Thursday 6 June 2024

Book ~ "I Will Ruin You" (2024) Linwood Barclay

From Goodreads ~ 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?

Richard is teaching his class one day when he looks out the window and sees a man entering the school with what he thinks is dynamite strapped to his chest. Not thinking, he dashes out and talks the man, who turns out to be a former student holding some grudges again some teachers, into leaving the school before any students or teachers could be hurt. This draws attention to Richard and the next thing he knows, another former student comes forward to blackmail him for something he said Richard did to him when he was at the school. Richard tries to keep it quiet and handle it even though he is innocent. As he does, he discover his blackmailer may be involved with drug dealers who don't appreciate being ripped off.

I've read many books by this author and I thought this one was just okay. I found some of the decisions some of the characters made were dumb. It is written in first person perspective when it's Richard's voice and third person perspective from other points of view, depending on where the action was. There was a lot going on with many side stories. There was an interesting twist about 3/4 of the way in and the ending came up really quickly. As a head's up, there is swearing and violence.

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