The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
Genre: Psychological Suspense
Ruth Ware is one of my author's to watch. Her books never fail to draw me in and hold me essentially captive until I'm done the last page. The Death of Mrs. Westaway is another solid, very suspenseful read. I thought I had it figured out, but I was partially wrong. I always love being kept guessing.
Since her mom's death, Hal's been struggling. She struggles to draw enough business and debt is piling up. When one of her lenders announces that she has a week to pay up or else, Hal's in a state of panic. There's no way she can come up with that money, but the thought of "or else" is equally terrifying.
Things take an unusual turn when she receives a mysterious letter stating her grandmother has died. She's been asked to attend the funeral and the inheritance she's due. There's a problem, however, Hal's grandmother died a very long time ago.
While she's convinced this letter is a mistake, she's desperate. She has skills as a tarot reader, plus her research skills are really good. She's sure she can use them to fool the family and claim the money. What she never expects is to learn there's a lot more to this family's story than anyone realizes.
The setting is downright creepy. It's an estate home that's dark, dreary, and seems to feed off its past. The estate itself added to the chills. Then there are the family members. What a dysfunctional bunch that I'd never want to get to know. It's no wonder Hal finds herself questioning why she's even thinking about pulling off the ruse. The housekeeper just adds to the discomfort you feel as you get to know the main characters.
The story flows quickly from start to finish. I started it while enjoying a quiet Mother's Day lounging on the back deck and couldn't stop. It had me hooked from the first page.