Harriet, who goes by Hal, is down on her luck. She reads tarot cards on the Brighton pier and struggles to make ends meet. She is all alone after her mother was tragically is killed by a hit-and-run a few years earlier. When she receives a letter that bequeathes a large inheritance, Hal knows it to be a mistake but acts on it anyway. She only needs a few thousand pounds to change her luck once and for all—she deserves a bit of happiness.
She makes the trip down the English coast to attend the funeral of her "grandmother" and meet her "family". Being able to read people as well as she does, Hal quickly realizes that something is very wrong with the situation and finds herself at the centre of it because it revolves around the inheritance.
It turns out what she thought was a lie, may actually hold some truth, and someone is determined to keep it a secret.
Ruth Ware, this is fantastic! I loved it as much as The Woman in Cabin 10. You truly are a master of your genre.
She's checked all the boxes: a creepy old house, suspense, symbolism. But the best part is the writing—Ware reveals just enough to keep the reader completely enthralled, but doesn't give anything away. I especially loved the use of the tarot cards to help Hal figure out what's going on. "Don't rush—her mother's voice in her head. Build your story. Lay it out—card by card." That's exactly what Ware does. Brilliant!