My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ruth Ware by now is one of the authors whose books I wouldn’t mind reading blindly. Her works have all this amazing quality that make you lose yourself and forget time even though most are not in the ‘spectacularly thrilling’ category.
The Turn of the Key is a mind-blowing thriller with Gothic supernatural feel to it. Heatherbrae House is an old Victorian mansion equipped with Smart Technology with cameras spying on your every move and touch pads controlling every single thing in the house from lights to curtains to music. Even though the technology does sound sound freaking awesome it does get to be vexing and frustrating beyond belief, the whole rigmarole of just turning on a single light and the author has really captured the exasperation of people who is not used to such systems. It is with this creepy aspect that the house adds to the turmoil faced by Rowan who starts as a nanny to 4 kids which includes an 18-month baby to a bratty spoiled teenager.
The story was brilliantly done with the readers being made aware of a child’s death in Rowan’s care and everything unfolds thru the letters being written by Rowan to her solicitor. The characters are all multi-layered, even the supporting characters like Jean and Jack had an enigmatic feel to them and of course the children with their hatred so plain, the locked closet, the creaky footsteps, the poison garden everything takes a life of their own. The brooding atmosphere that Ware creates in her stories adds to the pleasure but the ending kind of let me down without which this should have been definitely a 5* book.
Maybe it’s because I started with The Death of Mrs. Westway, but I still feel that is the best of all her books and would recommend that for first-time readers of Ruth Ware.
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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.