“Celine killed herself.” That’s what Rosa Gonzalez, Celine’s mother, had been led to believe. That’s what she lamented to Maggie Sparks who had been serving in a village in Ethiopia. But, Maggie knew Celine like a sister. She wouldn’t kill herself, would she? Maggie returned to New York to Celine’s apartment to clear out her belongings. She finds out that just maybe she didn’t know Celine as well as she thought she did. The first surprise was a closet full of designer clothing. How could Celine afford all this? The second surprise was a wad of money – hundreds and fifties. The third surprise was a photo of a naked man posed seductively. On the back, Celine had written “This man was once my salvation. Now he will be my ruin.”
Even though they knew each other like sisters, their backgrounds had not been similar. Rosa was the Sparks family’s housekeeper. While the Sparks were rich, Rosa struggled financially. Financial help had been offered, but Rosa had been too proud to accept; Celine grew up with those values. More than once Maggie had offered to pay for her college. Celine wanted to make her own way. That brings me to the fourth surprise. The diaries Celine had kept for years … but the last one covering the last three months was missing. Suspecting Celine’s death wasn’t suicide, Maggie begins to follow up on any lead the diaries may suggest.
With very masterful and suspenseful twists, you won’t know which way to turn and who to suspect. The prologue does exactly what it’s supposed to – it demands your attention and makes you curious to know more. The plot and pacing were perfect keeping certain details hidden until just the right moment. On the side, this is not really romance, per se, but more of a falling into bed instead of falling in love. Parts of the story were from Celine’s viewpoint taken from her diaries. However, therein lay a logistical problem which was too late in the book for me to identify the issue. Rating: 3.5 out of 5.