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.
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Shel: Over the last year or so K.A. Tucker has made it to my short list of authors I will automatically read as soon as their latest hits my Kindle. I love how she branches out and does different things, creates new characters and conflicts, and ALWAYS produces a solid reading experience. He Will Be My Ruin was something new and unaffiliated with the other series she's written and while the cover definitely grabbed my attention it was the synopsis that had me very curious...and as with all of her novels, I found myself up until 1 AM reading--I could not put it down. Court: Yes, she does try new things. And takes her characters and writing to new and exciting places. And I think as I have finished this, I still am unprepared for how I feel about it! I was surprised by it, and somewhat conflicted because the end surprised me. A lot. But the suspense. And the mystery....the writing was well plotted, and enjoyable.
Shel: After I finished reading He Will Be My Ruin, I immediately texted Court and whined about how impossible it would be to write this review because I feel like anything I say will give too much away and that's the absolute worst, especially in this type of novel. You know what I'm talking about...those reviews that talk about twists or hunches or this character or that character and that little seed of knowledge embeds itself in your subconscious and you find yourself looking for the clues and spoiling your own damn self trying to find the answers and just like that POOF! the reading experience just isn't as authentic as it could be. I REFUSE TO DO THAT TO YOU because I love you dear reader(s) of this blog. Court: Amen! *zips lips* *or tries to!*
Shel: So then what exactly can I tell you that will compel you to give this novel a try and yet not spoil the hell out of it? Well, I'm honestly going to ramble for a few minutes about random thoughts I have about this novel. Like this:
- Shel: It was interesting how we learn about Maggie and Celine's views on their friendship--about the lies they told each other to maintain and progress their friendship and how very much like an iceberg it was--sometimes characters only see the tip of it but the huge amount of emotion the other carries under the water is something well hidden. Despite this (or because of it) the way that Maggie and Celine seemed to always be able to keep up their friendship despite distance and time away also felt so true and lent a lot of realness to the story. Court: OMG. I felt awkward FOR Maggie to find out some of those hard truths that are kept in the subconscious about those closest to us. That would be so hard. And as we read, it shapes our, and I think her perception of Celine. Celine is a huge character of this book, and in an unexpected way. But I like that we got to know her, and how.
- Shel: I also pondered some of the sexcapades of characters and how some of them felt mildly unusual for the circumstance but explainable...and I'm not even going to tell you which character(s) or moments I'm referring to but I'll be interested to see what others think. I will say that in order for certain things in the plot to make sense, some of the 'sexcapades' had to happen ..I'm just not sure about one or two of them. (sorry for the ramble, I'm still working this part out as I'm processing the events of the novel) Court: I may've made some jokes about this particular subject to you! LOL! Some of them seemed...random. Some not. It was an interesting dynamic, and more of a *train collision going to happen and I can't look away, but I'm screaming NO! Don't do it!* And she did it. Oops! Again. Haha.
- Shel: I loved the interesting career paths of Celine and Maggie and their ambition and desire to see their dreams become real. Court: I admire Celine's desires to make her own dreams come true, but her stubbornness was hard!
- Shel: Ruby and Doug and Hans were great--they helped take us out of the intensity of the discoveries Maggie was making while also furthering the plot. And without saying too much, I'll say that Jace and Grady added plenty of action and intrigue. Court: They helped Maggie get out of her own way sometimes for sure, and really just turned out to be fun secondary characters and friends! I enjoyed the heck out of them.
- Shel: I'd love to go back and reread several parts at the end to see if I missed things in my rush to find out how it would end--I tend to do this rush to the end with suspense and I always want to kick myself for it afterwards. I still have a few questions but that's probably my fault so learn from me and take your time! Court: Things do move quickly as the plot comes together. I am in shock by it all! I personally think the sub-plot really made things interesting.
Shel: As I noted, I love that K.A. Tucker continues to try new things and if you've read her before, I really think you'll enjoy this novel that is light on romance and heavy on suspense. I don't know what she's got up next for us to read but I know I'll be downloading it as soon as it's available. Court: Ditto. I really enjoy everything she does, and this one had me thinking!
Born in small-town Ontario, K.A. Tucker published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons.
She currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.