A woman who almost had it all....On the surface, Celine Gonzalez had everything a twenty-eight-year-old in Manhattan could want: a one-bedroom apartment on the 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.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-12-07
- Reviewer: Staff
Tucker (Ten Tiny Breaths) makes her hardcover debut with a nail-biting thriller. Well-to-do Maggie Sparkes, who has just returned to New York City from helping villagers in Ethiopia, has her doubts that the cause of death for a dear childhood friend, Celine Gonzalez, was suicide. Maggie is convinced that Celine would never cause pain to Rosa, Celines mother, who once worked for Maggies mother as a housekeeper. While packing up Celines Lower East Side apartment, Maggie finds nearly $10,000 in cash and other evidence suggesting that Celine was not the person Maggie thought she was. Diaries that Celine filled out daily since she was 13 are mysteriously missing entries for the last three months of her life. Determined to uncover the truth behind Celines death, Maggie hires a detective, but she cant help insinuating herself into the investigation. The 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. Agent: Stacey Donaghy, Donaghy Literary Group. (Feb.)
Spotlight: Everyone lies, everyone has secrets
Don’t look now—that’s the warning you’ll wish the heroines would heed in these two twisty thrillers, even as you’re urging them to uncover every clue to the sudden deaths of those closest to them. Secrets can only be avoided for so long.
In Heather Gudenkauf’s atmospheric Missing Pieces, Sarah Quinlan travels to her husband Jack’s rural hometown of Penny Gate, Iowa, only to find that it holds little of the quaint charm she had pictured. The reason for the visit is troubling—Jack’s beloved Aunt Julia has been badly hurt in a suspicious accident—but it’s nothing the long-married couple can’t handle together. Soon, though, Julia is dead, and small-town gossip tips Sarah off to some secrets in Jack’s past that don’t mesh with the man she’s known for decades. Gudenkauf expertly develops the story from Sarah’s perspective, so readers ask questions, doubt answers and seek the truth right along with her. What if Jack isn’t who he says he is? How did his parents really die all those years ago? And who’s next?
Gudenkauf’s cast of shady characters, from Jack’s mentally unstable sister to his grieving uncle, all have their mysterious moments, which sustains suspicion until the final pages. Gloomy, dark corners of barns and farmhouses, along with long, lonely stretches of back roads and cornfields, play equally large roles in keeping the tension rising. Sarah’s trail is a winding one, but one that we want to see through to the end.
Far from tiny towns like Penny Gate, K.A. Tucker’s He Will Be My Ruin takes readers to the crowded streets of New York City, though this heart-stopping urban thriller asks a similar question: How well do we really know the ones we love? Where Gudenkauf sticks with one perspective, Tucker alternates between the voices of humanitarian heiress Maggie Sparkes and aspiring antiques dealer Celine Gonzalez. The two were best friends when growing up in the Sparkes home, where Celine’s mother served as Maggie’s nanny. As adults, they’ve lived on opposite ends of the globe, but now Maggie has been called home by the unthinkable: Celine is dead, an apparent suicide.
Maggie doesn’t believe for a minute that Celine would do such a thing. When she finds the high-end wardrobe in thrifty Celine’s closet and the picture of the handsome—and very naked—man hidden in the modest woman’s treasure box, Maggie knows there’s more going on. Tucker gives us just enough of a glimpse into Celine’s life through diary entries to intrigue before returning to Maggie’s present-day perspective. As Maggie applies her considerable will and inexhaustible fortune to the case, she becomes entangled in Celine’s secret life. Soon, she’s seduced by the same men, has tea with the same nosy neighbor and doesn’t know whom to trust. Steamy sexual encounters may throw Maggie—and the reader—off the trail, but not for long. Tucker keeps Maggie moving forward at a relentless pace, and it seems she’ll meet the same fate as Celine, unless she can outsmart the true culprit at the very last minute.