story, I think it is time that you hear the master plot that Tucker has put out into this world. It is about a suicide, but turned murder. Celine Gonzalez committed suicide in her New York apartment, and her ultra-rich best friend Maggie discovers this after a phone call from Celine’s caring mother. Maggie is thrown into the city that she never liked, going to search through all of the things Celine left behind, knowing that her best friend would have never committed such a thing when she simply had it all. She had boyfriends, a job she loved, an admission to a college that she dreamed of, and she seemed happy. Knowing that it is too good to be true, Maggie searches. She meets Celine’s neighbours, friends and people who she connected with prior to her “murder.”
"Now he's exploiting it. That must be what he does—he uncovers your secrets, your fears, your flaws—and he uses them against you. He did it to Celine. And now he's doing it to me.
Tucker deals with many things in her story. She throws in prostitution and the sex trade, as well as friendship problems and trust. Even when people are adults, they could never be fully trustworthy. There are so many life lessons taught here as well. Readers were part of Tucker’s mystery, which made things interesting. I played along, making theories and trying to answer questions that stirred in Maggie’s mind. I connected to the characters and found that I could relate to Maggie especially so, so well. It’s the absolute best when you’re reading a book and you could feel the character doing something that you would do in their situation, too. Maggie was kick-butt and always there to save the day, even if Celine was gone. I loved her so much.
We had two love interests that Maggie deals with throughout the novel though both turn out to have their disadvantages. There’s Jace, the utter-rich son-of-a-senator boy who works at the same building as Celine did. Then we have Grady, the building super who seemed to be the complete opposite of Jace. Maggie fell for both, and ended things off on different terms with the two. It truly was satisfying but gross at the same time, seeing what these guys were capable of doing. I guess that us just shows how everyone has their own secrets and how many are willing to keep them to do treacherous things in the end.
The novel was written superbly. I read this super quickly, unable to put it down and let the characters go without stopping. THE SHOCKS WERE REAL AND I AM STILL TRYING TO GET OVER THAT ENDING, YOU KNOW? I bet that I will never read a book like this again.
He Will Be My Ruin ruined all of the other psychological thrillers out there for me because this one shot them down. K.A. Tucker planned out the treacherous ending, gave it to readers and did so much more with our minds. I cannot help but continuously rave about this story and ask for more. Where is my futuristic sequel and continuation of Maggie’s story, I ask? This made my life so much better. Agh.
*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much!*