ARC Book Review: The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
ashley | Ruth Ware seemed to come out of nowhere and then suddenly she was everywhere. I read an ARC of In A Dark, Dark Wood when it came out and while I had a lot of issues with the book, I always quite enjoyed it and wanted to read more. Before I knew it, Ware had put out two more books that are still sitting on my to-read shelf, topping them off with The Death of Mrs. Westaway set to publish this week. When I got an arc of her latest, I figured I ought to jump into before she writes three more books.
As a best selling author, it’s no surprise Ware wants to pump as many books out as she can, but after a while it starts to seem more of job than a passion and the uniquely creative and well cooked ideas tend to get a bit more formulaic and expected. I feel like that is what has happened with this one. It feels like Ware had a story idea and was trying to quickly piece everything together without really letting the story arcs or characters grow on their own. Some situations seemed contrived while others seemed random and none of the characters really showed any depth.
I also have this thing with how villains are written. I find quite often they’re written almost cartoon-like; the way they speak, you can picture them with a weird accent and their phrases include a lot of “well well well” or “what do we have here” kind of notions. I can’t take this kind of villain seriously and the characters who were supposed to be inflicting fear into Hal during this story came off like that to me.
I wanted to enjoy this and be intrigued and creeped out, but this wasn’t really creepy or all that intriguing. The flashback scenes seemed out of place, though they were one of the more interesting aspects, and while I wanted to know how this situation came to be, it also seemed a little obvious the direction it was going in. Nothing shocked me, none of the twists caught me off guard, I had sort of fit all the pieces together about mid-way through.
I didn’t really like any of the characters, Hal annoyed me through most of the book with her sheepishness and I didn’t feel like the ultimate unveiling of the big family secret really fit all that much with some of the events leading up to it. Sadly, this just didn’t do it for me.
may 29, 2018