The Turn of the Keyby Published 06 Aug 2019
|The Turn of the Key.pdf|
|Publisher||Simon & Schuster|
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 Reviews
Turn of the Key is an unnerving story told by a murder suspect as she recounts the background and incidents leading to the death of a child while she was its nanny. Rowan Caine is the nanny and she is writing the story in the form of a letter to a solicitor, Mr Wrexham, requesting his services to defend her. Within the story, there are periodic passages where she speaks directly to Mr Wrexham outlining how her story may be considered and continuously stating her innocence, no matter how the evidence looks. As a technique, it was used to remind the reader that this is only one account and perhaps a very unbalanced and disconcerting version, but I felt it slightly distracting on more than one occasion.
Rowan applies for the nanny position with Sandra and Bill Elincourt, and their 4 daughters ranging from 18 months to 14 years old. The family live in a remote part of Scotland in a house that jolts between new and old. The Victorian architecture of the building clashes abruptly with the high-tech sensor and communication technology that controls features throughout the house. Door access, lighting, heating, curtains, music and room-to-room communications all offer an opportunity to mix faulty operation, malicious intent and/or paranormal interference. Before Rowan has even taken up the position, young Maddie warns her not to come as the “Ghosts wouldn’t like it.”
There is a theme of uncertainty littered throughout the story, from the reliability of the accused’s narration to the contrary characters and the split personality of the house itself. Everything that happens is projected through the house and so many nannies have previously left feeling threatened as the house could be harbouring something sinister. With so many flawed characters it often adds to more realistic personalities and relationships, but in this case, I found it difficult to empathise and connect with any character as their personalities were all disagreeable and distant.
Sandra and Bill are partners in their own architectural business and constantly travel. In fact, they first leave Rowan alone with the children only 2 days after she starts. Rowan has at best embellished her CV and feels the struggle to maintain the professional image she created and wrestles with bubbling anger that threatens to spill over into how she deals with the children, especially as they continuously test her resolve.
“I hate you too! I wanted to scream after their retreating backs, as they padded quietly away into the media room to fire up Netflix. I hate you too, you vile, creepy little shits!”The plot sets up various possible routes and each offers equal plausibility and opportunity. There is a final twist that I didn’t expect and that deserves a lot of credit as it wasn’t even on my radar.
The Victorian Smart house, mixed with a dark history, provides a unique canvas to play out a family constantly in flux as nannies are forced to leave until one nanny puts up a battle and a child dies. I felt the pace of the book was slow but the main disappointment was that the characters didn’t cry out to be championed. I would rate 3.5 stars but still recommend the book and I’d like to thank Gallery/Scout Press and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC copy in return for an honest review.
This is my third book by the author so by this point I know she's great at creating an atmosphere, a creepy ambiance.
New nanny working for a family living in a remote house in Scotland. Past nannies leaving after the house seems haunted with its dark history and secrets... you get it.
It was interesting, even a bit unique since the main character wasn't likeable and that the format is through letters she's writing to a lawyer from prison since she's accused of murdering one of the child in her care...
The ending was a bit lukewarm in my opinion but I can't wait to see how others feel about it all!
If you're looking for a quick read for the fall and have liked her other books, I would recommend.
Thank you Simon & Schuster for this ARC!
Four okay I loved it, it freaked me out, gave me enough chills, my all nails are shorter, oh wait a second I don’t have nails anymore and my arms are covered with stress bites, my hair is in the air, you made a great job Ruth Ware, I wanted to clap but my hands are still shaking stars!!!
Lalalala here's my 200th book of this year!
Look what we have on the menu:
-A naïve nanny who has little secrets is now in the jail, waiting for murder trail.
-Creepy Victorian haunted house: A big surrounded by an eerie, ominous secret garden which is full of poisonous flowers served with charming Scottish gardener/handyman Jack
- Three problem children and a baby (like 80’s movie name, but please be sure this is not comedy): Maddie’s irritating behaviors stood between Regan from Exorcist acted like she’s embodied by devil( at least she didn’t do the terrifying head spinning) and Hereditary’s Charlie ( At least her head didn’t cut out of her body with a car accident)!
Her little sister Ellie was not evil child but she was just annoying, spoiled, noisy meant she was regular 5 years old kid Both of the girls come together, you hear the alarm bells ringing!
- A sinister 14 year old sister joins the evil sisters club on the weekends: Another meaner member of awkward family. They start to resemble “Addams” right? Nope, Addams family members are cartoon characters when you compare them with these nerve-racking people.
- A workaholic, snob, show-off mother and he’s flirty husband gives you his perverted looks! The bad apples didn’t fall from the tree. I still don’t know if the parents or the children were worse? PARENTS got the scores and won the game.
-Creaking floors, secret attics, ghost stories, runaway nannies! And BAAMM: we have a death child.
So before you order your book and feed yourself with the disturbing, riveting pages of the story, ask yourself, could you absorb all of these or could goose bumps on your arms and aching on your stomach force you to vomit because of too much pressure and stressful pages?
If you say: “I’m in!” , I recommend you to consume it with lighter foods( greasy popcorn is not a good option especially at the parts you’re introduced porcelain version of Annabelle baby’s head who could cut and make you bleed!) non-alcoholic beverages( that was real challenge for me! But more Chardonnay meant lack of concentration. You need to be full alert to enjoy the story.)
So it’s great combination of modern and gothic horror materials. There are too many disturbing characters but it worked perfectly with this well-rounded story telling.
And the ending: It was nice touch! Every little detail in this book is important so you have to give full attention for great satisfaction!
It’s fast pacing, one or two sit reading. Sip your soda (preferably didn’t contain any high fructose corn syrup), lay on your favorite couch, silence your loved ones and begin to enjoy this book! It’s one of the best thrillers of this year!
FINALLY, Another winner from Ruth Ware!
I have been waiting YEARS for this day! Yep.. you heard that right! Years! My first read by Ruth Ware was “A Woman in Cabin 10” and I loved it. Ever since then I have been continually disappointed by each successive book of hers that was published. I was beginning to think she’d lost her touch but nope!
With “The Turn of the Key” - she is back in my good graces and this time it’s with a book that is spooky, scary and ominous to boot.
So what’s it about? I’m afraid you must grab a copy and turn the pages to find out.
What I can tell you is that the characters are highly intriguing though admittedly, lots of questionable activities take place. Shocking! Ha! The parents also made me raise an eyebrow.., or two! There were lots of twists and turns to this novel and many had me in knots. While I guessed part of the ending, I was so highly engrossed in the intricacies of the storyline that it hardly mattered.
What more can I say except that Ruth Ware is BACK my friends!
This is a novel for the mystery/suspense lovers in all of us. I listened to the audiobook with narrator Imogen Church (who is phenomenal) and she truly brought the novel to life. If you’re looking for your next thriller, look no further.
Published on Goodreads on 8.8.19
3.5 stars rounded up to a 4
While looking for something else, she comes across an ad for a live in Nanny post in the Scottish Highlands. The salary, the location, all seem too good to be true, but she decides to take a chance and apply for the position. When Rowan Caine begins her job, she had no idea that things would go so horribly wrong or that a child would die, and she would be in prison awaiting trial for murder.
This book is her letter to a potential lawyer. She is writing to him explaining the events which lead up to the child's death. The strange occurrences at the home, the noises, the malfunctioning smart system, the length of time she was left alone with the children, etc.
There are some twists and turns and of course, I had several theories. What were those noises, is the house haunted, why have so many Nanny's quickly quit this position in the past, is she losing her mind, etc. What is real and what isn't. Is she telling the truth? Is she truly innocent? A child is dead, if she didn’t kill her, then how did she die?
I have to say that I did not see many of the twists and turns coming. The second half of the book picks up speed, so if you feel the beginning is slow, hang in there. Things do get interesting. By the time I got to the ending, I was still guessing. One reveal was shocking to me, the other was not. But overall, it didn't matter. I enjoyed the book. It's not my favorite book by this Author, but still an enjoyable read that entertained, had me coming up with theories, and left me wanting just a little bit more. I especially wanted more suspense. There is a lot of build up about what the Nanny is experiencing and I wanted there to be more of a shocking conclusion. I felt a little let down. This is a book where I really wanted an epilogue. I also wanted just a little more suspense here. Fans of Ruth Ware will not be disappointed.
This was a Traveling Sisters Group Read.
Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinion are my own.