January 25, 2016

REVIEW, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: He Will Be My Ruin


You ready for something new and different from the author of Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water? This is K.A. Tucker like we've never seen her before. Check out my review and the excerpt below, and don't forget to enter the giveaway!


He Will Be My Ruin, by K.A. Tucker
Publish Date:
February 2, 2016
Publisher: Atria Books
Format: ARC, provided by Inkslinger PR
Genre: adult mystery suspense
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS


(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.

This is going to be a hard review to write. I feel like I'm walking in a spoiler mine field. The rabbit hole is deep with this one, and one leap in leads to more and more revelations that make you go hmmmm?

It all starts when Maggie comes to NYC to clean out her BFF"s apartment after her suicide. Maggie just doesn't believe it's possible, though. The Celine she knew was high on life, an artsy antiques dealer who loved her mom and Maggie and would never, EVER have killed herself. As Maggie finds things and talks to people that bolster her opinion, she becomes determined to get to the bottom of things, even if the police - and her own sense of survival - don't agree. 

Even though this story is nothing like I've seen from K.A. Tucker before, it's clear that it's hers. We got a taste of her awesome suspense and mystery storytelling in her Burying Water series, but it was only just testing the waters compared to this. 

The biggest difference is, where Burying Water was high on romance and lighter on the suspense, He Will Be My Ruin is completely the opposite. The romance takes a backseat to Maggie's search for what really happened to Celine. 

As Maggie gets closer to the truth, the story splits between the present day (Maggie's POV) and several months earlier (Celine's POV). Celine's POV was unexpected at first, but became a welcome addition, as it helped move the story along. While Maggie is working all the angles from her end and theorizing, we're seeing how the events unfolded for real through Celine's eyes. 

And that's about all I can say. I mean, sure - lots of stuff happens. Like - LOTS. Maggie meets people - the man Celine had a naked picture of in her apartment, her antique-loving gay friend from school, her weird hoarder of an old lady neighbor, the surprisingly insightful building super, and Celine's catty co-workers. All of them had motive and opportunity to kill Celine. I have to tell you - I was kept guessing every single minute. 

I promise you - as soon as the whole picture becomes clear, you will be shocked. I know I was. There's WAY more going on than what either Maggie or the reader initially thinks. And, that's the beauty of this book. The layers are plentiful and that rabbit hole is deep. 


Look, I’m just…” I stare at my reflection in the mirror, my eyes lined with bags, my skin sallow, my hair matted. I look like someone who sat in bed for twenty-four hours, eating cold pizza from the box I had delivered last night and polishing off a bottle of vodka, all while reading the deepest and darkest thoughts from the last fifteen years of Celine Gonzalez’s life. Discovering things that I could have happily gone the rest of my life without knowing.

Which is exactly what I’ve done.

I can barely keep my eyes open and yet I know that sleep will not grant me a reprieve. “I’m dealing with a few private matters.”

“Well, I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to fit you in when you decide that you’re ready.”

“You will, because your boss wants my money.” I hang up before I hear her snippy answer and stare at the journal in my hands.

I was torn between starting from the latest diary first and easing myself in with the oldest one, afraid that I wasn’t ready for what might lie within those last pages. That I wasn’t ready to witness just how Celine had lost herself.

And then I picked up a pink book with butterflies on it—the earliest dated journal—and read a thirteen-year-old Celine recount her major crush on my boyfriend at the time: a tall, gangly guy named Jordan who kissed her behind our house one day while I was changing into my bathing suit upstairs. She felt so guilty, she couldn’t sleep for a week. Through tears, I laughed—because I hadn’t even given that guy a moment’s thought in years—and I knew then that starting at the beginning of Celine’s story was the only way to do this.

And so I did, living the past fifteen years through Celine’s eyes, since the days she and Rosa still lived with me. It wasn’t hard to follow along. She dated every single entry. Some days she didn’t have a lot to say. Other days she’d fill an entire page, even writing along the margin. She seemed to follow a simple rule as the years progressed: one page per day, no more.

So many days.

So many confessions.

So many things that made my heart swell.

And so many that made my heart bleed with pain.

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.

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1 comment:

Inkslinger PR said...

Thank you so much! ~Jessica, InkSlinger PR