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The Death of Mrs Westaway

By: Ruth Ware
Narrated by: Imogen Church
Length: 14 hrs and 14 mins
4 out of 5 stars (44 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of The Death of Mrs Westaway, by Ruth Ware.

When Harriet Westaway receives an unexpected letter telling her she’s inherited a substantial bequest from her Cornish grandmother, it seems like the answer to her prayers. She owes money to a loan shark, and the threats are getting increasingly aggressive: she needs to get her hands on some cash fast. 

There's just one problem - Hal's real grandparents died more than 20 years ago. The letter has been sent to the wrong person. But Hal knows that the cold-reading techniques she’s honed as a seaside fortune-teller could help her con her way to getting the money. If anyone has the skills to turn up at a stranger's funeral and claim a bequest they’re not entitled to, it’s her. 

Hal makes a choice that will change her life forever. But once she embarks on her deception, there is no going back. She must keep going or risk losing everything, even her life.... 

The brand-new psychological thriller from the Sunday Times and New York Times best-selling author of The Woman in Cabin 10.

©2018 Ruth Ware (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"The Death of Mrs Westaway is Ruth Ware's best: a dark and dramatic thriller, part murder mystery, part family drama, altogether riveting." (AJ Finn, best-selling author of The Woman in the Window)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Couldn’t stop listening

Captivating story with enough twists to keep you guessing and wanting to keep listening. Also excellent performance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The Death of Mrs Westaway

It took a little bit more to get into the story, but once it catches you, you dont want to put it down. very good ending. Am enjoying all of Ruth's books and look forward to her next one. The naration was excellent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Very slow

Nothing happened for about 12 hours. I feel it had potential but the plot wasn’t strong enough and did no justice to the lenght of this story. This writer csn do better

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Meh.

Good premise, but SO many loose ends and flat characters. Could guess every twist way ahead of it happening. Disappointed with this one.

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Woah! Must listen!

Loved this book so very much! Great story, great narrative and even greater narration! Imogen Church has an incredible voice and I loved loved loved listening to her! Definitely check this audiobook out! I’m actually thinking of buying a hard copy for how good it was...

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British Murder Mystery set in Cornwall

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this murder mystery set mainly in Cornwall and partly in Brighton.
It has all the elements of a traditional British whodunit; a spooky country house, an eerie servant, a wicked villain, an innocent victim, a family with unspeakable secrets, unsolved murders, and plenty of red herrings and surprises.
The unique atmosphere of the almost haunted house and the English countryside and seaside, as well as the complex family dynamics and singular characters make it an engrossing read.
It is narrated in the third person by Hal ( Harriet Westaway) who is an endearing young girl, with a complex and lonely life, who gradually discovers her past, uncovers family secrets and solves the cruel crimes.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-09-18

Great book

Really enjoyed it the voices of the brothers were a bit weird but i got used to them

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • kim b.
  • 10-26-18

good!

It's not often I struggle to work out the twists and turns in a story, but this kept me thinking! Very much enjoyed.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • EssieJay
  • 09-28-18

fantastic, loved it

I absolutely loved this book, with its twists and turns and the slow burn until the powerful ending.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • The Average Customer
  • 08-06-18

Amazing!

I did figure out part of the plot, but not all of it and even with that I was enthralled and terrified by some of it near the end. Fantastic book!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-08-18

Highly recommended.

A wonderful book brilliantly narrated as usual by Imogen Church who brings the characters alive.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-07-18

Tightly plotted, fantastic narration .

Love Ruth Ware novels and this does not disappoint. Such clever plotting and superb writing.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • juan
  • 08-12-18

LOVE ... LOVE ... LOVED THIS BRILLIANT THRILLER!

By far my favourite Ruth Ware book by far - which is saying something as adored the others too especially Cabin 10 and Dark Wood - I so looked forward to the release of this book but was initially disappointed and put it aside as could not get into it at first - but so glad I went back to it as after that it was a real roller coaster and so very atmospheric.
I savoured this book as I was enjoying it so much and though I did guess some of it three quarters way along, I did not get it all until the final clues were revealed so that was wonderful. I saw this in my mind almost as a black and white classic, with Gothic touches like the original film version of Rebecca also with shades of an Agatha Christie mystery - not through pastiche but through well thought out plot, thrills and spills and slow burn menace which is seldom seen these days and took its time to create style, substance and suspense without any cheap tricks, cop outs or cliches.
So well written it built excitement, intrigue, dread and suspense the old fashioned and clever way, through excellent story and a telling without the need for shock fest gore, gratuitous dead,tortured animals or crossing the line into overly dark, depressing and upsetting themes. I also loved the interesting setting, unusual characters and Tarot theme - what treat after the tedium of so dreary kitchen sink dramas where the plots force you to also dredge though a mountain of washing up, school runs, ironing and even stirring saucepans of beans to get to the thriller inside.
I loved the way the plot did not lose tempo or impetus throughout the book and the ending - A huge bonus as so many thrillers intrigue and mystify only to fizzle out in anticlimax, making the whole book a bit of a let down and leaving a bad taste as a "Ah .... so that is what all the fuss was about" damp squib.
Not so with The Death of Mrs Westaway as the plot and the ending are seamless and flow together for a very satisfying end. Another difference between this book and so many thrillers is that it is told in linear fashion. not cutting forward and back in time, not being told one chapter by each character and I am guessing the reason for this is that this is a very solid, well crafted piece or writing which simply flowed well and had an excellent plot and did not need any extra help keeping the reader interested and engaged by using dramatic devices or chop and change chapter structure.
I did think that the narrator was guilty of overcooking her performance from time to time and for perfection I would have asked her to pull back a little and let this intriguing, twisting, turning mystery unfold and tell its own story though the gripping writing without so much intrusion and milking of already suspenseful events. Sad that some of the subtlety and nuance was lost through this persistent overperformance so over the top at times some of the male voices sounded like comedy characters wheeled out to do a turn.
However I still rated it at 5 stars as - though a forced and overly dramatic performance which would have made even a telephone directory sound like a ripping yarn - Imogen Church is a talented actress and head and shoulders above the average narrator but I would have like to hear it read with a lot more subtlety by someone softer spoken who lets the story tell itself with a gentler more enigmatic narration to let the whole thing breath and allow the brooding atmosphere to shimmer and float rather than be pumped out like Hammer House of Horror dry ice special effects.
Thank you so much Ruth Ware for this gem and please give us another one very soon;
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED 5 STARS ... JUST GIVE IT SOME TIME TO ESTABLISH AND THEN GET READY FOR A RARE TREAT!

32 of 37 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ann D
  • 08-18-18

Gripping, I loved it, but . . .

This is a really good book, a compelling story that I found tough to put down, with richly drawn characters that I grew to care about. However, it is not flawless and there is enough wrong to prevent it being a 5* read/listen. Firstly, it was often repetitive e.g there were far too many ‘blushes rising up through’ a character, too many puzzled expressions and a ridiculous number of severe bangs on the head for the same character, where symptoms of concussion were described but then passed over with no consequences (what is her head made of?).

Those little issues alone would still have me affording the book 5* because the story was so good. However, it was always a bit too wordy. Sadly, from chapter 46 through 52, that became a big issue. Those chapters are extremely long-winded and, surprisingly for such an experienced novelist, Ware even plays fast and loose with the English language. For example, a character could not have “seen an imperceptible difference”, if it’s imperceptible, it cannot be perceived! There were other points were the writing was sloppy. Despite these, at times distracting, flaws, I thoroughly enjoyed most of it. Although, because of them, I would not read it a second time. Such a shame as it could so easily have gone from very good, to excellent.

17 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Karen
  • 08-03-18

Ruth Ware’s best book to date.

I have listened to other Ruth Ware books and enjoyed them but she really stepped up this time.
The narrator Imogen Church was fantastic as always. One of my favourites.
My only criticism - I worked everything out long before the main character, even though we had no more information than her. Which is fine except as a cold reader she should have been more perceptive.
Great book x

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Linda
  • 07-21-18

Slow burn

A strange one this which took me a little while to get into - but which then drew me in sufficiently that I was listening whenever possible. I found the heroine a tad irritating and the characters more suited to an earlier period (I found myself startled every now and again to realise we were in the present day) but overall well worth a listen. Indeed sufficiently enjoyable I shall try another by Ruth Ware.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jenny Macmillan
  • 07-05-18

Not bad but long winded

Story was ok but could have been told in half the time therefore was getting bored with it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-30-19

Very gripping love the main character.

Often with suspenseful books the main character irritates me but I loved Harriet. Also loved the narration.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • K. Gilbert
  • 06-15-19

Long so much self description

Good story ? just took waaay to long to get.too much poor me poor me description. got tired of listening if I was reading would have glossed over those bits

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-08-19

Enjoyed it immensely

A good read. Hal annoyed a little by not spitting things out and verbally fumbling. I can usually predict what may happen but was guessing almost until the end with this book.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Ainslie
  • 07-21-18

Boring

Predictable plot + weird character voices = wasted hours I'll never get back. Spoilers ahead.

The repetition was another nail in the coffin. People drawing themselves up to their non-existent heights, and every so often the protagonist would KNOW a key piece of the plot. Realisations would hit the core of her very being. So much draaama.

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  • lisa
  • 07-02-18

very good read. lots of twist and turns and

would recommend it to anyone who likes to curl up with a very good book.