Book Review: The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware


Title: The Turn of the Key
Author: Ruth Ware
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: August 6, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Series: n/a
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.00


When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, The Turn of the Key is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

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Rowan answers an ad for a live-in nanny position. The position seems a little too perfect, but Rowan ignores the warning signs. After getting the job, Rowan experiences some unexplained and disturbing events in the home. Her time there is difficult, and Rowan admits she made mistakes. When one of the children dies, Rowan insists she is not the killer.

Told from Rowan’s point of view in letters from prison to her attorney. Rowan attempts to explain everything that happened during her time with the family, and what led to her arrest. Strange events in the home, the creepy smart features of the house, and the behavior of the not-so-perfect children. Rowan is not a likable character, but she is realistic and evokes a little sympathy.

I enjoy the atmosphere that Ruth Ware creates in her novels. She is a master at writing creepy and atmospheric psychological thrillers. The setting for The Turn of the Key is a remote smart home in the Scottish Highlands. The property is large and has a dark history.

Slow-burning and eerie mystery. While there are some predictable things in the story, there are enough twists to keep it interesting. Fans of Ruth Ware are sure to enjoy this book. Creepy, unsettling, and atmospheric.

I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

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9 thoughts on “Book Review: The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

    1. Thank, Carla! Ruth Ware is one of my favorites, so I was looking forward to this latest book by her. It’s another good one. Hope you enjoy it too.

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