* A BIT SPOILERY*
This was amazing!
The main protagonist Hal has been struggling on her own ever since her mum died from a hit and run at the front of her house. She has had to resort to getting a loan of some unsavoury people and now they are coming to collect. With no money and hardly any work she thinks it’s a godsend when she receives a letter addressed to her from a lawyer who is an executor for the estate of a woman he claims is her grandmother. Hal knows this woman is not her grandmother and they must have gotten her name mixed up with someone else, but what if she went anyway?
I was absolutely enthralled from the offset. I love that we get an introduction to Hal by herself and learn a lot about her and her struggles. I love that we see her fraught and run down and pushed to the limits enough for her to even consider deceiving these people. The fact that throughout the course of meeting the lawyer and then Mrs Warren and the family she still has misgivings about what she is doing and I think that that kind of manifested physically. Always being cold in that house and not eating enough and passing out and having a fever after the will was finally read out. I like that she follows her conscience in the end and actually tells the brothers the truth, which eventually leads her to discover her own truths.
The familial side of the book really drew me in as well. The little secrets and the way they interacted with each other had me thoroughly entertained! The grief that they exhibit when they find out that their sister was dead felt real to me and I appreciated that they all grieved for her differently, it showed how much depth these characters have and it really helped me to distinguish between them. The letters were a nice bridge between the past and the present as well. I found myself immersing into the family history and really trying to figure out the mystery of Maud and where she has gone.
The overall tone of the book was very dark and foreboding and also very cold, be it the weather or the house and even Mrs Warren. I finished this book in basically one sitting and I was swept into this story by Ruth Ware’s immensely detailed and descriptive prose. I loved every second of this book. The mystery elements really kept me on my toes; the pacing was perfect and the plot twists… OMG! I did not see anything coming and I was very much surprised and satisfied with how this book ended!
⭐️5/5 Mysterious, dark and chilling!!!