The Death of Mrs. Westawayby Published 29 May 2018
|The Death of Mrs. Westaway.pdf|
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, and The Lying Game comes Ruth Ware’s highly anticipated fourth novel.
On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.
Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.
Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, this is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.
The Death of Mrs. Westaway Reviews
Family secrets, fortune telling and intrigue set at a gothic mansion - the set up was perfect. From the beginning, Hal receives a letter telling her about the inheritance she is entitled to, confused as she has no family, but scared because she has gotten herself into debt with some shady characters, she pursues the letter. Immediately, something is off - but what exactly is it? The mystery unfolds in such an intriguing way, I was instantly hooked and curious to know what was happening here. I really enjoyed the way the story played out and this was my favorite Ruth Ware to date. I liked The Woman in Cabin 10 but didn't think it was the masterpiece some other people did and I did not finish The Lying Game so I wasn't sure how this one would be for me - and I was thoroughly impressed. 5 stars from this bookworm!
Thank you to Gallery, Threshold and Pocket Books for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.
Find my full review here: http://crimebythebook.com/blog/2018/2...
LOVED. THIS. BOOK!! I’m a huge fan of Ruth Ware’s work, and this was most definitely my favorite book of hers yet. It’s a brilliant plot with tinges of gothic suspense & a quasi-locked room mystery. Love, love, love!!!
After “The Lying Game” which was a little disappointing to me, I was thoroughly thrilled and engrossed in this new book. Ms. Ware has again written a twisty, dark, atmospheric thriller, this time throwing family, inheritance and sibling rivalry into the brew.
Hal Westaway is still reeling from the death of her mother three months previously. She had to forgo her plans to attend college in order to take up her mother’s tarot reading kiosk on the pier in order to pay the bills. Still she fell short and she make an enormous mistake, borrowing money from someone who was beginning to put pressure on her to pay back the loan with lots of interest and even more threats, bodily threats!
While dealing with all of this and what her next step will be she gets a letter that she is heir to a substantial inheritance from her grandmother, Mrs. Westaway. Hal never knew that she had a grandmother and really thinks that there is a mix up but as she is pinned against the wall with the threat from her loan shark, she makes the decision to go to the funeral and see what the inheritance is all about. She is hoping for a few thousand pounds to help her get cleared of debt and start fresh.
Once at Trepassen house, a falling down, once gorgeous estate, she discoveres that her inheritance is much more than just some money and her “uncles” are none too happy about it, with the exception of Ezra who seems to take her under his wing. The house lends a lot of creepiness to the story, including the terrible attic room which Hal is now sleeping in, with it’s bolts on the outside of the door and it’s message scratched into the window.
Most of the family, however, embraces her as the daughter of their long lost sister and seem ready to accept her into the fold. Once the will is read, however, Hal is not so sure she wants any part of this, thinking she has perhaps dug herself into a really dark hole. Then she decides she will “take this step by step...with the slow, measured pace of a reading. She had to turn each card as it came, consider it, find it’s place in the story . . . . . only the next card was not a card at all, it was a photograph. the photograph . . . .”
There are lots of characters quite well developed including the cranky, constantly lurking, Mrs. Warren, who has been the housekeeper since the uncles were children. She seems to know all of the secrets but seems to be biding her time, does she have a secret of her own?
Mystery/thriller fans are going to love this new book, I did! The only thing that brought it down to a 4 was the fact that I figured out who the “bad guy” was and most of the mystery long before it was revealed. Still the ending is a great one and I loved every minute of this novel.
Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for an ARC of this book.
NEVER BELIEVE YOUR OWN LIES.
The Death of Mrs. Westaway is a cleverly crafted atmospheric mystery fueled by deceit. Since I was not a fan of The Lying Game, I was hesitant to read this, but I am so glad I did!
Struggling tarot card reader, Hal, aka Harriet Westaway, finds herself in a moral quandary when she receives a letter naming her as a beneficiary in her grandmother’s will. She believes a mistake has been made as her grandparents died long before she was born. Even though she knows that what she is doing is wrong, she is so desperate for money that she decides to travel to the funeral and play the role of the rightful heir.
Hal travels to eerie Trepassen House, her “late grandmother’s” crumbling estate. She thinks that she is only going to inherit some money, but she soon learns that she has been left much more. At the estate, she meets her “uncles” and uses her keen observation skills to learn more about the creepy family that inhabited Trepassen. When Hal realizes that she has a legit family connection to these Westaways, she begins to dig for more information which leads her into grave danger.
The mystery surrounding Hal’s past kept me intrigued, but it was really Hal’s character that kept me turning pages. Her character is what I loved most about this book. Hal has spent most of her life observing vs. being the center of attention, which has enabled her to master reading people. She can use this skill to deceive, but she has a generous nature. At the same time, she is also fighting to survive and must take what she can. She is often referred to be as being mousy or weak, but her character exemplifies the notion that those who observe are more powerful than those who need to be the center of attention.
Trepassen House also plays a large role. The thickly woven atmosphere surrounding the house transported me. Even though the events take place in the current moment, I felt like I had gone back in time while reading this as it is reminiscent of classic mysteries.The tarot card readings and the constant presence of magpies also contributed to this feeling.
This is not a book focused on fast-paced action, but rather on slowly unveiling the nuances surrounding the mystery. Subtle clues are planted throughout, but all does not come together until the end. This is a mystery with many layers; I found it to be intriguing, intelligent, and entertaining. I was satisfied with how things played out. The Death of Mrs. Westaway is one of my favorite reads of 2018! I recommend for those who enjoy slow-burn classic mysteries.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Gallery Books in exchange for an honest review.
This book had me completely hooked from page one!
I have to give this 5 glowing stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 for Ruth Ware—who if I’m being honest never disappoints me! This book was positively haunting!!! It was spooky yet meaningful, with lovely prose and compelling plot twists. I cannot recommend it enough!
I finished this book last night. It was one of those books that I stayed up late on a work night to finish, because I was so invested in the story. Hal’s dilemma had me completely immersed in the book. I think most readers will find themselves wondering what they would do if they were in Hal’s position! One thing that Ruth Ware does so well in this book (and in her previous work) is to write about characters that are cut off from society in some way. Sometimes this is done through a setting or an experience, and other times it is done through their social predicament. Hal fell into the latter category, with a dash of the first.
What I love about the way Ruth Ware isolates characters is how it makes you forget the noise of the rest of the world. It’s easy to put yourself in their shoes, because she writes in a way that their problem is so isolated, that it shines right off of the page. Hal’s predicament felt like it became my predicament! Hal’s strength, worries, and ideas felt like my own. I was able to fully empathize with her, and root for her along the way.
The promenade was empty, and the woman had disappeared into the darkness as if made from rain herself.
Hal is alone in the world. Imagine being a young woman, raised by a single mother and with no other family, and then your mother passes away in a horrible accident. Hal has no money, no family, and no friends. All she has left from her mother is her Tarot Booth on the Promenade—named Madame Margarida, after her mother—and the strength to survive instilled in her since childhood. But what Hal also has is a debt that is hard to repay. Surviving comes at a cost, and Hal has run out of options. And then one day, a letter arrives…
Don’t fall into the trap of believing your own lies.
The letter informs Hal that she is set to receive some inheritance from the late Mrs. Westaway, her grandmother. The letter is addressed to Hal by name, and yet Hal knows it cannot be true. You see, Hal knows her grandparents all died long ago on her mother’s side, and the letter references Mrs. Westaway being her maternal grandmother. Still, with debt piling up higher and no chance to repay it, Hal wonders if her career of reading others and telling them what they need to hear might be just the thing to help her play the game long enough to earn a bit of inheritance.
As Hal begins her journey to Trespassen House, she finds herself in over her head. It’s one thing to imagine taking a bit of money from those with plenty, but it’s another to place yourself in the center of someone else’s grief. The other Westaways are real people. And yet, there are many secrets in the home. Hal finds herself wondering if she isn’t the only person hiding something. And what will be the cost if those secrets come out?
I can feel it—my secret—burning me up from the inside.
I have to gush for a moment about the settings in this book. Ruth Ware uses such descriptive language, and this book takes place in some truly fantastic settings. From the spooky, abandoned promenade, to the bare apartment, to the dark mansion—I fell in love with the locations described in this book! I could imagine the settings so vivdly, as though I was there myself. I also loved the opening chapters on Hal’s work in the Tarot booth, and the people and settings she interacts with. I won’t spoil them, but they jumped off of the page for me.
The duality in Hal was also a high point for me. Hal is physically meek, but she has an inner strength. The way Hal has learned to play weaker than she is, and then her shows of surprising resilience and bravery were so wonderful. Hal is an easy character to admire and to root for. Hal is someone who has been cast aside in every way, but she has never allowed it to diminish her. Hal is caring but self-preserving. Hal is honest but deceptive. Hal is calculating but impulsive.
Many readers will enjoy this book, and I recommend it highly.
I am so grateful to NetGalley, to Ruth Ware, and to Gallery/Scout Press for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
See my review (and more!) here: http://novelbutnice.blogspot.com/2018...