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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

I Will Ruin You


Narrators: George Newbern,

Johnathan McClain

Harper Audio

ISBN: 9780063276314

Publisher: William Morrow

Publication Date: 05/07/2024

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)



In the latest novel from New York Times bestselling author Linwood Barclay, a teacher’s act of heroism inadvertently makes him the target of a dangerous blackmailer who will stop at nothing to get what he wants.


How would you react in a life-or-death situation?


It’s a question everyone asks themselves, but few have to face in real life. English teacher Richard Boyle certainly never thought he would find himself talking down a former student intent on harming others, but when Mark LeDrew shows up at Richard’s school with a bomb strapped to his chest, Richard immediately jumps into action. Thanks to some quick thinking, he averts a major tragedy and is hailed as a hero, but not all the attention focused on him is positive.


Richard’s brief moment in the spotlight puts him in the sights of a deranged blackmailer with a score to settle. The situation rapidly spirals out of control, drawing Richard into a fraught web of salacious accusations and deadly secrets. As he tries to uncover the truth he discovers that there’s something deeply wrong in the town—something that ties together Mark, the blackmailer, and a gang of ruthless drug dealers, and Richard has landed smack in the middle of it. He’s desperate to find a way out, but everyone in his life seems to be hiding something, and trusting the wrong person could cost him everything he loves.


What price will he pay for one good deed?










My Review


Linwood Barclay (favorite author) returns following The Lie Maker with his latest twisty standalone crime thriller, I WILL RUIN YOU.


A Connecticut school teacher finds himself in a 'heap of trouble' (as they say in the South) when a series of events occurs, entangling him in a scheme of blackmail, violence, deadly secrets, murder, drugs, and more. Only Barclay could pull off this multi-layered complex thriller like the pro he is.


English teacher Richard Boyle is a dedicated teacher and husband at the local high school. He follows the rules even though he likes to introduce banned books to his students.


His life took a change for the worse with a nightmare following the day, a troubled former student, Mark shows up at the school with dynamite strapped to his body. He threatened to blow them all up.


Richard is smart and persuades the attacker to move outside the school premises. However, the boy trips and detonates the explosives. Even though it ended tragically, Mark saved many lives and was dubbed the hero.


However, being in the limelight draws attention to those who want to bring him down. What follows next sends Mark's life into a downward spiral, and he does not know how to escape this madness. What was the real reason Mark targeted the school?


First, there is a lawsuit from Mark's parents, then a blackmail scheme from another student, which puts him in a bad light. Then, the parents do not like his choice of reading materials for the students. To top it off, there are dangerous drug gangs that threaten the town.


His marriage is falling apart, and all his friends have deserted him. Something horribly wrong is happening, and someone is setting him up. In a race against time, he must find the person behind the murder and mayhem. However, the closer he gets to the truth, the more danger he's in.


I WILL RUIN YOU is a first-rate multi-layered, complex thriller with twists and turns on every page. It features nonstop action, high stakes, and adrenaline-fueled suspense.


A long time fan of the author, having read all his books, as always, Barclay dazzles with ordinary characters in extraordinary situations that they can see no way out. Character-driven and plot-driven, long-time fans of the author will devour this one!


MIND-BLOWING! For fans of Lisa Scottoline, Michael Robotham, Harlan Coben, and David Baldacci. Timely topics include school and gun violence, book censorship, drugs, and sexual harassment.


Many thanks, William Morrow and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy for an honest opinion.


@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 5 Stars

Pub Dat: May 7, 2024


Interview with Linwood Barclay ELEVATOR PITCH




Praise


“Linwood Barclay is a flat-out master of the modern thriller, and I Will Ruin You is impossible to put down. You need this book in your life.”

— David Koepp, author of Aurora


“A Connecticut high school teacher stops a mass murder only to be targeted by a blackmailer in this hair-raising standalone from bestseller Barclay (The Lie Maker)… Barclay makes his protagonist’s plight devastatingly immediate, and keeps readers on tenterhooks throughout. This is difficult to put down.”

— Publishers Weekly


"Barclay’s new book is a well-written and suspenseful thriller. Yet, it’s more than that: it is, mostly due to a single, mind-blowing revelation, probably the best book he’s ever written.... In addition to the story, which is pure gold, the author also gives us some of his most irresistible characters, including not just his protagonist, but also the supporting players, some of whom are keeping some interesting secrets. A standout novel from a writer who, like Harlan Coben, always delivers the goods.”

— Booklist














About the Author



Linwood Barclay, a New York Times bestselling author with twenty novels to his credit, spent three decades in newspapers before turning full time to writing thrillers. His books have been translated into more than two dozen languages, sold millions of copies, and he counts Stephen King among his fans. Many of his books have been optioned for film and TV, a series has been made in France, and he wrote the screenplay for the film based on his novel Never Saw it Coming.


Born in the US, his parents moved to Canada just as he was turning four, and he’s lived there ever since. He lives near Toronto with his wife, Neetha. They have two grown children.


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