[612]: He Will Be My Ruin by KA Tucker

25814244 Atria Books | February 2nd, 2016
Source: Publisher | ARC, paperback 340 pp
Adult Fiction | Mystery
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Twenty-eight-year-old 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 bottle of Xanax and a handle of Maker’s Mark, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers secrets in the childhood 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 who Celine herself claimed would be her ruin.

On the hunt for answers 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 who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered.

This was a different K.A. Tucker altogether. Gone are the steamy bed scenes and romance, replaced by some good old fashion mystery that enraptures a reader.  Admittedly, I was not completely sold at first. But the more I read, the more I got sucked into the vortex of mystery surrounding Celine’s death.


It was meant to be an open and shut case – death ruled by suicide. There was a  note; a bottle of pills and alcohol beside her bed. But Maggie had a hard time accepting the fact that her best friend could do something so cowardly. She was a person full of life and ambition. A person who loved her cancer-stricken mother and was working her way to a degree. So what would make her kill herself in such a way?

As Maggie tries to pack Celine’s belongings, she finds clues that will lead her to believe that not everything is at it seems. Slowly, she pieces together the life of her friend who struggled with money, love, and depression.


Like I mentioned above, this is not your usual KA Tucker fare. If you go into this book looking for romance, you will be disappointed. I tried my hardest to empathize with the characters, but at the end of it all, it’s a plot-driven book. I was more interested in what happened to Celine than I was with Maggie, or Grady, or Jace. This is also one of those few occasions when I didn’t care that Maggie had romantic trysts with both guys. I knew where Maggie’s head was at. And it wasn’t so much as getting romantically involved with the guys, but mostly because they were just…there. I wasn’t rooting for anyone. But through it all, Maggie’s focus was in solving Celine’s death.

I found the book to be a bit more verbose than usual. Packed with narratives as Maggie tries to unravel the last few months of Celine’s life. I had a difficult time solving the mystery. Just when I thought I had it in the bag, a wrench gets thrown into the mix. So as mysteries go, this was a neatly plotted, annoyingly bothersome novel.

  • It’s interesting how the mystery is gone from this novel, because I normally expect romance. But based on her Burying Water series, you could kind of see where the mystery would come in. I’m looking forward to reading this, but it isn’t out here until August!!

  • Sara Walker

    I need this in my life. I love KA Tucker (although I struggled a bit with Burying Water). You have me convinced. Sometimes I like a good mystery. I am a little sad the romance and sexy times were lacking.

    • Oh yes. Check those sexy times at the door. lol.

  • I was really happy that the romance wasn’t there and that there was a certain outcome in the end. It’s like, there doesn’t HAVE to be romance for the book to be good. At least for me.

  • I think this one actually sounds a lot like ‘I Was Here’, but more adult, and with a mystery that is actually intriguing! I always assumed KA Tucker was just a romance writer, so pleasantly surprised! Will definitely check this one out 🙂

  • Romance and steamy scenes gone? Now that just sounds depressing, lol 😀 But yay for a good mystery book. That’s pretty awesome 🙂 Sadly not for me, but so glad you ended up liking it a lot Joy. <3

    • Hahah! I didn’t think I’d enjoy it knowing there was very little romance, but, I did. 😀

  • I keep hearing good things about the mystery of this one 🙂 I’ve not read any Tucker before but it’s definitely on my list for future reading!

  • Melliane

    even if it’s like that for the romance I confess that I’m quite curious. I heard great things about it and I’m curious to try it one day

    • Oh you might just enjoy this one, Melliane. I’ve seen the types of books you read and I know the lack of romance does not keep you away from reading something. 🙂

  • I’m planning to read this one soon, too. My co-blogger loved it!

  • shootingstarsmag

    Thanks for sharing! I really do want to read this one. I haven’t read anything by Tucker yet but I’m a sucker for good sounding mystery.


    • Oh man, she’s got so many books under her belt! I hope you’ll check out her other works – which are typically romance-heavy. This one’s pure suspense and mystery!

  • Melissa (Books and Things)

    This does sound good. I have yet to read her work yet, but they are all (I believe) on my wishlist. I love the term “annoyingly bothersome”… and I know what you mean. Must read it.

    • Annoyingly bothersome in a good way! Hahaha!

  • I have this sitting on my Kindle, but I’ve been putting it off because I love what Tucker usually writes, and I admittedly struggle with non-romance driven books. I’ll get around to reading this, though!

    • Yeah. It was tough at first, but once you get into a rhythm, you won’t even notice time passing by. 🙂 Enjoy!

  • I love a good mystery but don’t think this one is for me. I don’t normally enjoy love triangles and the fact that the MC in this one is involved with two people would be something that I’d find annoying.

    • I’m the same way with love triangles. Though, to be fair, there was no love involved. Just sex. Lol.

  • It can be so intimidating when authors switch genres. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one, regardless! I find I am drawn to the murder mystery aspect. I need to bump He Will Be My Ruin up on my to buy list!

    • Perfect! Then you will not have problems with this one. I feel like most of the reviews for this book touched on how different it was from her other work. But I’m glad she’s carefully testing the waters. 😀

  • Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings

    I haven’t read any of Tucker’s past work, precisely because I haven’t been a fan of the steamy romance. I’m excited to see she’s branching out, though, and I can always do with a riveting mystery so this is for sure going on my TBR. Thanks for putting it on my radar, Joy!

    • Ohh well, this one might work for you, dear. There’s very little romance in here, and what’s there is nothing even worth mentioning. Lol.

  • I loved how she hid the bad guy in plain sight. I totally went the complicated way, read into it too much and guessed wrong hahaha

  • kindlemom1

    I don’t think I have a dingle blogging friend who hasn’t loved this. I’m off to Amazon to buy it now!

  • This one wasn’t my favorite book by Tucker unfortunately. I had a very tough time with some of Maggie’s decisions especially when it came to her suitors, and I think that took away from my enjoyment. I’m glad that you enjoyed it though and that it got better for you!
    Great review, Joy! 🙂

    • Totally get you, Nick. Thankfully, I didn’t try too hard to develop any connection with her, otherwise, I’d have been disappointed, too.

  • I’ve been seeing this book around a lot lately, so I was curious to see what you thought. Good to know about the fact that it’s plot driven. I’m a really character driven reader, so that might be hard for me, but when there’s a mystery involved, I can sometimes just let myself get drawn into the mystery. Sounds like this is that kind of book.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    • That’s its best selling point, Nicole. And it turned out to be such a great whodunit mystery!

  • Great review. Glad you enjoyed this one. I completely agree with everything you said! It was entertaining enough to hold my attention and kept me guessing until the end.

  • It’s always interesting when authors go in a different direction. On one hand, they can meander onto something great. On the other hand, sometimes, more of the same is best.

    • KA Tucker totally veered away from your usual New Adult tropes and just went completely Adult Fiction on us with this one.

  • Jasprit

    I like that Tucker has attempted a different approach with her writing style with this book, I know that Rachel is a huge fan of her books too, and although I am a complete sucker for a good old romance, I can see the appeal of this book too, I definitely feel like giving it a go! Fab review as always! 🙂

    • Thanks, Jas! Yes, Rachel is a huge fan, though she wasn’t a fan of this particular book. Lol.

  • Wow. This is very different from her usual novels. I always find when a author does something totally different you are forever comparing them, I hate that. But generally you can be quite surprised. Great review.

    • I’m happy that the change work out for the better!

  • I’ve been reading a lot of reviews for this book and it sounds like although people aren’t too sure about this completely different book, they read on for a bit and suddenly they can’t stop anymore. It sounds like my kind of read for sure. Adding it to my TBR ^.^

    • Yeah! A lot of people are thoroughly surprised, but for the most part, I think most have enjoyed this one, anyway. 😀

  • Annoyingly bothersome..ok 😉