The Turn of the Keyby Published 06 Aug 2019
|The Turn of the Key.pdf|
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, The Lying Game, and The Death of Mrs. Westaway comes Ruth Ware’s highly anticipated fifth novel.
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.
The Turn of the Key Reviews
The new nanny, Rowan Caine, has her hands full at Heatherbrae House.
This was my fourth novel by the author and I had to see how this one would compare.
I've read several "nanny" stories and find myself drawn to the whole idea of having someone live in your home and act as a child minder. Rowan gets this "dream" nanny job and finds out that the last several nannies didn't work out.
The house was probably my favorite aspect of the story. It was renovated to be a "smart" home and the owners could spy on all the goings on, turn lights on/off and even ask it to launch an audio book for the children. I kept thinking Alexa controls the day ( no thank you!) Really creepy vibes for sure.
The build-up was quite slow and I wanted more showing than telling and some better developed characters. There is a twist ( and lots of nanny tips), but it really didn't surprise me much at all. The ending was just too rushed with so many loose ends.
I did read it quickly and there is suspense that kept me entertained, so I give this a 3 STAR rating.
Thanks to NG / Gallery for my copy in exchange for an honest review. Out August 2019
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.”
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.
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.
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.