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Thursday, November 01, 2018

Shivery Gothic Tale Another Winner From Ware

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Working as a tarot card reader on a Cornwall pier has given Harriet "Hal" Westaway certain skills.  The 21-year-old has learned to read not just fortunes, but people.  That's how she knows the loan sharks sniffing around her booth mean serious business.  If Hal doesn't pay her dead mother's debts and soon, some very dangerous men are going to end her card-reading days forever.  

When Hal receives a notice informing her she's received a large inheritance, she knows it's too good to be true.  The letter has obviously been delivered to the wrong person.  Hal's too desperate, however, not to see this unexpected opportunity as the lifesaver she's been praying for.  With the acting skills she's honed over a lifetime of boardwalk bewitching, she just might be able to convince complete strangers to give her the cash she needs to save her life.  

As soon as Hal steps inside mysterious Trespassen House, it becomes clear that something very, very strange is going on with her newfound relatives.  She's come too far to back out now, but is the prize worth tangling herself up in whatever sinister plot is afoot in the Cornwall countryside?

I've enjoyed all of Ruth Ware's psychological thrillers, but her newest—The Death of Mrs. Westaway—is my hands-down favorite.  The story revolves around a likable heroine whose pitiable situation makes her wholly sympathetic.  Hal is intriguing, as is the situation in which she finds herself.  With creepy, Gothic overtones, the tale is a compelling and shivery one.  Its atmospheric setting, mysterious characters, and twisty, propulsive plot combine to make The Death of Mrs. Westaway an engrossing, can't-put-it-down thriller. I loved it.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of other books by Ruth Ware, including In a Dark, Dark Wood; The Lying Game; and The Woman in Cabin 10)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (a dozen or so F-bombs, plus milder expletives) and violence

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find
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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
Swimming in a Sea of Stars by Julie Wright

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
The Tobacco Wives by Adele Myer



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