“The Death of Mrs. Westaway” by Ruth Ware finds Harriot, (Hal) struggling to make ends meet by reading Tarot Cards on the Brighton Pier. When she receives a letter notifying her that she is named in the will of an estate owner in Cornwall, she knows the “bequest” is a mistake. Because she is desperate for money, she makes the trip to find out about the will anyway. She reasons that she can pull off her identity deception and use whatever small inheritance she gets to pay her way out of debt. Things do not go as planned, what a surprise, and she discovers that there are other Westaway secrets in addition to her own. In fact, there is something very, very wrong with the Westaway family.
Ruth Ware created an unnerving story with a darkly abnormal atmosphere. It is the story of a dysfunctional family troubled by conflicts, intrigue, and unspoken secrets from the past. The narrative proceeds at an expert pace, and the slow revelation of secrets and details create a constant sense of jeopardy and menace.
Hal is a sympathetic yet damaged character, who invokes sympathy from readers as she outlines her own ruse and navigates the minefield that is Trepassen House. Readers forgive her deceptions and applaud her bravery and courage in the face The Westaway family and their dark secrets.
This is a creepy, absorbing, entertaining, and enjoyable. I listened to the audio book narrated by Imogen Church who did an excellent job presenting the various characters in realistic, believable, and recognizable voices. I highly recommend “The Death of Mrs. Westaway” by Ruth Ware.