The Death of Mrs. Westaway

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 May 2018

Member Reviews

This was a slow-burn of a novel that started slowly but picked up speed like a snowball rolling down hill. I couldn’t put the book down!
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Hal discovers that family secrets are never secrets forever.  Fortune shines down upon her with a price.
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As I'm beginning to put down my thoughts on this book, I find myself hovering over my 4 star rating and wanting to lower it to a 3. I like Ruth Ware, I liked the suspense aspects of this book, but there were parts I just didn't enjoy. 
First off I figured out the ending about half way through. That's always a bummer. Same thing happened to me with "Gone Girl" and it spoiled the whole book for me.  I also found aspects of the story telling tedious and repetitive, and while the lead up to the finale was tremendous, the actual finish and epilogue were pretty anti-climactic.

I have a feeling this is going to be a very highly rated book, and will be interested to see what other readers thought of it as a whole.
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This was my least favorite of Ruth Ware's books.  I put it down and read other books. I thought it was somewhat boring. I felt like I was reading a cozy mystery rather than psychological suspense. Just not my cup of tea. I will continue to read this author however. Her first book In a Dard, Dark Wood was her best.
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Spellbinding novel of suspense,, intrigue, and full of family secrets. Ruth Ware  is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.
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This book was a page turner from beginning to end. Hal lost her mother in a car accidents last year. She is all alone in the world with little money or prospects when she receives a letter naming her an heir to her grandmother, Mrs. Westaway. The only problem is that Hal is sure they have made a mistake as this is not the woman who was her grandmother. A sinister man  promising her bodily harm if she does not pay a loan with interest back in a week prompts Hal to accept the invitation to attend the funeral and reading of the will for this Mrs. Westaway. Could this be the answer to her dilemma? When she arrives there is some sinister undertones. Should she stay or go? Is there any basis to the claim that she is an heir? Things are not what they seem. There is a story within a story here as Hal really does have some claim to this family through her mother. What starts as a simple deception could become dangerous!
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I love a good thriller and this one did not disappoint! (Although I did figure out the ending before it ended.) Read it in only two days so I would say it kept me interested! I love a good thriller in the summer and although the story takes place in the winter (I actually felt cold when reading the scenes in the snow!), I still loved the book for it's eerie premise. The entire time I was reading I could picture this as a movie. I was even trying to decide who could play each of the characters (Rooney Mara for Hal!) I found the ending stressful, but in a good way.

The only real complaint I had was the main character's nickname was Hal and one of the brother's names was Harding and I it tripped me up as I read. I received an advance copy of this book from #netgalley
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Ruth Ware did it again! She made a story that captivated me from the beginning and I just loved how the story intertwined with the past and present. The novel was filled with great details and ended with a fantastic twist to make the story completely magnificent! What I loved most about this story was the characterization and Hal. Hal was a great main character and I was captivated by her character from the first chapter and so highly invested in her that I had to go back and read some of the chapters again after I finished the story. I have to admit, that I figured out the conclusion from the early pages but it still was just a guess and still had me on the edge of my seat. The main reason this is one of my favorite reads of the last year is because how the main character was a Tarot Reader and it's very hard to find fiction with a tarot reader as a main character(believe me I have looked) . 
  Through the story different cards and messages are used to make the story more intriguing. 
I know it's a little out there for some people but I am a Tarot and Oracle Reader. I don't do it professionally or anything just for friends and family but have been very successful with it and all my readers have been right on. I loved Hal's character all around and her being a Tarot Reader and struggling with her intuition and her beliefs was so relatable. Being a Tarot Reader is all about the energies being brought to the table and Tarot was formed by beautiful images(which is mainly what you read to tell a story based on the Querent's question and formulas associated with Astrology, Numerology but it is all about how the reader reads/tells the story and how they use this story from the imagery to answer your question. There is a lot of people that associate it with witchcraft but I am not a witch and even if I was Pagan, it's not how many people think it is. It's a peaceful belief and there can be bad in every belief. Being a progressive Christian, Tarot & Oracle cards are best as being used as a guide and these divine tools make me happier and prepare me for what is to come.  I know this is not a lesson, this a book review and also the main character in this particular story also used Cold & Hot Reading techniques for her job and I don't use those ways at all but back to about the book!  LOL. 
  I always like to intertwine my reviews with a little personal information about myself to make what I share more personal for me and my readers. I believe what we read can become a quite magical experience and books have power. This story had lots of power and I could connect on many levels. It was unique, chilling at moments, and had just an amazing story line! I would recommend this story to anyone who loves a great suspenseful story. If you are already a fan of Ruth Ware, you will not be disappointed, my friends. This is a book that is not to be missed! It had all the characteristics of a great Ruth Ware mystery and I know along with me, there are many Ruth Ware fans out there and this one was way better than her last novel. I will definitely be re-reading this particular Ruth Ware novel and I can't wait until I get the chance to spoil myself with this book again.
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An enjoyable read and one I was heartily looking forward to. Great page turner with thriller elements that I will share with my customers looking for a new fix.
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This one was my favorite so far from Ruth Ware.  Suspenseful, with a very sympathetic main character, and there are quite a few twists and surprises as well.  It will be of particular interest to those who are fascinated by family history and family dynamics.  While reading certain scenes from the book, I recalled reading V.C. Andrews's  Flowers in the Attic more decades ago than I care to admit---same eerie feeling and "sins of the fathers/mothers" aura.
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This book was a quick read,, in the popular genre of Gone Girl etc-  Fun summer read .  Need a break from this genre
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Rating 3.5/3.75, I always find I love Ruth Ware's books for about the first half but get disappointed in the end and with her twists. This was by far my favorite of her books. I listened to the audiobook which I think helped a lot. I loved the gothic setting of this and all the family secrets. While I did find Hal's constant train of thought tiresome I ended up really liking her. While the twists didn't blow me away (they seemed pretty obvious to me) I overall enjoyed it.  

I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Entertaining read.  This was set up as a great mystery whodonit, but the story fell flat in that the reader wasn't really given clues as to who the killer was.  I think it would have read so much better if there were clues and red herrings to keep the reader guessing.
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A young woman receives a letter informing her of an inheritance. The money will help her solve her debt problems, but when she attends the funeral she realizes a serious mistake has occurred. She will have to navigate the secrets of the family she meets as well as questions about her own past that soon come up if she wants her life to go back to normal. Author Ruth Ware keeps readers guessing and returns to form in the excellent novel The Death of Mrs. Westaway.

Harriet “Hal” Westaway doesn’t have an idyllic life, and after three years on her own in the British town of Brighton she’s fighting to make ends meet. She’s also fighting herself because she misses her mother with a soul-deep ache. When she was 18 years old, Hal’s mother died in a hit-and-run accident and that left Hal without any family whatsoever. She never met her father, and she doesn’t know of any relatives.

Until she receives a letter from a lawyer in the mail, that is, and Hal gets the shock of a lifetime. A grandmother she’s never met has named her a beneficiary in her will. Due to the grandmother’s death, the lawyer writes, Hal must appear for the funeral and the reading of the document. The letter feels like a godsend. Hal owes money to a loan shark who has begun applying serious pressure to collect his funds. Attending the funeral gets Hal out of town and away from the physical clutches of the dangerous man as well as allowing her a peek into her mother’s life before she had Hal.

When Hal arrives in the small town of St. Piran, she expects a grand estate. Instead she finds herself faced with a home that’s falling apart and a group of people who share blood but want nothing to do with the woman who died. If they didn’t have a legal reason to do so, in fact, nothing would compel them to come back to the estate. There are too many secrets and too many bad memories for everyone.

The family is shocked to meet Hal, but they accept her without question. Hal finds it harder to do so, especially because the more time she spends with the Westaways the more she realizes she isn’t, in fact, a rightful heir to the Westaway fortune. She can’t deny the fact that she does have a connection to the creepy home and the family, however, and the more she digs into her own past the more she realizes just how strong that connection it might be.

Author Ruth Ware brings back the best elements to her writing in this book. She creates a sympathetic protagonist in Hal without making her seem weak. Within the parameters of the story world, Hal’s life choices make sense and relatable. Life may have knocked Hal down, but she’s used her smarts and what she knows best to claw her way back upright again.

Ware also makes some interesting story choices when Hal goes to the Westaway estate. Despite her dire financial straits, Hal proves to have some integrity and a conscience. When she exercises her integrity, however, it creates more complications—in a good way—for the plot and gives it a new direction. 

Readers will probably guess the identity of Hal’s father much sooner than she will, but that predictability doesn’t take away from the pleasant experience of watching Hal make the connections at her own pace. In fact, her father’s identity is one of the only predictable elements of the entire book. That fact, along with Ware’s ability to challenge guesses in surprising ways most of the time, will keep readers up long into the night to get in another chapter.

Fans of Ruth Ware will find themselves richly rewarded, and readers who enjoy a good thriller will also enjoy this book. I recommend readers Bookmark The Death of Mrs. Westaway.
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This book is a tense, twisty modern gothic novel set in England. Harriet “Hal” Westaway receives a letter stating that her grandmother, Hester Westaway, is dead, and that Hal is a beneficiary of her will. Hal thinks there is no way this is true. Her grandmother, named Marion Westaway died died two decades earlier. Today, the 21-year-old orphan owes a lot of money to some dangerous people which makes is easier  and feels comfortable stealing a small sum from wealthy strangers. She uses the skills she’s learned as a fortune teller on Brighton’s West Pier to scam some quick cash. But when she arrives at the broken down family estate in Cornwall, neither the inheritance nor the Westaways are what she expects. As the plot unfolds, she begins to suspect that her invitation was no accident. Is Hal playing the Westaways  as she planned, or is she now somebody’s pawn? Well written , well developed  characters, combined with a creepy, claustrophobic atmosphere keept this  reader turning the pages of this explosive family drama. Hey we can all relate to a little family drama, right?
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A tarot card reading young woman is struggling to survive on her meager income. She receives a notice that her wealthy grandmother she did know she had passed away. She was summoned to her grandmother’s estate. While she is at the estate she begins to learn about her family and that her mother may not be who the Westaway family had thought. There is some mystery and suspense to this book. There are some spooky scenes, but I found this book to be lacking overall with not much excitement. The writing and descriptions are very well done. 

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Ruth Ware is really good writer. She can bring you into story and make you tense even if the scene is mundane. She's like horror music that once placed in a scene of people walking in a field makes you paranoid. She knows how to write. My problem has always been that her main characters make stupid decisions to keep up the tension. This time her main, Hal, isn't stupid.

This book is very Gothic in feeling. There are secrets around the corner. I like the supporting characters even though I'm still weary of them. 

My only problem is that we're given clues to who Hal's father and one clearly states who is he. When Hal finds the clues she reaches the wrong conclusion. I thought I misread the clue until it was revealed I was right. Why did Hal figure it out? To keep the tension?

And I would have loved to find out how she gets away from the gangsters.
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The language used was a bit hard to follow. Even so, the book was definitely a thriller. There was mystery throughout the book that kept you turning the page, regardless of how old fashioned the wording seemed to be.
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Described as the "Agatha Christie of our time", Ruth Ware has a reputation for thrilling suspense novels that are impossible to put down. In The Death of Mrs. Westaway, the mystery surrounds a completely unexpected letter informing Hal that a long lost relative has died and that she must attend the reading of the will. This should be the perfect solution to Hal's most desperate money problems except that she knows there has been some mistake. This Mrs. Westaway can't be her grandmother- her mother, recently passed herself, told her all about her grandparents and how they died before Hal was born. And yet. And yet Hal really needs the money. Just a few hundred pounds would rescue her from the scary loan shark that has been threatening her with bodily harm. And really, these people are so rich and have had so much their entire lives and Hal has so little. How much a difference can a few hundred pounds really make to them? The real trouble starts when Hal meets these people and begins to worry that there are many more secrets than just her own.

There was a lock on the door. Two, in fact. They were long, thick bolts, top and bottom
But they were on the outside.

The Death of Mrs. Westaway is the first of Ware's novels that I've read, but it won't be the last. This book really was hard to put down with a pace that kept me interested enough to fly through the pages. I can't wait to read more Ruth Ware. Any suggestions for what I should read next?
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As a tarot reader, Hal is great at reading people. So when a case of mistaken identity offers her the opportunity to claim an inheritance from someone she's never met, she might just be able to pull it off. Unfortunately, there's a lot more to this mysterious family than meets the eye.

This is definitely a slow-burn mystery/thriller, and it takes a while for the suspense to build, but the end is worth the wait. The story holds such a range of intriguing and strange characters, and Hal makes a great protagonist as the skeptical tarot reader stuck between a rock and a hard place. Lovers of Ruth Ware's other books won't be disappointed. This packs the psychological thriller punch that keeps us coming back for more.
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