He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker #Review

He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker #ReviewHe Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker

Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Atria Books on February 2, 2016
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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four-stars      four-flames

Already a favorite author so it was without any deliberation that I snatched up this latest standalone release.  With each new foray into suspense, the author just gets better and better.  This was an amazing, twisting psychological story of a young woman determined to prove her friend didn’t kill herself even while exploring attraction with two different men who have a tie to the case.

The story opens with Maggie Sparkes, wealthy heiress to her parents’ energy empire, returned to New York to go through her best friend’s things and make sense of Celine’s suicide.  Maggie runs a non-profit charity organization that helps build homes, provides clean water, and education in poverty stricken areas of the world.  She is called back to find Celine gone and Celine’s mother, who was more mother than nanny to Maggie, is in poor health.  Maggie has a gut feeling when she is in Celine’s apartment and amongst her things.  This suicide felt wrong.  Not just because she knew Celine, but little things weren’t adding up.

Maggie’s investigation uncovers things that shock and hurt her once she delves closely into Celine’s life.  And as she meets all the people surrounding Celine, she learns that nobody is without their secrets.  But is one of them a murderer?

I haven’t read a good murder mystery that kept me guessing through the end in a coon’s age.  This was one of those that I had my finger solid on one suspect and the motive then whoosh had that pet theory demolished more than once. This made for all sorts of fun.

The pacing and tone of the story really worked for the plot.  There were spikes of suspense, but for the most part, it went along at a gentle pace.  There is that feeling that everything and anything can be significant or distracting red herrings.

The cast of characters are a variety of colorful and at times quirky people.  Just as I felt I knew them, another reveal would take place and I had to adjust my opinions.  Even Celine, who was murdered, came to life for me as Maggie worked through the clues in her past.

While I enjoyed Maggie’s role in the story as the heroine and sole narrator- the instigator and one that pushed for justice for Celine- I didn’t like her in the beginning as the abrasive, demanding rich best friend.  She grew on me as she worked her way- trying and failing and trying again.  Maggie had some preconceived notions and opinions about herself and most assuredly about others that was off putting, but then her tenacity and genuine feelings particularly when she realized where her assumptions got her made me feel more kindly disposed toward her.

The setting of NYC and the life at Celine’s apartment building with the antique world as the background was interesting and suited the mystery plot.  I thought that cozy place on the roof with Maggie and Grady sharing the hammock, wool blanket, and the fire with the stars above was a lovely scene.

So many twists to the end, but I enjoyed every moment along the way.  Even though this story was a standalone, I would love it if the author reprised some of the secondary characters who helped Maggie solve Celine’s death in another story.

All in all, this was fantastic and I can’t wait to see what this author produces next.  I thought this was going to be more romantic suspense, but the romance has the lesser role.  This is for those who enjoy spicy, twisty murder mystery and romantic suspense.

I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #55 RS
Literary Pickers #54 business suit

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

Latest posts by Sophia Rose (see all)

  • I like to be kept guessing, that is the best part

    • It was pretty fun. I usually figure out much of the mystery when I read these so it’s nice to get a surprise at the end.

  • I love this author, but I haven’t tried this one yet. I do like a good murder mystery as well, so I guess I know where some of those gift cards I got for my birthday are going. lol

    • This one is a standalone, but I definitely like to see her continued maturity as a writer with the suspense stuff. My birthday gift cards are still waiting for my pleasure. It’s a case of too many choices. LOL

  • I’ve seen this around and it sounds great. I really need to move it up on my TBR list. I haven’t been reading enough books outside of the paranormal genre.

    • I was eager for it after reading her last series where she started in rom suspense and then went all the way to nearly no romance and heavy on the suspense with this one.

  • I agree Maggie has to grow on you. I am excited Tucker is moving more into the romantic suspense/mystery genre, and love that this was a standalone.

    • Yes, I’ve loved to watch the progression of her writing. This was one of the rare times I was with an author from the beginning and saw the maturity and morphing in progress. Love where she’s going with the suspense.

      Maggie, sigh…definitely needed a bit of time for me to warm up.

  • I so, so, so need to try K.A. Tucker. I’ve heard such good things. So glad you enjoyed this one.

    • You really should, Quinn. Her first series was good, her second series was really good. And this one was right there, too.

  • Good to see your reaction for this. Tucker books are on my tbr list to try this year.

    • Yay! I’ll look forward to seeing what you think after reading one of her books. Her first series was pretty much straight romance, but I loved the rom suspense in her second series. And then this standalone was almost all suspense. She really told a twisty one, too. 🙂

  • I just finished this one a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed it much as you did. This was the first KA Tucker book for me but I agree that it was a very solid mystery. I kept changing my thoughts as the book moved forward much as you did. Great review!

    • Yeah, she sure had me fooled more than once. You’d probably like the Burying Water books, too, Carole. They are more heavy on romance, but the suspense is there, too.

  • I like twists, it makes it fun to read.

    • Whew! And this one had some definite twists. Just when I thought I had it figured out- twist- and nope, I was wrong. LOL

  • oh I love multiple twists in a story. This really sounds so wonderful to read. I have got to try this author out soon. Great review hun.

    • Ha! Yes, you must, Renee! She has some good twists. I think you would love her Burying Water series especially.

  • I am a big fan of hers as well. I think I may have liked it a bit better then you though. I say that only because I rated it higher. We do agree on probably everything you said though. Great, well thought out review!

    • Her writing really grabs me and I love it that you appreciate her stuff, too. She sure fooled me a few times with this one. Not sure why it didn’t quite reach full heights for me. I might be looking for the feeling I had after putting down a few of her Ten Tiny Breath and Burying Water ones.

  • This was my first Tucker experience, but I can’t wait to read her others. Glad you love this!

    • Yes, I think you’ll enjoy them especially the Burying Water series since you liked this one.

  • This book sounds so good and I am enjoying her Burying Water series so far, but for some reason i am still a bit hesitant to pick this one up. I love a murder mystery that keeps me guessing and while it’s fun to guess right I also like being wrong in cases like this and the author surprises me. And I like the sound of how you get to know Celine through the investigation. The character sound great even with how you had to change your mind about them a few times. Great review!

    • This was definitely good, but your instinct is right that it’s a bit different. This is almost straight suspense and romance isn’t a strong element- only one of the elements. It doesn’t have the feel of the other books she has writing.
      Yeah, it was neat getting a book with enough complexity that I kept getting shockers and groans as I got it wrong.

  • I love when murder mysteries keep you guessing to the end, it’s no fun to figure it all at the get go at all. Sounds like a great story, glad you enjoyed it 😉

    • Oh then you’ll love this one, Sharonda. It will keep you guessing until near the end. Haha!

  • I didn’t realize this was a standalone. So many rave reviews for this one. I’m looking forward to when I finally get to this. 🙂

    • Yes, this was her first standalone I think. It was a cunning mystery for her first one that was more suspense than romance. Hope you like it, Grace!

  • Oh man. Some good twists and being kept guessing…love that!