Rating: 3.5 Stars
I realize that I’m a bit late to this party, but despite having bought this book back in July 2018, I only just got around to reading it. At first, it was the size that seemed too much to me, and then it was the fact that I wasn’t too impressed with Ruth Ware’s The Lying Game and didn’t want to be disappointed again.
The Death of Mrs. Westaway is more like Ware’s The Woman in Cabin 10, though. It is interesting, if predictable, and just fun to read. I mean fun for those who like light mysteries and thrillers.
Harriet “Hal” Westaway is a young Tarot card reader in Brighton, who has gotten into trouble with a loan shark. She is all alone in the world after her mother’s tragic death three years ago. When she gets a letter saying that she her grandmother has left her a bequest, Harriet knows that it’s not true. Her grandparents died more than 20 years ago, and she has no other living relatives that she knows of.
As the loan shark becomes more persistent, Hal decides to pretend to be the real Harriet Westaway, in order to get her hands on the bequest. It is only when she gets to the Cornish estate, that she realizes the pitfalls of the web that she is weaving. There seems to be someone who doesn’t want her around, and is willing to do anything to get rid of her.
Ruth Ware is not too much into suspense and thrills. I have understood that from her previous books. I was able to predict everything almost down to the last detail quite early on in the book. Nevertheless, it is quite gratifying to find that you were right about what will happen all along.
Harriet is a likable character, as are almost all other characters in the book. For once, we see a family who with all their differences possess enough love to want to welcome a long lost relative into their midst. It is a nice change to read about good coming out of the most adverse circumstances, of love and acceptance growing from a childhood of hate and neglect.
I enjoyed reading this book, even though it is too tame and predictable to be a thriller.