Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Ruth Ware
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Young and alone since the death of her mother, Hal has reached the end of her rope. She is going to lose her flat and loan sharks are threatening her health and her life unless she can find a way to pay them back. When a letter arrives stating that her mother is the long-lost daughter of the presumably wealthy Mrs. Westaway, Hal succumbs to temptation and attempts to con the family into believing that she is actually a relative, hoping to receive a stipend that will help to settle her debts. Waiting for her at the family estate is mystery, intrigue, and more danger. Bright and resourceful, Hal will unravel the mystery and discover more about herself than she dared to imagine.
This book is very well written with compelling, page-turning suspense. Hal is a well-developed and sympathetic main character who is easy to love and root for. She feels sufficient guilt to keep the reader on her side and her vulnerability is palpable, as is her iron strength. She has her flaws to keep her believable and her strengths to give the reader hope that she can set all right in the end. The Westaway family is wonderfully messed up, as most families are, with expectations and secrets and established relationships for her to divine. The mystery has a good solid resolution as does the story itself. It is a wonderful beach or holiday read for anyone looking for some light fun.
*Contains mild violence and moderate language.