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  • The Death of Mrs Westaway

  • By: Ruth Ware
  • Narrated by: Imogen Church
  • Length: 14 hrs and 14 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (1,214 ratings)

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The Death of Mrs Westaway

By: Ruth Ware
Narrated by: Imogen Church
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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 listeners say about The Death of Mrs Westaway

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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!

37 people found this helpful

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Highly recommended.

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

19 people found this helpful

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Great book

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

18 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful

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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.

16 people found this helpful

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Tightly plotted, fantastic narration .

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

16 people found this helpful

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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!

12 people found this helpful

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fantastic, loved it

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

11 people found this helpful

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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 people found this helpful

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I normally only listen to self helping books or books about social media - so this was a strange but for me-

My first thought when I shared the car driving up north with a girlfriend and her choice of audible- was please make it a good one!
We had to spend 9 hours in the car and if the book was bad I would cry!
I normally only buy self helping healing books- anything from Tony Robbins to The secret to spirituality to social marketing!
This is not that!
But it’s awesome!
You go on a journey with twist and turns, told by Imogen Church- who I haven’t had the pleasure off hearing before.
When you think you have the plot planned out- there is a new one just around the corner.
I loved it and as we talked to much going up and down we didn’t finish the book!
So I had to buy this book with one off my credits!
I had to learn the end! And I wanted to hear it not to be told by my friend.
I would absolutely recommend this book.
And it has also taught me- that novels - without any direct mission in teaching how to feel and find your better self- have a lot! To offer as well.
In my chase for growth I forgot that.
So thank you! Ruth Ware for a lovely beautiful book about hope, spirituality and family drama- all tingled and twisted around LOVE- really 👍❤️😃🌟🙏

7 people found this helpful

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  • Jeehan Balfaqaih
  • 05-08-18

Couldn’t stop listening

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • barbara
  • 02-07-18

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 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-07-21

I love it

The building of the story took time. It has a slow start, keep note of the details. After the reaching the middle, things will start to unravel. I love it

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Rebekah Burke
  • 18-05-21

Enjoyable but predictable

Interesting setting, great atmosphere and emotive characters. A very pleasant listen with some good plot points; unfortunately, most of the "twists" of this story were entirely predictable. The pace also lagged significantly towards the end of the book and made this predictability feel like a drag. Overall I'd recommend it, just don't expect to be wowed by dramatic reveals. As always, Imogen Church is absolutely outstanding.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joshua
  • 11-05-20

Great story

Kept me involved from beginning to end. Difficult to put down. I really liked the addition of the mystical aspect of the tarot cards and the realistic way with which the protagonist approaches them, sometimes buying into it others being cynical about them. The cards added a nice flavor/metaphor to the story.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sonja Akpinar
  • 18-10-19

Autumn reading

Really enjoyed the book, it was long but the ending was a surprise.
Perfect for autumn

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • AG
  • 27-06-19

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

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Silje B
  • 30-05-19

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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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Claudia N.
  • 20-05-19

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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Luccia Gray
  • 07-09-18

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.