Title: The Death of Mrs Westaway
Author: Ruth Ware
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
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 center of it.
The Death of Mrs Westaway was an entertaining story but not one that hugely grabbed me. I have read and really enjoyed other novels by Ruth Ware but for this one it took around 60% of the novel to get to a point where I was actually intrigued. It might be partly because I listened to this on audiobook, and I find stories need to be really gripping to keep me hooked when I’m listening instead of reading.
The main character, Hal, was likable enough and I enjoyed reading about her interactions with the family, but this is definitely a slow building novel. The tension builds as we learn more and more about the family and what they seem to be hiding, and the audiobook narration is engaging and quite easy to listen to.
I like that this novel is a little different to the usual thrillers. Though some parts weren’t hugely realistic, I don’t think you expect that from this kind of story anyway, and on the whole it felt quite convincing – though some of the decisions Hal made were definitely questionable!
Overall, The Death of Mrs Westaway was entertaining enough but didn’t blow me away. I’d still eagerly anticipate any new books by Ruth Ware though, as I have loved so many others by her.