About this book…
When Harriet Westaway receives an unexpected letter telling her she’s inherited a substantial bequest from her Cornish grandmother, it seems like the answer to her prayers. She owes money to a loan shark and the threats are getting increasingly aggressive: she needs to get her hands on some cash fast.
There’s just one problem – Hal’s real grandparents died more than twenty years ago. The letter has been sent to the wrong person. But Hal knows that the cold-reading techniques she’s honed as a seaside fortune teller could help her con her way to getting the money. If anyone has the skills to turn up at a stranger’s funeral and claim a bequest they’re not entitled to, it’s her.
Hal makes a choice that will change her life for ever. But once she embarks on her deception, there is no going back. She must keep going or risk losing everything, even her life…
Oh my! What a deliciously dark, almost gothic, read from the devious mind of writer Ruth Ware!! Having adored her first two books, I sadly have to admit to being disappointed by her last book The Lying Game, but with The Death of Mrs Westaway, she has redeemed herself totally in my eyes! I think this is her best book so far!!
Imagine living on the breadline, having to choose between eating and keeping warm and being in so much debt that you don’t think you will ever be able to crawl out of the very deep hole you have dug for yourself. And then unexpectedly there’s hope! A letter from a solicitor saying you’re a beneficiary in your grandmothers will! This is what happens to Harriet Westaway and you’d think she would be punching the air with joy, wouldn’t you. The only problem is that Harriet’s grandparents died years ago. But desperate times call for desperate measures and Harriet decides to travel down to Cornwall to try to pull off the mistaken identity and get that cash! But once there, the inheritance isn’t quite what she was expecting and it looks like others may be suspicious of this interloper that no one knew existed until now. Can Hal use her fortune telling skills to fool the Westaway family or will they lead her into more danger than the trouble she is already trying to escape?
The Death of Mrs Westaway became my obsession whilst I was reading it! I physically couldn’t bear to part with it for one second! As soon as I began to read it I was transported into the pages and became a fly on the walls of the most extraordinary house, one that was almost a character in itself with its darkly foreboding presence. Harriet (or Hal as she’s known) herself was an intriguing young woman. Her fortune telling “act” was far from the fraudulent trickery that I was expecting as she had an unusual attitude to her clients and the payment she received for using her “gift”. And once out of her natural habitat, it was interesting to see how her character developed once dropped into the dysfunctional Westaway clan!
There were twists and turns galore in this shadowy mystery that brought to mind one of my favourite books “Rebecca” at times. It’s just so gloomily atmospheric and the claustrophobic storyline is central to the narrative with the once beautiful house now falling apart, a far cry from its magnificent heyday, as it decayed around its now deceased owner. Despite this, I fell in love with the place and found myself drawn to the house that I was able to perfectly picture in my head due to some wonderfully descriptive detailing.
I thoroughly enjoyed every single page of The Death of Mrs Westaway. I hadn’t a clue where it was heading so that when I eventually did discover the truths hidden in its pages, I felt a glow of satisfaction at how well the plot threads had been woven together to provide that perfectly executed ending.
The Death of Mrs Westaway is published on 28th June 2018 and can be ordered here through Amazon UK (affiliates link). My copy came from the publisher via netgalley.