Published by Atria Books on February 2nd 2016
Amazon, Barnes & Noble
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.
I thought this was my first K.A. Tucker book, but on further reflection (and a quick trip through some spreadsheets), I realized I’ve read Ten Tiny Breaths. He Will Be My Ruin didn’t really have anything in common with that one, though.
Maggie gets to New York, intending to pack up her best friend, Celine’s, apartment after Celine’s suicide. Something doesn’t sit right with her about that, though. She has a hard time believing Celine would commit suicide, especially at this particular point in her life, and as she packs, Maggie begins to suspect even more strongly that this was no suicide. She finds a mysterious picture and some cryptic notes that further reinforce her belief. But she’s the only one who thinks so. The police won’t reopen the investigation, and Celine didn’t have a lot of friends outside of her apartment building who would have been suspicious.
Tucker wrote a really engaging mystery here. The cast of characters, several of whom live in Celine’s building, is so varied and so fun. I really liked everyone I met in this book, even the person who ended up being the killer. There were red herrings all over the place, and I changed my mind several times about who I thought it was. At one point, I even suspected the octogenarian neighbor who constantly brought Maggie tea and shortbread.
One thing I really appreciated about this story was how it unfolded. There was nothing Maggie did in her quest to find the truth about what happened to her friend that pulled me out of the story or made me question what she was thinking. The story played out like you would expect it to play out if you or one of your friends or someone you knew was trying to figure out what had happened to a loved one. Maggie went to the police several times, every time she uncovered something new in fact, and they weren’t interested in what she had to say. One thing that pulls me out of a story is when a normal human being never even considers trying to get the police involved in something they’re trying to figure out. Even if you ultimately decide against it for whatever reason, it’s still natural to at least consider it.
I liked this a lot more than I liked Ten Tiny Breaths. I haven’t read any more of Tucker’s new adult books, but I would absolutely read more of her suspense novels. If you haven’t read this one yet, do yourself a favor and pick it up.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: