He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker
Published by Atria Books on February 2nd 2016
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
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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.
Q & A Review With Liezel, Micah and Angie
We decided to do a “read-along” on this book where we split the story into 4 parts. After each part, we waited for each other to finish and discuss before moving on to the next part.
Was “He Will Be My Ruin” engaging?
Liezel: I seriously thought that this would be a good idea doing a read along and at times it really was. Considering it was a mystery/thriller/suspense book, however, it was difficult to stop at the agreed point. I got immediately dragged into Maggie’s story where I could barely stop. The suspense just about killed me. So yes, it was definitely engaging!
Micah: So, yeah, we would read 12 chapters at a time. The first time, it wasn’t hard *that* hard to stop. We’d just gotten into the story and I didn’t have to wait too long for you guys to finish. But when we got the 24 and I had to wait for 1/2 a day for you guys to catch up, I thought I was going to DIE waiting!! So was it engaging? Does that answer your question?? HAHAHA It’s addictive. If I didn’t promise to read it in 4 parts and have discussions about conspiracy theories with you guys, I would have finished this in one sitting.
Angie: Well isn’t this a silly question!! It took everything in my being to stop from reading after Chapter 12… I mean look at the very first sentence you read, My wrists burn. That alone had me hooked and intrigued. I needed to know more and Liezel and her job made it hard to wait!
Was it predictable?
Micah: Hmmm, I guess this question depends on which part we are talking about. Without revealing too much, let’s just talk about the whole book and leave out the ending. I would say, no. This book constantly had me guessing. Since we were stopping and talking about it at intervals, I had HANDWRITTEN notes of clues and items I wanted to discuss…of things I *thought* were important. Sometimes they were, sometimes they weren’t. Sometimes I missed things Liezel and Angie picked up on and then I went back and scoured the pages to find them. I was fortunate to be reading with 2 others!
Liezel: This was another great thing about the story… it wasn’t predictable at all. Sure each of us had their likely suspicions but that seemed to change over time. Believe me, every single character was looked at and talked about thoroughly. When we had finally come to the conclusion as to who the culprit was there would be another drawn out discussion about possible motives.
Angie: Like Micah said, sometimes yes and sometimes no. When you think you had it figured out K.A. would throw another wrench into that and you would start doubting yourself all over again.
What did you think about the characters? Can you relate to them?
Angie: Well since I’ve never been kidnapped and drugged I can’t say I can relate but like Micah said there is so much depth to these characters that you can’t help but be sucked into their world. You become so engrossed that you feel like you are Maggie or even those small glimpses into Celine’s life, her. You find yourself fighting, crying, screaming and getting turned on right along with Maggie!
Micah: Since Maggie is the majority narrator, I feel a connection to her just because of that, but I didn’t feel like I related to her. Nothing in her world is my world. I am a stay a home mom and military wife. She is a rich socialite with crappy parents who spends all of her time doing charity work in third world countries. We do get some chapters from Celine’s POV, but not enough to connect to her. And what we learn about her makes me feel sad for her. I can relate to wanting to stand on your own two feet as I have done that in my own life.
That isn’t to say that the characters are without depth. K.A. Tucker does an amazing job of shaping distinctive, individual, captivating characters that draw you into the story. Even while you suspect nearly everyone in the story, apart from Maggie, you also like portions of their personality, or at least, I did.
Liezel: This is one of the many reasons why I enjoyed about this story…the heroine’s conviction. Not only was Maggie undeniably loyal to Celine (even if at times I thought she didn’t deserve it) but she was also selflessness and committed in her life’s work. She could have just been like any other socialite but nope she was set to make her mark in the world. I thought Maggie was absolutely remarkable.
I would have to say that I can not relate to Maggie’s situation per se but what I personally can relate to is her character. If I had the means, I too would have put my life on hold and go above and beyond to find what really happened to my good friend whom I considered a sister.
Was the ending what you expected?
Micah: No. Yes? No. Yes? HAHAHA. I don’t want to reveal too much because even saying a modicum of information might reveal a clue to the story. I will say that I was a little disappointed by the ending. And that is all I will say.
Liezel: I was a bit confused about the ending myself. It took me a few hours to process those last few paragraphs. I do wish it had ended differently but also got me thinking … that perhaps KA Tucker meant to leave it like that in prep for a follow-up novel? One can only hope.
Angie: No.. I wish the ending would have been different. I can’t go into much detail without ruining it for everyone but I was disappointed. That was the only thing that did disappoint me though as this book was very intriguing!
Has the novel changed you in any way?
Angie: It showed me that K.A. Tucker has a dark, twisted mind and I loved seeing this side of her! No matter what genre she writes she can do it like a PIMP! #trustnoone
Micah: God, yes. 1. I love K.A. Tucker even more. I didn’t think that was possible. 2. Trust no one. HAHAHA I would put a number 3, but THAT WOULD REVEAL A CLUE. I don’t want to ruin anything about the book and I WOULD BE YOUR RUIN!!! (see what I did there 😉 )
Liezel: Yes! It definitely opened my eyes. It triggered by dormant OCD. It had me weighing in all the people closest to me – having me decide who among them is someone that I completely trust. There aren’t many stories have that affected me in such a way and Kudos to KA Tucker for being able to do so.
Would you recommend this book?
Liezel: The Mystery/ Suspense genre isn’t my normal book preference but I’m glad we decided to read this one together. Not only did “He Will Be My Ruin” keep me engaged throughout the entire story but it opened my eyes and had me thinking of all the other genres out there that I have yet to explore.
Even if it the ending wasn’t what I expected this doesn’t prevent me from recommending this book.
Micah: YES! Although this doesn’t fit the normal romance box that I am used to with K.A. Tucker, she did a fantastic job. The fact that we were YELLING at each other to read faster and GET HOME from picking our KIDS up from school is so telling as to how good this book is.
Angie: Heck Yes!!! We were so addicted to this book that it took everything in our body to put it down. Trust me, if you love suspense books and K.A. Tucker then you have to read He Will Be My Ruin! Grab a book buddy and chat about it. You won’t be disappointed!
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These are Celine’s most private things. No one was ever supposed to find them.
With slightly shaky hands, I shift my focus to the bottom of the closet, where shoe boxes and
storage containers are stacked in tidy piles. I toss them about, rooting through the contents, anxious over
what I might find.
Until I come to a decorative box of dangly necklaces and bracelets, made from giant stones. An
uneducated person might mistake them for costume jewelry, but I know that the diamonds are real. I can
tell by their sparkle. Several receipts sit at the bottom of the box, indicating a pawnshop where it looks
like Celine had already sold some pieces.
I crawl on my hands and knees to check under the bed. Nothing but a single dust bunny—the
soul survivor of Celine’s excessive cleaning regime—hides there.
I toss the lamp onto the recently delivered and freshly made bed—the silk white shade bends
but I don’t care—and pull apart the makeshift end table, yanking the long and narrow crates apart to hit
the hardwood in a loud clatter.
Books spill out everywhere.
The crates are full of little books, ranging from pink journals with unicorns to leather-bound
diaries with locks. No keys included.
I didn’t know Celine kept a diary. But of course, she did. She liked keeping track of everything. It
only makes sense that she would keep track of her life.
I gather every last one and spread them out across the bed. Hoping that somewhere in here I’ll
find a reasonable answer…
Dreading the truth.
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