ARC Review | The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Publication Date: August 6th, 2019
ARC from Edelweiss

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.

| Book Review |

If you’re a fan of Mystery/Thrillers and you haven’t heard of Ruth Ware, I daresay you’ve been living under a rock. She’s been on my radar for a while, but it wasn’t until The Turn of the Key that I was inspired to pick up one of her books. I loved the gothic aesthetic and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I was lucky enough to get an ARC, and I wasn’t able to resist picking it up immediately. And therein lies the precedent for my entire reading experience for this book. It was so gripping that I didn’t want to put it down. If I wasn’t reading this book, I was thinking about reading this book. This was an all consuming read that took over my life.

When Rowan sees an ad in the paper for a nannying position in the Scottish Highlands, she knows it’s too good to be true. But much like me with this book, she’s unable to resist applying for the position. But we know all this, because by the time we know Rowan, she’s been accused of murdering one of the children she watches. And we know this because of the way the author approached this story; it’s told through a letter written by Rowan to a lawyer she is asking to take her case. I thought this was brilliant storytelling, made even more unique by the fact that you keep forgetting Rowan is writing a letter. So invested are you in this story, you swear you’re watching the events as they unfold instead of reliving them through Rowan’s eyes. Every time she addresses the person she’s writing a letter to, it’s jarring in a good way that makes you think ‘oh, yeah!’ That’s what’s going on! The atmosphere in this story was wonderful – it was spooky with a twist in that this is a ‘smart’ house where everything is done through technology. The parent’s could just ‘pop’ in any time by activating a speaker in the house, and there were constantly things happening with lights, alarms, and keys, and Rowan didn’t know what was going on. There was also a mysterious portion of the house that no one mentioned, but Rowan was convinced she could hear footsteps overhead at night. Was it the parents? The mysterious handy man? The cold as ice housekeeper? It just kept you guessing until the end. I will say that there are some twists and turns in this book that could have been predictable, but I couldn’t put this book down long enough to bother to come up with scenarios – I just wanted to know! And once they happened, I felt like I should have seen them coming. I thought the ending of this book was perfect, and I will say that as someone who thinks mysteries and thrillers lend themselves more to the screen, this book shattered that line of thought and made me think I just haven’t been picking up the right books. I do want to say that while part of me wanted this book to be tied up into a neat little bow, the thriller fan in me loves that the part of the mystery is there long after the pages stop turning!

With The Turn of the Key, Ruth Ware has made me want to pick up every book she’s ever written, and it’s made me want to dive even more into a genre I normally find lukewarm. Whether you’re a long-time fan of Mystery/Thriller or want to give the genre a try, you cannot go wrong with this book!

| Rating |

17 thoughts on “ARC Review | The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Add yours

  1. I had a heck of a time with The Woman in Cabin 10, but this one sounds way different and I love that atmospheric gothic description so I’ll be giving her books another try for sure. 🙂


  2. oh this sounds fantastic and I am so happy that it was such a win. I haven’t read this genre in YEARS, but I have a great love and respect for it. If I ever get in the mood for it, this author will be at the top of my list for sure.


  3. This sounds so good. So far I’ve only read two of Ware’s books – In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Death of Mrs. Westaway but I loved them both so can’t wait to dive into this new one.


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