Monday, February 1, 2016

Review: He Will Be My Ruin

Tomorrow is a big day in author K.A. Tucker's world...her first standalone novel is being published, and in hardcover to boot! He Will Be My Ruin is also more of a suspense novel than Tucker's previous books. I'm not usually much of a thriller/mystery/suspense kind of girl but I am a huge fan of Tucker so I knew I had to read it. The new novel was twisty, it kept me guessing, and it was good.

Here's the synopsis:
A woman who almost had it all . . .
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.
Tucker's previous books, particularly the Burying Water series, hinted at her ability to tell a suspenseful story well. He Will Be My Ruin was told well. I was kept guessing throughout the entire novel. I thought that maybe I had the mystery figured out even though I wondered if it'd be too obvious because the one suspect just seemed to obvious. (How's that for confusing?) I don't want to say too much because the last thing I want to do is give something away! Basically, the curveballs Tucker threw (er, wrote) were total strikes and I loved that. I didn't want to know what was going to happen next. I wanted to be surprised and challenged. I didn't necessarily want to be frightened but I did want to be kept on the edge of my seat. And I was.

Maggie was such an interesting character. She seems to have it all together and you almost want to be jealous of her at the beginning but you start to realize that she has elements of herself that need...shall we say, readjusting. Not changed, necessarily. Everyone has parts of themselves that could, should be better. By the end of the novel I think Maggie had realized how she could be a better person. It's just so heartbreaking that it had to happen because of her best friend's death.

Speaking of the best friend...I loved that part of the story was told from Celine's point of view. I think Tucker found a great way to be able to tell Celine's story from Celine's perspective. (Not her current one, obviously. Celine is dead and there aren't any ghosts in this book.) Even with this element, Maggie still had to hunt hard for more clues and had to piece together all of the information she was finding. What I learned is Celine would have been such an interesting person to know. I would have loved to hear the stories behind all of her treasures. Because I found myself drawn to Celine, I was even more hopeful that Maggie would find out what really happened and more invested in the overall story.

K.A. Tucker's latest was the first book I read in 2016 and it will be one I continue pushing on others throughout the entire year. He Will Be My Ruin was a damn good book and other book lovers need to know about it and need to read it. The only downside to having read this one well before the release date? I have to wait even longer for her next book. I don't think I'm going to be patient. :) Have you read any of Tucker's novels yet? You definitely should if you enjoy good, entertaining, page-turning reads.

*An ARC was provided by Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest and my own.*


  1. Well...guess I'm adding it to my list! But let's be would have kept telling me to read it anyways lol!

  2. I haven't read it yet, but I have been wanting to read it since I saw the review in the Toronto Star. Having read your review, I'm really looking forward to it.


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