The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

thedeathofmrswestaway_bookcover1Title: The Death of Mrs. Westaway
Series: No
Author(s): Ruth Ware
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Format: ARC
Release Date: May 29th 2018
Pages: 384
Genre(s): Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
ISBN13: 9781501156212

She is back and she is not ready to hand over the reins to anyone just yet. Since In a Dark, Dark Wood, Ruth Ware has been releasing some of the most well-written mystery novels in a long time, and her latest story is no exception. Her ability to bestow an eerie atmosphere that she can manipulate flawlessly continues to seep through every single word. The Death of Mrs. Westaway is simply a prime example of mystery done right. It blends family drama, superstition, and mystery in a marvelous cocktail that will leave you thirsty for more.

The story follows Harriet Westaway, who goes by the name of Hal, in her discovery of an unbelievable inheritance. Living day by day as a tarot card reader in order to pay off debts that are quickly becoming impossible to manage, she looks at this golden opportunity as the ultimate escape to her predicament. What she doesn’t realize is that this peculiar situation will set her up on a path to uncovering far more about herself than she ever thought she would. Drawn to Trepassen, it is in a dark and Gothic house that the past comes crashing in and the magpies watch dreadfully as Hal discovers the truth.

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Ruth Ware controls the pace of this story with the finesse of a puppeteer. There is nothing fast about the setup or the development. Every card is flipped at the right rhythm and everything is unveiled at the right moment. It is only close to the end that she pours the fuel on the fire and puts the petal to the metal, turning this story into a race to the finish line. The way it all concludes is brilliant and there’s nothing about it all that I would have wanted changed. In fact, the plot is a bit predictable, but the execution was too good to even consider that a flaw.

What I also loved about The Death of Mrs. Westaway is Hal. She is a brilliantly developed character whose disbelief in her own art of card-reading serves as the foundation of her personality. Throughout the story, even if she isn’t superstitious, she still refers to it to make the hardest decisions and to get through the toughest situations. Driven by a desire to flip the cards in her favour for once in her life, her actions are always incredibly authentic and never ventures in territories where you’d question her behaviour. Her bond with her mother as well as the lessons that she has taught her daughter are also intertwined into the narrative to give us so much more insight into Hal’s character.

In the end, The Death of Mrs. Westaway is by far Ruth Ware’s best book yet. The blend of mystery and family drama was beyond harmonious and promises fans an addictive, beautifully written and eerie story.

1
Thank you Simon & Schuster Canada for sending me a copy for review!

MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★☆
Have you read it yet? Do you plan to?
What do you think about The Death of Mrs. Westaway?
Share your thoughts with me!
Till next time,

lashaansignature

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52 Comments Add yours

  1. Brilliant review! So glad you enjoyed it! I’m looking forward to reading it very soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I do hope you’ll enjoy it as much or even more than I did. 😁

      Like

  2. I definitely think I’d like this novel too, sounds great.. atmospheric house, tarot cards, combined with great character developments, count me in for this one :-). Great review again!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Definitely give it a shot, Inge. It was such a nicely polished mystery! I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on it. Thank you!! ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful review Lashaan! I have to admit that my experience with In a Dark, Dark Wood was entertaining but less than stellar. It might be time for me to revisit this author though, as this sounds like a fantastic read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I believe if The Death of Mrs. Westaway doesn’t click well with you, then the author’s style might not be your cup of tea. I do love a nice break for all the SFF, so I was happy to have this one queued up! Thank you for reading, Danielle! 😍

      Like

      1. Ah yes! I find mysteries and thrillers can be a nice change of pace as they usually unfold much faster 😁 It can be very refreshing!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Awesome review! I can’t wait to read this one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! You have to try it out! 😏

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Priyasha says:

    Awesome review ❤ ..
    I wanna read it ASAP 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Hope you like it if you ever do read it. 😉

      Like

  6. Norrie says:

    Sounds like something I’d like!
    Just finished the woman in cabin 10, and I’m pretty impressed. Defo want to read other stuff by the author

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YAAS! If you liked The Woman in Cabin 10, I think this one will be a welcome read for you! Ruth Ware really got everything right for this story and delivered it really neatly. I would love to see what you’d think of it, Norrie!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Awesome review!
    I really enjoyed this one as well. Hal and the atmosphere were easily the best aspects of this novel. Ware outdid herself with this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Nadine! I totally agree. I really loved how she gave that mansion such a suffocating touch. She barely even needed to spice up her writing with details. Everything was so clean! And then to have Hal being developed as that skeptical card-reader whose good at it? Damn. Good stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely! I didn’t think I’d like this one as much as I did. I’m glad I got to read it 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Great review! I definitely want to pick this up, it seems right up my alley!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Nicole! I concur, and I would love to see what you’d think of it. Ruth Ware’s writing style alone is sort of an easy hook for me to check out anything she writes at this point. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I haven’t actually read anything by Ruth Ware yet! Do you have a favorite book of hers that you’d recommend?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I think this one would be it. 😂 Her first two books (In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10) were also nice, but their flaws easily turn off some people. The Lying Game was probably her weakest novel for me, but not the worse thing in the world. I felt like The Death of Mrs. Westaway does everything right and delivers it with grace. All you need to know is it’s a slow burn, it isn’t like a lot of psychological thrillers nowadays that try to beat each other’s reading pace. 😂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Perfect, I’ll definitely make sure to pick this one up then! Thanks!

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Clearly I was not fully awake when I read this! I actually did listen to The Woman in Cabin 10 on audiobook. 🙈 It wasn’t until I was driving to work this morning that I remembered! 🤷‍♀️ Anyway, I’m still excited to pick up The Death of Mrs. Westaway. 😉

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Hhahhaha too many books to remember them all after all 😂

              Liked by 1 person

  9. This is a great review Lashaan, and I’m so glad you enjoyed this book as well. It sounds like Ruth Ware is an incredible mystery author and I bet you’re looking forwards to the next book she comes out with right? I’m glad Hal was such an incredibly developed character too, it’s always easier to love a book when the character feels real.
    Again great review. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Beth! Definitely looking forward to everything and anything she writes. It’s just too addictive to pass on, and a nice break from all the 600+ page books I read hahahah

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m glad to see how much you liked this. After basically hating Ware’s last book, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to give this one a try, but a lot of the reviews I’ve seen lately have been favorable, so I think I’ll give this one a try.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeh.. the Lying Game was the weakest of her books for me, but I think The Death of Mrs. Westaway would be a nice yea or nay to if you should ever pick up any of her books again. I do hope you’ll like it. I’ll definitely look forward to your thoughts on it whenever you do!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I haven’t read books by Ruth Ware but I have heard high praises. Glad to see how much you enjoyed it. Also well developed characters are such a delight to read about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Resh. She’s definitely one of the better mystery authors in recent years for me (not to say that I have read a lot of newly released mystery novels though). Her main character in this one was really well done, and clearly helped in making this an enjoyable story! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Hal sounds like a character to get behind and I have to admit I love the reading of cards… I guess it’s the Asian in me! 😄 I wonder if my writing partner has read Ruth Ware!? I need to ask her now. Great review Lashaan!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She is! Although I really had a tough time associating “Hal” to a woman hahahah I always kept on seeing Hal from Malcolm in the Middle (no clue if you know what I’m talking about). Ouuuuh, your reading partner might love to keep up with Ruth Ware’s work. The author is often said to be the Agatha Christie of our time (not saying they’re at an equal level though). Thanks for reading Dani!

      Like

  13. Great review, I have heard some mixed things about her work. Where should I start?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Asia. Yep, some books are weaker than others. I find this one is her best one so far. Much more clean on all levels. I’d start here and then decide if I want to read her 3 other books. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Wonderful review Lashaan! I have this eARC as well and now I’m really excited 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kim! Hope it’ll be to your satisfaction. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  15. This is my current read @ 85%! Love it so far. I am so glad you enjoyed this one, my friend!💚💙💚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hope you like the high-octane finale! 😉 Happy reading!

      Like

      1. I can’t wait to see how it ends!😁 I hope you are reading another good one. 😀❤😁

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I figured it out way ahead of time! I made a guess in the beginning and ended up being right but still was fantastic!😉🖒❤📚

        Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m hoping to get to this one soon. I have to admit I’m really into tarot cards so that definitely draws me in. So glad you liked it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You definitely should. Even if it’s your first time trying anything by Ruth Ware, I believe this one would be an awesome place to start. And with an interest in tarot cards, it’ll just make this that much more interesting! Thanks for reading! ❤

      Like

  17. I’m so glad I read this review, Lashaan. I would certainly have avoided this book based on the cover alone! I enjoy mysteries, but I struggle with the psychological aspect many new mysteries are taking on. I don’t mind a little bit of it, but too much and I get nightmares. O_o Do I need to read Ware’s book in any particular order? Or are these mysteries unaffiliated?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahahha you’re killing me! I totally understand though. I think her first book, In a Dark, Dark Wood was the only one that had a decent cover. At least my edition anyways. Oh yeh, some psychological thrillers nowadays are pretty intense. I wouldn’t exactly put this in that category, but rather “mystery” or “suspense” though.

      They are all unaffiliated. She’s released four books so far, and I find that this one was her best one so far. The Lying Game would be the weakest one. Hope you enjoy her stuff if you ever decide to test them out, Jackie! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes. I TOTALLY judge a book by it’s cover. In fact, Krysta @ Pages Unbound wrote a post recently which digs into why we *should* judge a book by it’s cover. While this post is focused on MG/YA books, it articulates a lot of my philosophy related to all covers.

        Thanks for the advice about The Lying Game. I’ll start here, then.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. I like eerie. I’ll have to check this out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hope you enjoy it if you do! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Gosh what an incredible review! You make this sound so eerie and atmospheric- if this is even half as good as your review it’ll be amazing!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! Ahhh, it really did invoke those moods, especially whenever the story took place in that mansion. 😀

      Like

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