Resident Reviewer: The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

*This is a spoiler free review

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.

This is my first time reading a book by Ruth Ware and I was really excited. I received this advance copy from The American Book Center in exchange for my honest review.

I didn’t know what to expect going in but I was looking forward to the unveiling of the secrets. Firstly, I have to say that this book got me hooked almost immediately. I thought I would have to get through a couple of chapters before getting into the story but I was wrong. There was no doubt that this book was a page-turner and I think it’s mainly the way she wrote it. It was the kind of book that you could read easily and fast even though there were parts that I felt was quite repetitive. But just like the main character, Hal, I just had to know the answers and I was reading it faster than I thought I would.

Speaking of Hal, the rest of the characters in this book are amazingly created. The way Ruth Ware created the characters made me feel like I’m actually watching a TV show and that I could hear and imagine them clearly as I read. There were even some characters that got under my skin which I even kind of like because it meant that she did a great job at creating this annoying character.

I enjoyed reading Hal’s inner thoughts on the situation. To my surprise, I love that she’s a tarot card reader and you can understand why Hal is the way she is because of what she does. I have been curious about tarot cards but I can’t say that I’m a believer or a fan but for Hal, I think it works. I am also a big fan of books with chapters that go back in time and if you are too, you’re going to enjoy that aspect of this book. However, I was kind of hoping to have more of that in it.

There are lots of things I like about this book but I also have a few issues with it. Personally, I felt that the ending did not bring enough closure. I mean, the main secrets were revealed, of course, and I probably can make my own closure with some parts of the story but it would have been nice to read it. Also, I would love for it to be a tad creepier and felt that it was more of a mystery novel than a thriller. Despite all that, the reveal was one I did not see coming and there were secrets that I didn’t know existed. There’s not a chance that you won’t be surprised and that’s why I think this book is worth the try.

With that, I gave it 3/5 stars.

Review by Marina Johan: Blog | Twitter | Instagram

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THE DEATH OF MRS. WESTAWAY comes out on May 29th (US hardcover). The UK hardcover comes out in June.