BOOK TITLE: The Death of Mrs. Westaway
BOOK AUTHOR: Ruth Ware
PUBLISHER: Gallery/Scout Press
GENRES: Literary Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
CHECK IT OUT AT: Goodreads
BUY IT: Buy on Amazon
Also by this author: The Lying Game
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.
All Hail Suspense Queen Ruth Ware!!!!
Ware’s second novel proved that she was no one-hit wonder. The Woman in Cabin 10 was a different kind of suspense, more Christie (as in Agatha), taking place on a luxury cruise reminiscent of something from the Orient Express. And again, I was floored (see? Here’s my thoughts from 2016).
Number three (The Lying Game) played on the sins of teenagers and the pull of old friendships, cementing her as a topnotch spinner of suspense (review from last 2017). This meant number four couldn’t come soon enough for me.
Lucky for me that Ware seems to be a prolific writer, giving readers a book a year for the last four years.
The Death of Mrs. Westaway did not disappoint. Dark, gothic, and very Christie-ish (again, Agatha), hitting the sweet spots of suspense perfectly. As an outsider, Ware’s main character, Hal Westaway, narrates the family drama of the Westaway clan. Their conflicts and issues are all courtesy of the title character, Mrs. Westaway, a controlling, overbearing mother who tore the family apart with her ire.
As Hal watches the drama unfold with the family, there’s also a mystery brewing. Hal’s the perfect narrator for the book, creating a slow burn of a mystery. And slow burns create the biggest fires: The big reveal, which doesn’t come until the very end, is HUGE and delicious.
Set in at a once beautiful Victorian estate, The Death of Mrs. Westaway has a decidedly Gothic feel. The weather is consistently cold and wet, and the house is without central heating, making the story and the setting that much darker. Ware’s use of the occult and tarot brings a bit of a occult, although Hal is very practical and honest about tarot.
(I read most of The Death of Mrs. Westaway on a very wet, rainy day, adding to the ambiance of the estate, although I have central heating.)
Ware doles out the story so deftly, dripping the truths in the with the mystery with a sure, practiced hand, making readers tiptoe to the next corner to see what waits around the corner. We’re privy to Hal’s secrets, but almost every character has secrets that come to light throughout the story.
This book is so delightfully dark, heavy with twists and turns, laden with suspense and real mystery. Agatha Christie would be proud. If you’re in the mood for edge-of-your-seat suspense, The Death of Mrs. Westaway is exactly perfect.