Hello, readers! I read back-to-back Ruth Ware books in July, which inevitably led to a reading slump! But I thought The Death of Mrs. Westaway was the author’s strongest book so far, followed by The Lying Game, which I also read in July.
**Disclaimer: As with all of my reviews, I do post the entire plot synopsis before my review. However, I will always recommend for Thriller Thursday reviews that you skip the plot synopsis. Thrillers are better when you go in knowing little to nothing about the plot. Happy reading!
Goodreads Rating: ★★★★☆ 3.91
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Page Count: 368 pages
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Published: May 29, 2018
Plot: On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.
Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the centre of it.
Review: I regret not waiting to read this book in the fall because the atmosphere is spooky. There is nothing supernatural, but the house is old, the housekeeper/maid is creepy, and the Westaway family is hiding secrets. The passages where Hal is creeping around the house alone are unnerving and tense. But once again, Ruth Ware did not nail it with the ending to me. The ending had me scratching my head and I had to re-read several passages before I understood. I did figure out part of the ending before the reveal, but two weeks later, I am still fuzzy on the other half of the mystery. I feel like Ware made a simple idea too complicated.
Other than the ending, I thought the entire book was excellent. The beginning was a little slow, but I’ve come to expect that from mystery/thrillers. Hal was mostly likable, and I really found myself empathizing with her during the entire book. If the ending had been clearer, this would have been a solid 4.5 or even 5 star book for me.
Final Thoughts: I will always give Ruth Ware books a try! I know many people do not care for her books because none of her endings have been particularly memorable, but she is a master storyteller who creates such tense atmospheres. I stand by many other reviewers who have said this is her strongest work to date, and I look forward to many more books from Ware.
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