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The Death of Mrs Westaway

Written by: Ruth Ware
Narrated by: Imogen Church
Length: 14 hrs and 14 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (6 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 listeners say about The Death of Mrs Westaway

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing denouement

It's a fast-spaced thriller. Good to occupy oneself during a work commute. Just wish the guilty party had been some other character than the one Ms Ware fixed on.

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very good

out of all the ruth ware books i have read this i liked... very gripping

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Interesting!

Quite an interesting take on domestic thrillers. It was an easy listen with an escalating end.

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A Fantastic Narrative and a Brilliant Reading

The book had me glued to my phone for the past few days. I was knee deep in the mystery of Hal's parentage and the legacy she inherited. Imogen Church did a brilliant job, the nuances of style and structure are cast in sharp relief by her voice. An unequivocal hurray to the book and the reader.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jeehan Balafaqaih
  • 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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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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  • 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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  • Sonja Akpinar
  • 18-10-19

Autumn reading

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

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anat G
  • 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

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    2 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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    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...

  • Overall
    5 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.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • kim b.
  • 26-10-18

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.

15 people found this helpful

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  • EssieJay
  • 28-09-18

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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  • The Average Customer
  • 06-08-18

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!

11 people found this helpful

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

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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    5 out of 5 stars
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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

18 people found this helpful

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

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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  • Passion for Podencos
  • 12-08-18

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!

34 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • L. H. De Laune
  • 05-08-19

Arrrgh the narration

The story was ok, but the narration ruined it for me. Imogen is a very expressive narrator, but EVERY SINGLE WORD was emphasised and it became exhausting & irritating to listen to.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Rich T
  • 06-08-19

Started well...

Interesting idea which started off quite well but as soon as the main character got to the house it became extremely tiresome and slow.
Didn't really like the narrator either. Very odd voices and a bit overly dramatic.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Nicky
  • 07-12-18

Compelling story

Another great story from this author, compelling enough to keep me going despite an irritating narration. I’ve enjoyed Imogen Church performances in the past but her over exaggeration of the female personas in this read had me wincing at times.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jenny Macmillan
  • 05-07-18

Not bad but long winded

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-08-19

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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  • K. Gilbert
  • 15-06-19

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
  • 08-01-19

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
  • 21-07-18

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
  • 02-07-18

very good read. lots of twist and turns and

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