Title: The Death of Mrs. Westaway
Author(s): Ruth Ware
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Release Date: May 29th 2018
Genre(s): Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
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.
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.
MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★☆
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Till next time,