Ruth Ware, you've done it again - kept me up very late, frantically turning page after page.
The Death of Mrs. Westaway has just released - and it's one you're going to want to add to your summer reading list.
Harriet (who goes by the nickname Hal) makes her living as a tarot card reader on the pier in Brighton. When her mother passed away, Hal stepped into the job. But, she's in financial straits and owes the local loan shark. When a letter arrives from a lawyer telling her that her grandmother has died and asking her to attend the funeral and reading of the will, Hal is sure it is a mistake. Right name, wrong person. But......maybe also a chance to clear those debts?
"And she felt a shiver of something run through her - the same shiver she felt she switched on the light outside her booth, and stepped into her role."
Great set up! And it just gets better from there. The Death of Mrs. Westaway has all the elements of a great Gothic tale - a death, crumbling old mansion, dour housekeeper, bickering relatives, odd behavior and of course - secrets. A past and present narrative keeps the reader guessing as to what those secrets might be. The past is presented in journal entries from an unknown writer. Clues to the final answers can be found in the entries, but Ware's narrative is clever, keeping the reader guessing to the last pages. In the present, it's hard to be sure who is telling the truth. Each family member seems to have secrets they'd like to keep buried. A pervasive sense of danger haunts the halls of Trepassen House......
The Death of Mrs. Westaway was a deliciously creepy, addictive, page turning, wonderful read for me. (But I finished it too quickly!) See for yourself - here's an excerpt. (And I learned quite a bit about tarot cards along the way as well.) Definitely recommended!