I’ve been a fan of Ruth Ware since her first book ‘In A Dark, Dark Wood’, and I think she gets better with every new book she releases.
In her latest, ‘The Death of Mrs. Westaway’ we are immersed in a mystery, gothic novel. The protagonist is young Harriet Westaway, or more simply Hal, a tarot reader who struggles to survive all alone after the sudden death of her mother, with not enough money to buy her proper food. One day, she receives a letter that will change the rest of her life. Apparently, a recently deceased grandmother has mentioned her name in her will, and she is summoned to the family estate to find out what exactly she was left. The only problem is, Hal knows this is a mistake, they have sent the letter to the wrong person. But, giving her current situation is desperate, Hal decides she will lie, and try to take home whatever her “grandmother” has left her. Little Hal knows, she will set a chain of events that will soon derail, as lie after lie Hal will soon find out that she’s not the only one who’s lying, who’s keeping secrets.
Ruth Ware has this gift of creating characters and stories that absorb the reader’s attention and won’t let it go. This book is once again a true page-turner, as all Ware’s previous ones. I found myself up at 2 am still unable to put it down.
This mystery has gothic elements to it that make it creepy in a delicious way. A big, desolate house, Hal’s room with a door that has bolts just on the outside, a group of people who are supposed to be family, but who hide secrets from one another, and one old, creepy housekeeper who scares Hal every time she has a chance to. This book has all the elements to be captivating and entertaining.
“Whatever she looked on the surface, inside, deep in the core of her, she was not a mouse, but something quite different; a rat – small, dark, tenacious and dogged.”