Robin's Reviews > The Death of Mrs. Westaway

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 2018-may, 2018-pub, psychological-suspense, best-of-2018
Read 2 times. Last read March 9, 2018 to April 25, 2018.

Wow, that was terrific and I expect it to be the book of the summer.

Update 5-3-18: 4.5 stars

Broke and trying to stay out of the clutches of a loan shark, Harriett (“Hal”) works as a tarot card reader in Brighton, England, but hope arrives when she receives a letter from a solicitor informing her of an inheritance from her dead grandmother. Hal is sure it’s a mistake but is desperate so uses her last dime to travel to the Westaway family home thinking she can scam her way into the money, but it’s proving to be much more difficult than she anticipated. As secrets emerge and Hal’s life is in danger, she finds an inner core of strength to find out what everyone in the Westaway family is trying to hide.

This checked all of the boxes that create a spellbinding psychological suspense thriller with a gothic feel: a crumbling and moldy manse, old family secrets, brooding Cornish coast atmosphere, and a varied cast of characters (including a dour housekeeper), any of whom could be hiding secrets.

There were no jaw-dropping twists along the way, just a well-paced story with revelations doled out until the final outcome. This is easily the best of Ruth Ware’s books that have been released in the U.S. but I fear I have to take off ½ star for a couple of minor niggling details that slightly bugged me. One was in the dank and spare assigned attic room, how in the world did she keep her smart phone charged? And near the end there was a bit of action which came directly from the “had I but known” school, but it was such a minor annoyance that I doubt anyone will think about it.

This is an easy recommendation for anyone who liked The Girl on the Train and thrillers by Gilly Macmillan and Clare Mackintosh. Also anyone who loved gothic novels by Victoria Holt will also appreciate this contemporary nod to old style gothics, only without the brooding man of the house and the phallic manor house tower on the book cover (see the book Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction for more on this topic).

Thanks to the publisher for access to the advance digital reading copy.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
February 24, 2018 – Shelved
February 24, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
February 24, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018-may
February 24, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018-pub
February 24, 2018 – Shelved as: psychological-suspense
March 9, 2018 – Started Reading
April 25, 2018 – Finished Reading
November 8, 2018 – Shelved as: best-of-2018

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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Anbolyn I liked this one too - her best yet, I think.


Robin Anbolyn wrote: "I liked this one too - her best yet, I think."

I think so, too. I never got around to LYING GAME, mainly because it didn't receive nearly the raves this one did. This was very well executed.


Jenna Friebel Lying Game was my least favorite of hers. Still enjoyed it, but not as much as the others. Agreed that Westaway is her best!


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