Review: The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

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☆☆➹⁀☆ 4.5 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆

 

What It’s About:

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.

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My Thoughts:

Ruth Ware’s The Death of Mrs. Westaway is a classic gothic novel. This dark mystery is set in a damp, dreary winter in England, at a decaying mansion—replete with an oddly terse housekeeper. Readers follow one twist after another; red herrings and tantalizing clues provide the main character and narrator, Harriet Westaway, with much to worry about.

Harriet, who is also known as Hal, lives a meager life as a skeptical tarot card reader at a touristy pier in Brighton. An increasingly aggressive loan shark is threatening her for repayment that she cannot afford. When she receives notice of an inheritance that she knows must be a mistake, she takes the opportunity to escape the loan shark’s threats by presenting herself as the Harriet Westaway being searched for by the estate’s solicitor. While Hal seems like an unlikable charlatan at the start, it is soon clear that she may be the most innocent and transparent of all the characters.

The slow but steady mystery is tension laced from the start. Through Hal’s observations, readers find that nothing is straightforward and it is not clear that anyone’s motives can be trusted. Each photograph, letter, and diary entry that Hal finds forebodes past and present danger. I greedily stole myself away to treasure every eerie moment of this book!

The audiobook is chillingly narrated by Imogen Church. Whether the story in current time or excerpts from a diary—the story flowed effortlessly both from Ms. Ware’s writing and Ms. Church’s narration.

 

© Copyright 2018 Book Junkie Reviews. All rights reserved.

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