A “perfectly executed suspense tale very much in the mode of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca” (The Washington Post) from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, The Lying Game, and The Turn of the Key.
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 a “captivating and eerie page-turner” (The Wall Street Journal) from the Agatha Christie of our time.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Tarot cards, an unexpected inheritance, and a gloomy mansion—in the hands of Ruth Ware, that's all a mystery lover needs for a brilliant night in. Ware keenly understands the intricate mechanics of suspense; much of the pleasure of The Death of Mrs. Westaway lies in her subtle sense of pacing and masterful use of Gothic-steeped atmosphere. She’s also created a terrific heroine in hard-luck Tarot reader Hal, who’s at once unreliable, sympathetic, and shrewd. Following Hal's journey through a maze of secrets is a deliciously nerve-jangling pursuit.
In this tense, twisty modern gothic set in England from bestseller Ware (The Lying Game), Harriet "Hal" Westaway receives a letter stating that her grandmother, Hester Westaway, is dead, and that Hal is a beneficiary of her will. Hal knows there's been a mistake her grandmother was named Marion Westaway and died two decades earlier but the 21-year-old orphan owes a lot of money to some dangerous people, feels comfortable stealing a small sum from wealthy strangers, and decides to use the skills she's honed as a fortune teller on Brighton's West Pier to scam some quick cash. But when she arrives at the crumbling family estate in Cornwall, neither the inheritance nor the Westaways are what she expects. Moreover, she begins to suspect that her invitation was no accident. Is Hal playing the Westaways, or is she somebody's pawn? Evocative prose, artfully shaded characters, and a creepy, claustrophobic atmosphere keep the pages of this explosive family drama turning.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Too long, a little repetitive, but mostly a good read.
Good premise. I enjoyed the setting and the story in general, but the main character was as mousy as she claimed not to be. Which was a little annoying. The book was long, which I normally like, except it was only long because of the unnecessary repetition. Otherwise, I liked the many twists and turns in the story. Just thought it could have been told without all the repetition.
Still, I’ll read another book of hers. After reading In the Dark, Dark, Wood, I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy her books, but I did with this one. Now I’m going to read The Woman in Cabin 10. Hope it’s good!
I’ve read a number of your books. This one was definitely the most disappointing.
Able is a homosexual, and I think his parter is Edward. Harding is the oldest and very into $$.
Exra hates the house and wants to get away as soon as possible. The made, Mrs. what’s her name is nasty.
That’s all we really know about them.
None of these characters were built up enough to get who’s who, and why some were in book at all.
What was the point of the children being there?Harding didn’t seem to care about anyone, even Mitzi.
What’s the deal with the maid worshiping Ezra? Somewhere it was mentioned that “a boy once drowned in the lake. If you had made this boy the maid’s child, and she used Ezra as a substitute...that would have made more sense.
Why did Hal keep returning to the cold attic room?And why did she leave the locks on the outside of the door when she knew she could be locked like the previous occupant? How did Maud get out of that locked room? Plans were made with letters being sent back and forth, but how did she actually escape?
Sorry to be so harsh, but I believe you have better writing in you, but this book was not one of those.
When she went down stairs, she dropped the glass and spewed glass shards all over the floor. Who cleaned that up the next morning? It was never even mentioned again in the book.
Maggie, Maud, it got really confusing at the end.
Why have so many siblings?
Able says, apropos of nothing, “I am not your father.” But then Hal and Abel never mention the comment again.
What happened to Mr. Westaway? And why did Mrs. Westeway birth four children when she didn’t seem to like children in the first place.
Why was Ezra so paranoid about Maud having his child that he murdered her. And then Maggie.
Why didn’t he leave after the funeral and the reading of the will? He made it clear he was going the second he could?
Why didn’t the maid show any special attention to Ezra when they were all in the house, especially when she has a shrine dedicated to him?
It needed more work, especially when most of the book went on and on until all was revealed towards the very end.
If you’re not going to build their character, why not just get rid of some of the brothers for one? Two would be enough. Drop Able.What’s the point of having him in the book anyway?
After 20 years, how did Hal figure out so quickly that her mother was buried their? The wish would have picked away at her anyway.
Put 4 more weeks into the book, and get a strict editor. Friends should not be your source. They want the book to be good, because they are your friends.
Love love love.
One of my favorite books in a while...