The Turn of the Key
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.

The Turn of the Key Details

TitleThe Turn of the Key
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 5th, 2019
PublisherSimon & Schuster
ISBN-139781787300439
Rating
GenreMystery, Thriller, Fiction, Mystery Thriller

The Turn of the Key Review

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    "Dear Mr. Wrexham,You have no idea how many times I have started this letter and screwed up the resulting mess, but I've realized there is no magic formula here. There is no way I can make you listen to my case. So I'm just going to have to do my best to set things out. However long it takes, however much I mess this up, I'm just going to keep going and tell the truth."And so begins our tale. I'm sure that, unless you've been walking around with your eyes closed and your ears plugged up, you've "Dear Mr. Wrexham,You have no idea how many times I have started this letter and screwed up the resulting mess, but I've realized there is no magic formula here. There is no way I can make you listen to my case. So I'm just going to have to do my best to set things out. However long it takes, however much I mess this up, I'm just going to keep going and tell the truth."And so begins our tale. I'm sure that, unless you've been walking around with your eyes closed and your ears plugged up, you've caught wind of this upcoming release, but if not let me give you a brief introduction. The Turn of the Key is a compulsive tale of a nanny sitting in jail awaiting trial for the murder of one of her charges. The entire book is told through letters from said nanny to a potential solicitor, recalling the events leading up to her incarceration, along with a few surprise notes at the end. The basic jist of events is that we begin with Rowan answering an advertisement for a nannying position in the Scottish countryside. The catch is that this particular household has been through 4 nannies in less than a year, and the reasons behind this are murkily associated to legends of the estate being haunted. Shenanigans ensue, all hell breaks loose, and much havoc is played out over the course of the book. As someone who has taken time to warm to Ware's novels over the year, I think she's found her niche in the gothic suspense genre. I truly enjoyed Mrs. Westaway, and I believe The Turn of the Key is her best novel yet. The pacing was 100% what I was praying for, and the creepy elements, such as the locked closet, the poison garden, and the smart home with little to no privacy, were all excellent inclusions and flawlessly executed. I found that even the supporting characters, especially Jack and Jean, were just as intriguing as Rowan was. My only complaint was with the ending; it felt like a bit of a let down after such a large build up, and even though it worked, it felt like the easy ending to take. The twists may or may not surprise you; I felt that I had most of them figured out, but there were a few smaller twists that took me completely by surprise, which I wholly appreciated. If you're looking for a creepy, character driven psychological thriller that will keep you thrilled and chilled from beginning to end, definitely add The Turn of the Key to your late summer TBR! *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
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  • Dorie - Traveling Sister :)
    January 1, 1970
    I have read and enjoyed all of Ruth Ware’s books, therefore I was incredibly excited to be fortunate enough to receive an early review copy of The Turn of the Key. Being a fan of the author, it is very hard to write a review about a book that just didn’t WOW me. This was a good but I wouldn’t say great read. I have recently read several books where we know what happens, what the “big tell” is at the beginning of the novel. We then work through the past events and how we got to this ending. This I have read and enjoyed all of Ruth Ware’s books, therefore I was incredibly excited to be fortunate enough to receive an early review copy of The Turn of the Key. Being a fan of the author, it is very hard to write a review about a book that just didn’t WOW me. This was a good but I wouldn’t say great read. I have recently read several books where we know what happens, what the “big tell” is at the beginning of the novel. We then work through the past events and how we got to this ending. This style just doesn’t work for me, I like to feel a lot of tension and excitement in mysteries/thrillers and I just don’t experience that when I know the ending, it takes that part of the surprise and tension away. This may just be me, there are many 5 star reviews for this book. First off, this is definitely a slow burn type of mystery, in fact I think I was at 75% on my kindle before I was turning pages quickly. There is an element of "ghosts" or the supernatural which helps to move the story along and kept my interest. From the blurb you know that there is a creepy, “smart house” and I felt as though that would be a large part of the excitement in the book, unfortunately after much is explained about how the controls are all used, etc., the house doesn’t really play that large of a part in the story. The idea and descriptions of the smart house reminded me of a few other books written about the smart house which “takes over”, does horrible things, etc . I really thought the house was going to be one of the primary elements in the crime, was it????Rowan is the main character, the nanny, and I quickly starting thinking that something was not quite right about her. Right from the start it seems that Rowan is out of her element and these kids are not at all what she was expecting. She is also left with the four children, one a toddler, only 18 months old, alone for many nights while the parents are away at a meeting of some sort. What does this tell us about the parents? The teenage daughter comes home from her weekly boarding school and immediately begins to give Rowan trouble, from her attitude and actions including talking down to Rowan and sneaking out several times with a much older man. . Rowan fails to contact the parents immediately as she certainly should have.A lot of the book is about taking care of the kids, we are taken along on picnics and other outings but don’t really get to know the kids. The only really well developed character is Rowan and I found her rather ordinary when I was hoping for something more This is a part where the plot gets bogged down, for me, the everyday taking care of the kids and descriptions of dinners and baths. It is pretty clear that although Rowan likes the kids, this isn’t something she wants to continue to do with her life. Why did Rowan actually take this job then, and was her CV spot on????There is a driver/ handyman named Jack who may or may not be a good guy. He is the book as a possible romantic interest for Rowan, it seems every book must have one.I think that it comes down to the characters in this novel. I just didn’t like any of them. I also would have liked to know more about the parents, as a couple. We do find out more about Bill but the children could have been more well described. I think that Ruth Ware will continue to be one of my favorite writers, this book however wasn’t one of my favorites, I’m sure that it will find it’s audience. I would describe this as a well written, enjoyable mystery with plenty of twists to keep you reading.I received a ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss.
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  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    A child is dead and a nanny is in prison while her trial is pending. This novel consists of a letter she is writing to a lawyer explaining her innocence of the murder and how she wound up incarcerated. The thing is she is not entirely blameless. One thing is certain: “if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.”
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  • Book of Secrets
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely loved it! THE TURN OF THE KEY is creepy, twisted, and disturbing, and totally absorbing — a modern-day The Turn of the Screw, but far more entertaining.Rowan Caine’s new dream job as nanny for the seemingly perfect Elincourt family quickly turned into her worst nightmare. Their remote home in the Scottish Highlands called Heatherbrae House was an unusual hybrid of modern “smart” design and spooky Gothic Victorian. Inside its walls, cameras were watching, machines were listening for I absolutely loved it! THE TURN OF THE KEY is creepy, twisted, and disturbing, and totally absorbing — a modern-day The Turn of the Screw, but far more entertaining.Rowan Caine’s new dream job as nanny for the seemingly perfect Elincourt family quickly turned into her worst nightmare. Their remote home in the Scottish Highlands called Heatherbrae House was an unusual hybrid of modern “smart” design and spooky Gothic Victorian. Inside its walls, cameras were watching, machines were listening for your next command, and Rowan was isolated with four young girls and whatever was causing the disturbances at night…I enjoyed that this book was written in epistolary format, as desperate letters written by Rowan to a lawyer as she’s in prison awaiting trial for murder. The build up of suspense was fantastic, and the ominous atmosphere of Heatherbrae House kept me on edge. Had I been in Rowan’s situation, I would have been scared witless!THE TURN OF THE KEY is another excellent thriller from Ruth Ware. Highly recommended to fans of eerie modern Gothics.Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Monika Sadowski
    January 1, 1970
    I knew that book by Ruth Ware will be good, but I didn’t suspect that it’s going to be sooo good. Creepy, fast pace, twisty and keeping me on the edge from the first to the last page. Hunted house, wired family and one nanny who tries to figure out what is happening around her. Just one day, fantastic read. Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery/Scout Press for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Dennis
    January 1, 1970
    I'm torn between 3 and 4 stars, but since it's Ruth Ware (and the fact that I loved the story, for the most part), I'll bump it up. Turn of the Key is Ware's fifth novel, and I'll tell you right now that all five of them are worth binge-reading (well, maybe not The Lying Game hehe). Turn of the Key is the most suspense-driven novel that Ware has provided readers yet; with it's slow building suspense oozing from the pages. Rowan Caine lives around London, working as a daycare instructor at Li I'm torn between 3 and 4 stars, but since it's Ruth Ware (and the fact that I loved the story, for the most part), I'll bump it up. Turn of the Key is Ware's fifth novel, and I'll tell you right now that all five of them are worth binge-reading (well, maybe not The Lying Game hehe). Turn of the Key is the most suspense-driven novel that Ware has provided readers yet; with it's slow building suspense oozing from the pages. Rowan Caine lives around London, working as a daycare instructor at Little Nippers. Her job is horrible, and she's desperately looking for something to lift her spirits. While scanning the papers for possible job opportunities, she comes across the job of a lifetime. It's a nanny position for a family with four children—£55,000 a year, and room and board with the family at a gorgeous renovated "smart house" mansion in the countryside of Scotland. Rowan can't turn down this opportunity and applies for the job. After she arrives for an interview at the family's Heatherbrae House, she woos over the mother and gets the job immediately. As her stay in Heatherbrae begins, Rowan begins to question why she took this job. The children are rambunctious, to say the least. With the oldest away at boarding school, Rowan's hands are full with these three little girls constantly testing her patience. Rowan's stepping into a nightmare, but what she doesn't know is that it will end in murder. Turn of the Key 's story takes place as Rowan is writing a letter to a prospective attorney, since she has been accused of the murder, and her possible motive for this crime does not help. Rowan needs to prove her innocence, and by telling her story, she's hoping this lawyer will take her case. I appreciated the originality with Ware's storytelling this way, but it'll be hit or miss with readers, for sure. I'm curious to see how you feel about it, so after you finish the story, please let me know in my comments how you felt about this writing style. Turn of the Key would have been my favorite Ruth Ware read, because I was literally captivated for 80% of the story. I couldn't put it down, and the story was so suspense driven, I was on the edge of my seat. While Rowan was dealing with the children's crying and outbursts, I felt it was kind of ironic how my neighbor's kid was acting up at the same time. It must've been fate or something, but everything about Turn of the Key is atmospheric and absorbing. I forgot about the real world around me while reading this story. You will not be able to put this book down. All my brain could do was lock into the characters, turn the pages, and bite my nails while I was trying to figure out what was going to happen. However, the story cops out after 80% with how it wraps up. The way Ware ties up loose ends in Turn of the Key is terribly disappointing, and it really knocked a star completely off my rating just for that. With all the suspense that the story delivers, I felt like a balloon deflated right there, begging for air to fill me right back up. Overall, go into Turn of the Key with an open mind. I absolutely loved it (for the most part), and I think you will too. The writing is impeccable, as always, and Ruth Ware continues to deliver that atmospheric suspense that she's been made famous for. I continue to be a big fan of Ruth Ware, and you know I'll be impatiently waiting for her next story!
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  • Jonathan Maas
    January 1, 1970
    Putting a 5 Star Review here.This is not released yet, but considering all other Ruth Ware books are 7/5 stars for me, this will be 5/5 stars on average even if it is just blank pages.
  • Patricia
    January 1, 1970
    I was really excited to receive my copy of THE TURN OF THE KEY; I love reading Ruth Ware! Rowan Caine begins a "too good to be true" job as a live in nanny in an incredibility "smart" home for a fantastically great salary. People are keeping secrets while the atmosphere get more and more tense. Get prepared for a couple of surprises you'll never see coming! I highly recommend this novel.
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  • Cyndi
    January 1, 1970
    I’m a huge Ruth Ware fan and have read and enjoyed all of her books, but this was by far my favorite. Right from the start, we learn that the protagonist, Rowan, is in prison writing to employ the help of a solicitor to help her overturn the charge of murder for which she is incarcerated. And then she dives right into her story. I was captivated from the very start and would have read this straight through had I unlimited time to read. Rowan travels to isolated northern Scotland to become a nann I’m a huge Ruth Ware fan and have read and enjoyed all of her books, but this was by far my favorite. Right from the start, we learn that the protagonist, Rowan, is in prison writing to employ the help of a solicitor to help her overturn the charge of murder for which she is incarcerated. And then she dives right into her story. I was captivated from the very start and would have read this straight through had I unlimited time to read. Rowan travels to isolated northern Scotland to become a nanny for a rich and eccentric family. The remote location, including old gothic architecture and an actual poison garden on the grounds, has a very creepy vibe which immediately sets the unreliable narrator, along with the reader, on edge right up to the end of the book. Ware brilliantly executes multiple twists, none of which I saw coming. From start to finish, this was an absolute, pulse-pounding joy to read.Many thanks to Edelweiss, Gallery/Scout Press and Ruth Ware for my complimentary e-copy ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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  • Katie (katieladyreads)
    January 1, 1970
    Easy, fast read but nothing new or exciting here. Felt a little bit too similar to the death of Mrs. westaway.
  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided in exchange for honest review 🗝 ARC provided in exchange for honest review 🗝️
  • KC
    January 1, 1970
    The fabled house sits atop the Scottish Highlands. A mix of vintage and contemporary. But as soon Rowan Caine begins her dream job, nanny to the Elincort children, mysterious, ghostly and frightening occurrences start to unfold. A wildly entertaining and atmospheric tale reminiscent of Henry James' The Turn of the Screw and Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House. This is Ruth Ware's best work yet.
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    Told in Ruth Ware's signature gothic style - albeit with a few modern additions this time (the ULTIMATE smart house, equipped with voice recognition, personalized shower experiences, mood lighting, music and of course, cameras), The Turn of the Key does a fantastic job of building the suspense page by page. The prologue lets us know that Rowan is sitting in jail accused of murder for one of the children she is nannying for - via a letter she writes to a lawyer enlisting his help. We then start a Told in Ruth Ware's signature gothic style - albeit with a few modern additions this time (the ULTIMATE smart house, equipped with voice recognition, personalized shower experiences, mood lighting, music and of course, cameras), The Turn of the Key does a fantastic job of building the suspense page by page. The prologue lets us know that Rowan is sitting in jail accused of murder for one of the children she is nannying for - via a letter she writes to a lawyer enlisting his help. We then start at the beginning to how this job is landed and the events that eventually land her in her current predicament. The suspense builds with each page, the tension is palpable and will leave you eager to know what is going on. Many nannies have been scared off before Rowan - but what exactly is lurking under the surface at Heatherbrae House? I enjoyed the build up here and The Turn of the Key really is a slow burn, however, the payoff was just not exciting enough for the level of slow burn here, in my opinion. I think fans of Ware's will still enjoy this one as it has her signature writing style, but this one missed the mark a bit for me.Thank you to Gallery/Scout press for an advance copy. All opinions are my own.
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  • Jessica Woodbury
    January 1, 1970
    I go hot and cold on Ruth Ware, but part of that is because she's so willing to move around within genre. It's one of the things I like about her. Her readers may be surprised to find that this really isn't a crime novel at all. It's pretty straight up horror. There is a mystery if you lose the word loosely, if you find out something has happened at the beginning of the book and then flash back to understand how and why, but it's a stretch. It's just a horror novel with a flashback structure, re I go hot and cold on Ruth Ware, but part of that is because she's so willing to move around within genre. It's one of the things I like about her. Her readers may be surprised to find that this really isn't a crime novel at all. It's pretty straight up horror. There is a mystery if you lose the word loosely, if you find out something has happened at the beginning of the book and then flash back to understand how and why, but it's a stretch. It's just a horror novel with a flashback structure, really.There is the bones of a really strong horror novel here, but it feels like Ware has focused on her big twists and a few specific set pieces. Those are mostly well executed. There are some elements here that are down right creepy and some images that really stick in your head. But the broad strokes of "maybe haunted house" are not particularly innovative or frightening and it is quite some time before we get to the good stuff, the pacing was slow slow slow then fast fast fast. The parts where the suspense is supposed to grow weren't as effective. And, most of all, the main character just didn't work for me at all.It is hard to talk about the main character's issues too much without spoiling. Suffice it to say, she takes on a nannying position but doesn't seem to like it all that much. We know right away that there is something about Rowan that isn't quite what she makes it out to be, she gives us plenty of small clues. And, unfortunately, being a nanny is pretty exhausting and difficult even in the best of circumstances, but for a character who isn't particularly into it, it can be a strain to read. Because Rowan doesn't find much of the drudgery interesting, it is just kind of treading water until A Scary Thing happens again. The twists make everything make sense, and they're not unsatisfying, but they also don't add a whole lot of depth to the story. Everything doesn't look different now.Still, Ware is very readable. I read this in practically one sitting (I needed something to speed through when I woke up in the middle of the night and this more than fit the bill) and while in hindsight it's not quite as bad as I initially thought, it still feels like a missed opportunity for Ware to really dig deeper and get into it. Instead it feels like the whole story is propped up on the twists rather than the other way around.
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  • Scarlett
    January 1, 1970
    I can't remember the last time I read a book this quickly! No sleep, barely any snacks and great amount of anxiety. Once again, I confirm that Ruth Ware is one of the best creators of eerie atmosphere, haunting sceneries and chilling characters. The Turn of the Key was highly entertaining, which made me realize that I need more of Ruth Ware's books! The problem is, I read them all. Rowan Caine takes up a "too good to be true job" offer, to take care of four girls somewhere in Scotland. She is su I can't remember the last time I read a book this quickly! No sleep, barely any snacks and great amount of anxiety. Once again, I confirm that Ruth Ware is one of the best creators of eerie atmosphere, haunting sceneries and chilling characters. The Turn of the Key was highly entertaining, which made me realize that I need more of Ruth Ware's books! The problem is, I read them all. Rowan Caine takes up a "too good to be true job" offer, to take care of four girls somewhere in Scotland. She is suspicious, but she needs the money, so here we are! The house is a state-of-the-modern-art, under high-level technological surveillance, her employers are somewhat creepy and, they are leaving her by herself on her first day. Rowan roams around the house, trying to get the house under voice-control, but you can imagine how that goes. Hint: LIGHTS ON control jams when it's darkest hour of the night. The girls are a piece of work as well. I really enjoyed Rowan's POV and I think Scotland is an amazing choice for this scary story.I feel like we've seen a lot of mysterious nannies in the past year's thrillers, but I think this one is a bit different. Rowan Caine is likeable and relatable, for one! She is not the perfect nanny, meaning she gets annoyed with children and she swears a lot. She can't get a perfect hair bun, she often thinks about drinks and cigarettes, her outfits are not on point. I thought that she was really down to Earth, realistic and level headed. If you've read too many thrillers, you will find this trait to be amazing and almost surprising in a female protagonist. No screaming, no over-the-top panicking and reasonable decisions. I loved it!The only complaint I have is with the ending. I felt that the build-up, created from the beginning of the book, led nowhere. The supernatural elements did nothing for me, but still, I enjoyed the scary setting. Ruth Ware has a great way with adjectives that make me feel cold, air damp, wind going through my clothes and chills on my arms. Can't wait for the next one!I got this edition through Edelweiss, thanks to Simon & Schuster!
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  • karen
    January 1, 1970
    ruth ware, take two.
  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    I adore Ruth Ware's books and this immediately became my favorite as I read it in one sitting! It has all her classic features: suspense, unreliable, often unlikable characters, a masterful and intricate plot, and gothic elements for the creep factor we readers have come to know and love! When Rowan applies for a nanny job in Scotland, she is lured by the money as well as the promise that the house and grounds are magnificent. And yes, it is a "smart" house with all the requisite bells and whist I adore Ruth Ware's books and this immediately became my favorite as I read it in one sitting! It has all her classic features: suspense, unreliable, often unlikable characters, a masterful and intricate plot, and gothic elements for the creep factor we readers have come to know and love! When Rowan applies for a nanny job in Scotland, she is lured by the money as well as the promise that the house and grounds are magnificent. And yes, it is a "smart" house with all the requisite bells and whistles...and cameras, lights, and music all controlled by an app. The children are a handful which is not surprising as she learns that at least four previous nannies haven't lasted. Then as she begins to hear strange noises above her bedroom, she suspects all is not as it seems. And of course it never is with Ware's novels! Needless to say, this book will keep you hooked until the very end and I can guarantee you will not see it coming! Run, don't walk to pre-order this one out in early August!Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
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  • Alexa
    January 1, 1970
    Ruth Ware is double-triple back on form! Yay! Having blown through The Turn of the Key in 12 hours flat (with some sleep inbetween!), I am more sound than ever in my thinking The Death of Mrs. Westaway was an earlier, shelved novel. The mastery in The Turn of the Key feels like the most natural progression from The Woman in Cabin 10 in terms of character, setting, mood, twists. The Lying Game felt like a classic "too short a deadline to bang out a book after having become famous" miss and then W Ruth Ware is double-triple back on form! Yay! Having blown through The Turn of the Key in 12 hours flat (with some sleep inbetween!), I am more sound than ever in my thinking The Death of Mrs. Westaway was an earlier, shelved novel. The mastery in The Turn of the Key feels like the most natural progression from The Woman in Cabin 10 in terms of character, setting, mood, twists. The Lying Game felt like a classic "too short a deadline to bang out a book after having become famous" miss and then Westaway felt like "to avoid doing that again, let's revive an older book," so now we have this one and I hope the progression of her writing and novels continues on an upswing. (must note that TDOMW was a 5-star read for me, but compared to TTofK, it just reads as a more juvenile novel, as in, written when she was younger)This is a masterful modern Gothic suspense novel. The creeky old Victorian house, but contrasted to all the sharp, modern touches; locked attic rooms and creepy old dolls; prenaturally mature and alternately menacing children... a nanny stuck in the middle of nowhere with three young children and inexplicable bumps in the night. I was trying to puzzle the "how" together the whole time, with some twists guessed early on, and others not so much. What sets TToTK apart in Ware's catalog is she's once again experimenting with form/story structure to build suspense, as she did in Westaway. Here, a young woman is in prison for allegedly killing a child--one of her charges--and she's writing a desperate letter (but, uh, more like a novel, really--literally) to a lawyer to try to get him to represent her. So you start off knowing a child has died, and that the nanny is in prison. Thankfully, the book is light on "if only I'd known!" devices, which I rather hate when we have a narrative convention like this. After a solid start addressing the lawyer directly by name and offering proclamations of innocence, the story falls seamlessly into a standard narrative with only occasional and well-timed breaks to address the framing device.I was instantly sunk into the world and setting, which I'd say is a particular strength of Ware's. In each of her books I am both captivated and horrified by her settings--a glass house in the woods, a luxury yacht on the sea, a falling-down house by the beach, the decrepit Victorian mansion. Ware always adds a menace, a sense of foreboding to them, usually in their remoteness, or the ticking clock of something awry. I'm a sucker for creepy houses in the woods, and this is her third--but keep em coming; they're great. It's another Victorian as in Westaway, but this one is a Frankenstein house, half classic manor house, half modernist monstrosity. I felt the way the narrator was both captivated and repulsed by it. I was creeped out by the gaping glass windows in the kitchen, the creaking footsteps in the middle of the night. A+ Gothic game.A particular rise above form in TtoTK here was the protagonist, who is both a typical Ware heroine and refreshingly not. Her MCs are always anxious to a delightful fault, which contributes the suspense build of her stories, but they're usually generally likeable, if a little milquetoast--relatable if flawed. (though I suppose the alcoholic in Cabin 10 might be an exception, though she was still pretty sympathetic?) For the first time, Ware delivers a heroine with truly sharp edges. She isn't just keeping secrets; she's a genuinely messy, slightly nasty human. This, of course, contributes to the impending sense of doom, since we know she ends up charged with murder. I'm glad to see Ware pushing boundaries with her protagonists.I have few, if any quibbles. I was game for the read, and so I enjoyed it thoroughly. Just as with every Ware book I've read, some of the twists were so obviously telegraphed that I wasn't actually surprised, but as with every Ware book--I don't care! I adore her execution regardless. Without spoilers, I'll say it was refreshing to see one Ware hallmark, re: the twists not appear in this one (technically it was absent in The Lying Game as well, but I hated that one, so). I just love seeing every new story she comes up with, and she remains an auto-buy for me. I'll be buying a copy of this to own.
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  • Jennifer Novotney
    January 1, 1970
    The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware starts out in a letter written from a Scotland jail by Rowan Caine, a former nanny, to Mr. Wrexham, an attorney. She’s pleading for him to represent her in court as she’s been accused of murdering a child, her former charge.Rowan then goes on to tell the story of how she got her nanny job with the Elincourts at their supposedly haunted estate, Heatherbrae House. There are several references to the Victorian, which I can’t help but think is a nod to similarly styl The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware starts out in a letter written from a Scotland jail by Rowan Caine, a former nanny, to Mr. Wrexham, an attorney. She’s pleading for him to represent her in court as she’s been accused of murdering a child, her former charge.Rowan then goes on to tell the story of how she got her nanny job with the Elincourts at their supposedly haunted estate, Heatherbrae House. There are several references to the Victorian, which I can’t help but think is a nod to similarly styled books that came before this one such as Jane Eyre or Turn of the Screw.Nanny position? Check. High salary? Check. Creepy, secluded location? Check. Possibly haunted? Check.The characterization is spot-on and the suspense, especially at the chapter breaks is skillful. What puts a modern twist on this seemingly Gothic, Victorian inspired novel is the technology Rowan has to deal with at Heatherbrae House. The father of the house is a technology buff and has installed a very Big Brother-esque system called Happy that basically runs the place. There are cameras everywhere to track Rowan’s every move as well as thumbprint locks and other devices.I read Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood and it wasn’t my favorite book. With The Turn of the Key, she has really come into her own as a true master writer of suspense and thrillers. There are certain scenes that are so gripping and terrifying that I could not stop reading. I just have to add that I never thought footsteps could be so scary.Just when I thought the book couldn’t get any better, it did. At the eleventh hour, we get a big twist that is so salacious, it’s almost cathartic. Love her or hate her, you have to be curious about what will end up happening to Rowan, which is really the whole drive of the plot.There are so many twists and turns, even right up until the end, that truly keep the suspense going. I felt like the ending might not be as satisfying as it was. The whole book is written in an epistolary/frame story style and I loved every bit of it. In true Gothic novel form, the reader is both satiated but still left with a little bit of mystery about nearly every one of the characters. This is a must read for sure.
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  • Lisa Mancini
    January 1, 1970
    I read this book already but it was called something else. I know. The Turn of the Screw. Underwhelming read. Overrated author.
  • Nancy McFarlane
    January 1, 1970
    One of the most brilliantly written thrillers I’ve read in a while! Told in a letter written in prison while awaiting trial for murder, Rowan lays out the circumstances of her taking a job as a nanny to a family in Scotland, the death of one of her charges, and her innocence, hoping she can convince a famous solicitor to take her case.The setting in an old manor in the middle of nowhere Scotland adds to the creepy, ghostly, almost gothic like atmosphere. The addition of smart lights,cameras,soun One of the most brilliantly written thrillers I’ve read in a while! Told in a letter written in prison while awaiting trial for murder, Rowan lays out the circumstances of her taking a job as a nanny to a family in Scotland, the death of one of her charges, and her innocence, hoping she can convince a famous solicitor to take her case.The setting in an old manor in the middle of nowhere Scotland adds to the creepy, ghostly, almost gothic like atmosphere. The addition of smart lights,cameras,sounds and the Happy app to control the entire house just add to the feeling that someone is watching Rowan at all times. It is richly written, has a wonderful, complex plot, and an ending that will leave you agape… I’m still trying to process it all. Oh, Ms. Ware… you’ve done it again!!
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  • Jenn
    January 1, 1970
    I've felt that each of Ware's books has just gotten better and better. I LOVED The Death of Mrs. Westaway. So I was super eager to read her new one. Sadly, I was disappointed. This one was gripping enough, but the story felt like it didn't progress and we had a lot of the same things happening over and over again. Then when the end came, it was resolved too quickly and left me unsatisfied. I didn't see where this one was going, though I haven't read James's Turn of the Screw either.
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  • Tucker
    January 1, 1970
    Ooo! A description! I have a feeling this book is going to blow up (in a good way)| Goodreads | Blog | Twitch | Pinterest | Buy this book
  • Jill Atkins
    January 1, 1970
    Ruth Ware strikes again with her newest novel, The Turn of the Key. For fans of The Lying Game and The Death of Mrs. Westaway, Ware’s fifth novel will satisfy any domestic thriller fan with every twist of the plot...and household keys. This novel opens with an experienced childcare provider, Rowan Caine, writing from prison. She explains her crime after she applied for a private nanny position with the family who lives in a secluded, magical Scottish Highlands smart-home, Heatherbrae House. Look Ruth Ware strikes again with her newest novel, The Turn of the Key. For fans of The Lying Game and The Death of Mrs. Westaway, Ware’s fifth novel will satisfy any domestic thriller fan with every twist of the plot...and household keys. This novel opens with an experienced childcare provider, Rowan Caine, writing from prison. She explains her crime after she applied for a private nanny position with the family who lives in a secluded, magical Scottish Highlands smart-home, Heatherbrae House. Looking for a new start after working at a dead end job, Rowan ignores the successive nannies who have mysteriously left their positions after short periods in with this family. With a series of events that arise in relation to a past crime committed in the home by a previous owner, Ware’s latest endeavor draws questions about the family unit and what extent relations go to make things seem perfect and put together. I am having a difficult time reviewing this book in great detail without pulling the most intriguing parts of the novel out and spilling on the twists and turns. This is a novel that should be experienced with blind expectations so each twist, turn, and red herring hits readers like it did the main character/narrator. The elements of intensity and mystery are well-suited to remain more anonymous until readers have the privilege of reading them in time. It will be well worth it. Ware is an expert author of the modern gothic thriller that encompasses both the contemporary relevance of high profile authors in her genre and the by-gone brilliance of mystery authors of the past like Edgar Allan Poe. Thank you Netgalley, Ruth Ware, and Gallery, Pocket Books for an advanced copy of this ebook in exchange for my honest review. This novel is set to be released on August 6, 2019.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    “‘Don’t come here,’ she whispered, still refusing to look at me. ‘It’s not safe.’”Like many who adore Ruth Ware’s works, I couldn’t wait to ready The Turn of the Key. Especially after seeing the cover art, I was on a mission to read is as soon as possible. I tried Netgalley and Edelweiss but unfortunately wasn’t approved (understandable since I'm sure it's in high demand!). I was determined enough that I emailed directly to Simon & Schuster via Ruth Ware’s contact page. They were kind enough “‘Don’t come here,’ she whispered, still refusing to look at me. ‘It’s not safe.’”Like many who adore Ruth Ware’s works, I couldn’t wait to ready The Turn of the Key. Especially after seeing the cover art, I was on a mission to read is as soon as possible. I tried Netgalley and Edelweiss but unfortunately wasn’t approved (understandable since I'm sure it's in high demand!). I was determined enough that I emailed directly to Simon & Schuster via Ruth Ware’s contact page. They were kind enough to email me back the next day and sent me an e-copy. Obviously, The Turn of the Key was moved to my number one priority.I have not read The Turn of the Screw however, after reading the summary, I could believe it if Ms. Ware had been inspired by it.There was definitely a feeling of being a contemporary Victorian ghost story. I thought there was a great balance of traditional mystery and modern technology. Ruth Ware is truly the Agatha Christie of our time.Cover art: Absolutely adore itLength: Perfect, never a dull moment and it went by so fastTwistiness: It had the chill factor, there was nothing to suggest the twist, I thought it was brilliant. (view spoiler)[After the first one and a mention of the fact that Bill had a previous family/family while he was with Sandra, I had a thought maybe Rachel was his daughter but was still surprised when this was true (hide spoiler)]. It's definitely one of those books where you want to go back and read it with the knowledge you have now.Thank you to Simon & Schuster, Inc. for an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Dusti Bontempo
    January 1, 1970
    It’s no secret that I love Ruth Ware’s writing. This book is no exception. I read this book in just a little over a day. It is just that unputdownable!! Give me a book with the premise of a haunted house/new nanny any day! Not just a haunted house, I might add. A haunted SMART house. Creepy and contemporary. Of course, no new nanny story is complete without a terrifying child or two! This one covers that as well. Not only is the story spooky and addicting, but there’s also a secretive, mysteriou It’s no secret that I love Ruth Ware’s writing. This book is no exception. I read this book in just a little over a day. It is just that unputdownable!! Give me a book with the premise of a haunted house/new nanny any day! Not just a haunted house, I might add. A haunted SMART house. Creepy and contemporary. Of course, no new nanny story is complete without a terrifying child or two! This one covers that as well. Not only is the story spooky and addicting, but there’s also a secretive, mysterious feel to this one. Ware has really pulled out all the stops for this book! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!
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  • Pleun Schavemaker
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this one. A nanny takes a position in remote Scotland and is left alone with the kids in a seriously creepy house.Super fast read, very gothic and some fabulous twists. I say read it, you won't regret it!
  • Chelsea
    January 1, 1970
    I’m a big fan of Ruth Ware’s books, so I was very excited to win an advanced reader’s copy of “The Turn of The Key” I have to say it was one of her best. I stayed up all night just to finish the book. It keeps you guessing and wanting more. 5 stars.
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  • Kristen
    January 1, 1970
    Another winner from the new master of suspense, this book keeps you reading to find out the mystery of the spooky house.
  • Polly
    January 1, 1970
    SO good! I skipped my entire TBR pile and jumped right to this one and read it in a weekend. There are very few authors that I have read every single one of their works: Ruth Ware is one. Ware is a master at the locked-room mystery. She doesn't just give you a basic room - she gives you an entire descriptive, imaginative and immersive world---you feel like you are there alongside the characters. The atmosphere and tension are so artfully intertwined that I felt goosebumps during several points i SO good! I skipped my entire TBR pile and jumped right to this one and read it in a weekend. There are very few authors that I have read every single one of their works: Ruth Ware is one. Ware is a master at the locked-room mystery. She doesn't just give you a basic room - she gives you an entire descriptive, imaginative and immersive world---you feel like you are there alongside the characters. The atmosphere and tension are so artfully intertwined that I felt goosebumps during several points in the book.
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