The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
Hal (Harriet) Westaway has nowhere to turn. Frightened and alone, she looks over her shoulder
every minute of every day, fearful that it's just a matter of time before that slimy loan shark
returns with his menacing threats. And there is simply no one left to help her.
When her mother was killed tragically three years ago by a hit-and-run driver, Hal's
life changed dramatically. Survival now falls squarely on her shoulders. She opens her kiosk on the pier every morning to a parade of people who watch intently as she slowly turns over the tarot cards, and interprets their meaning. Nervous customers hang on her every word, believing the cards have the power to shape their lives. It's a skill Hal learned as a child from her mother, and she's quite the expert in the tricks of the trade.
When a mysterious letter arrives informing Hal that she is one of the recipients of her late grandmother's estate, she is puzzled and confused. Surely this is a case of mistaken
identity because her grandparents died over twenty years ago. But there is a flutter of hope
in Hal's heart when she reads the official words on paper; this could be the chance to
escape from her problems and along the way, deceive people she doesn't even know. Just a little white lie, you see, only claiming enough money to get through this incredibly rough patch in her life.
So she sets out on her journey to Trepassen, the massive estate of her "grandmother" to
answer the summons requesting her presence at the reading of the will. All the while, her mother's words echo in her ears. "Don't fall into the trap of believing your own lies..."
As the story continues, the reader is drawn into Ruth Ware's lair of mystery, a feat she accomplishes
so well. Her impeccably written words describe the doom and gloom behind the crumbling
walls of Trepassen, the baffling questions about her peculiar "relatives", the uneasy feelings
about the old, decrepit housekeeper who whispers dire words of warning, the desperate words
etched into glass long ago in her attic room, and the unsettling feeling that someone is always watching her. The fact is, nothing here is what it appears to be. These ancient grounds hold some very disturbing secrets, indeed.
Immerse yourself in this eerie tale that is reminiscent of the renowned Agatha Christie.
Ghostly, addictive, and thoroughly entertaining, this may be the author's best work yet.