From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, and The Lying Game comes Ruth Ware’s highly anticipated fourth novel.
On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.
Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.
Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, this is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.
Hal Westaway is not in a good place in life. A few years ago her mum Maggie was killed in a hit-and-run accident outside their ramshackle Brighton flat, and struggling to make ends meet and pay for the rent on her seafront tarot kiosk, Hal has taken out a small loan from a local ‘lender’. Having missed a couple of payments, the lender has been sending his heavies out looking for Hal, the ‘interest’ on the loan has increased by 5x at least, and she’s running scared.
When a letter arrives telling her that she is to inherit part of her late Grandmother’s ‘substantial’ estate as the daughter of Mrs Westaway’s only daughter, Maud, she’s confused. Rightly so – she’s never known her father or his parents (she was the result of a drunken one night stand) and Hal’s maternal grandparents passed away over 20 years ago. But the letter is definitely addressed to her, at her current address, and as it sits next to the threatening note left by her lender’s heavies, in her freezing cold and rundown flat, an idea starts to form.
Hal, uncomfortable with this decision, but not sure how else she can escape the trouble she’s in, grabs the last pennies she has and heads to the family estate to meet the family Westaway.
Hal’s arrival puts the cat right amongst the pigeons. Secrets are flying around everwhere and thought she is welcomed into the fold, there is something very clearly wrong at the Westaway estate and when a photograph comes to light of the family alongside Hal’s late mother, Hal realises that this more than just a case of mistaken identity. Determined to get to the bottom of it, she is in for more than a few surprises, and at what cost?
This is a wonderfully written book, I read it in two sittings, as I just didn’t want to put it down. Hal is a nuanced character, although she’s doing something she believes to be wrong, she is doing so because she is desperate, and you cannot help but root for her. The supporting characters are believable and rounded and the plot is rich and full of surprises. I was entertained until the very last page.