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.
What an amazing and thrilling read! This book had me on the edge of my seat right from the beginning, and when I reached the conclusion I was so stunned!
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.
The prologue immediatly throws you into the story; we have a flash forward to Maggie being kidnapped. The only thing we know is that the kidnapper is the same person who caused Celine’s death. Then, we go back to when Maggie arrived in New York City. Having been Celine’s best friend since forever, Maggie is quite sure that she had no reason to kill herself, plus she definitely had plans for the near future. But the police closed the case, since there weren’t enough evidences to consider murder. So after finding a picture of a very naked, very handsome man, with a very suspicious note from Celine, Maggie decides to hire a PI. That’s how she discovers a lot of secrets that her friend was keeping from her.
How much of what we’re conjuring is true? All of it? None of it?
As the puzzle gets more complicated, Maggie gets involved with a lot of people who were part of Celine’s life, and at some point I doubted all of them! I mean, at first I was so sure of my theory, but then it went out the window and then it just got more and more complicated, and in the end I was left on the floor barely able to breathe. Holy hell, KA Tucker knows how to play with your feelings! And the best thing about it all, it’s that it all felt so real; there wasn’t a moment in which I thought “ok, this is too much, it’s not believable” like it often happens in this kind of novel. With this one I was more like “ok, I will never trust anyone in my life ever again”.
“How I trusted him, how I fell for his charm, how I believed his lies. How I made it so easy for him to do this to me. How Celine made it so easy for him, by letting him get close. Before he killed her. Just like he’s going to kill me.”
The characters were all amazingly well developed, even Celine, whom we meet thanks to a few, very intense, chapters from her POV. She went through a really hard time, in a very realistic, and unfortunately very common way. I really felt for her, and for Maggie, and how their relationship changed through the years; it was an interesting dynamic.
“This man was once my salvation. Now he will be my ruin.”
KA Tucker’s writing got so much better in this novel. I loved her previous books, but she outdid herself with this one. There’s not a lot of romance, it’s all focused on Maggie’s determination on finding out the truth about her best friend’s death. She was the perfect female lead for this novel. I’d definitely recommend this to everyone who’s even a little bit curious about who this he is.