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The Turn of the Key

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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for The Turn of the Key

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    "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.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Emily (Books with Emily Fox)

    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 c 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!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Meredith

    A nanny in jail accused of murdering one of the children in her care. This is her story. When Rowan, a young nanny who lives in London, comes across for an ad seeking a nanny to live in a remote area of Scotland, it sounds too good to be true. The pay is high, the house is beautiful, and the family seems lovely. She is warned that previous nannies have quit due to the house being haunted. Rowan doesn’t believe in ghosts, so she pays no heed to the warning. She is hired for the position and packs A nanny in jail accused of murdering one of the children in her care. This is her story. When Rowan, a young nanny who lives in London, comes across for an ad seeking a nanny to live in a remote area of Scotland, it sounds too good to be true. The pay is high, the house is beautiful, and the family seems lovely. She is warned that previous nannies have quit due to the house being haunted. Rowan doesn’t believe in ghosts, so she pays no heed to the warning. She is hired for the position and packs up her life in London and moves to remote Scotland. But what is beautiful on the surface is hiding deep dark secrets. One of my favorite things about The Turn of the Key is the house which is named Heatherbrae. Equipped with state of the art technology (the whole house runs off an app), it takes on a life of its own. Juxtaposed with Victorian architecture and Gothic feel, Heatherbrae adds another layer to The Turn of the Key. The Turn of the Key is told only through Rowan’s eyes, as she shares what led to her arrest through a series of letters to a solicitor. Rowan is an unreliable narrator and the reader must contend with a lot of telling. While this type of narrative style usually irks me, I found that it works in this case as Rowan provides a detailed account of her time at Heatherbrae. One just needs to continue to question whether or not her version of events is accurate. There are some twists as well some red herrings thrown in for good measure. I guessed many of the smaller twists, but I completely missed the most significant twist. And I was looking for it! Sadly, my detective skills failed. This twist added an additional layer and made me want to reread from the beginning. The ending felt a bit rushed and I could have done without the final letter. I would rather have been left guessing than be told a less than satisfying conclusion to Rowan’s story. Overall, this is an atmospheric, slower-paced psychological thriller with some intriguing twists and turns. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dorie - Traveling Sister :)

    ***NOW AVAILABLE*** 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 t ***NOW AVAILABLE*** 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.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Paromjit

    This is Ruth Ware's latest offering, a chiller of a psychological thriller with its central protagonist, 24 year old Rowan Caine working in childcare in London. She is looking for another post when she come across an incredible job as a live in Nanny for the Elincourt family, the parents Bill and Sandra are architects, living in the remote Scottish Highlands, and the pay for the post is unbelievable. If there is one thing you should beware of, it is that if a job sounds to be too good to be true This is Ruth Ware's latest offering, a chiller of a psychological thriller with its central protagonist, 24 year old Rowan Caine working in childcare in London. She is looking for another post when she come across an incredible job as a live in Nanny for the Elincourt family, the parents Bill and Sandra are architects, living in the remote Scottish Highlands, and the pay for the post is unbelievable. If there is one thing you should beware of, it is that if a job sounds to be too good to be true, then it is, something Rowan is to discover to her cost. At her weekend interview, young Maddie warns Rowan to not take the job, and it seems other nannies employed have left abruptly. The Elincourts have four children from 18 months to 14 years old, a heavy burden of responsibility for Rowan, especially as she is left almost immediately as their sole carer with the parents travelling so often, and it is no exaggeration to say that they are a real handful. Heatherbrae House itself is a jarring blend of Victorian with all the tech that makes it a smart home, with cameras everywhere and a handy man, Jack, is employed. Strange and eerie happenings create a creepy, menacing and ghostly atmosphere within Heatherbrae, and a litany of incidents culminate in the murder of a child. Rowan is languishing in prison awaiting her trial for the murder, concerned with her legal representation, and writing a letter to a solicitor, Mr Wrexham, proclaiming her innocence of the crime she has been charged with and laying out the circumstances which have led to her present ghastly predicament. She admits to not always being the perfect nanny and true to form with this genre, she is an unreliable narrator and the characters are almost universally dislikeable. This is an intense story of many twists, small and big, slow in pace, and where you are going to have to suspend your sense of disbelief on occasion. The premise of the novel held my interest, although this is far from my favourite Ware book. Many thanks to Random House Vintage for an ARC.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Susanne Strong

    4 Stars 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 ab 4 Stars 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

  7. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    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 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.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    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.”

  9. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    Disconcerting 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 Disconcerting 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.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Holly B

    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 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

  11. 5 out of 5

    Book of Secrets

    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.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Katie B

    4.5 stars Out of the four Ruth Ware novels I have read (still need to get to The Lying Game), this one is my favorite. While I liked her other books, either my interest would wane a bit and/or I had an idea or two about the ending. With this book, my eyes were practically glued to the pages because I really had no clue where the author was going to go with the story. This was a fun read for me which is all I really wanted when I picked up the book. A nanny is in prison awaiting trial for murder. S 4.5 stars Out of the four Ruth Ware novels I have read (still need to get to The Lying Game), this one is my favorite. While I liked her other books, either my interest would wane a bit and/or I had an idea or two about the ending. With this book, my eyes were practically glued to the pages because I really had no clue where the author was going to go with the story. This was a fun read for me which is all I really wanted when I picked up the book. A nanny is in prison awaiting trial for murder. She knows she has made mistakes but she did not kill that child. She is concerned her current lawyer doesn't believe her so she begins writing letters to another attorney, Mr. Wrexham, with the hope he will see she is innocent of the crime. She explains how she got the job as nanny to the family living in Heatherbrae House, and how everything went so horribly wrong. If she tells the truth, the whole truth, will Mr. Wrexham believe her? Will anyone? From the get go you know someone has been murdered and over the course of the story it is slowly revealed everything that led up to it. The house is basically a character itself and really contributes quite nicely to this creepy, horror style vibe. I loved how the technology features of the home actually made me tense and allowed me to really feel like I was in the main character's shoes. This was one of those rare times I didn't even have a decent theory floating around in my head about what was going on and that just made reading all the more fun. It's like I could just sit back and enjoy the ride. Now when it comes to the big reveal or whatever you might call it, I would not say I found it extremely disappointing, more like it wasn't 100% satisfying. I feel like there was so much build up to the moment and I needed more as in some ways it felt anti-climatic. Overall though this was a great read for me and I highly recommend checking this one out especially if you have enjoyed other books by the author. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with an advance digital copy in exchange for an honest review!

  13. 5 out of 5

    marilyn

    This is my first Ruth Ware book and I plan to read more because of the good things I've read about her books. The Turn of the Key takes place in an old home, Heatherbrae House, that has been restored faithfully in parts of it while other parts have been gutted and transformed into the most modern of homes. The entire home has "smart home" features which seem to have been set to an overly intrusive level. Not only that, the features don't always work as intended or don't work at all, making the h This is my first Ruth Ware book and I plan to read more because of the good things I've read about her books. The Turn of the Key takes place in an old home, Heatherbrae House, that has been restored faithfully in parts of it while other parts have been gutted and transformed into the most modern of homes. The entire home has "smart home" features which seem to have been set to an overly intrusive level. Not only that, the features don't always work as intended or don't work at all, making the home seem like it's gone rogue. All this in a very remote setting in the Scottish Highlands. Rowan Caine stumbles on an ad to hire a nanny for the four children that live in Heatherbrae House. The salary for the live in, full time position, is unbelievably generous and Rowan is more than ready to leave her job at a daycare center. Feeling the need to make sure she gets the job, Rowan's resume is less than truthful although she does have the basic requirements for the job. Once Rowan sees the house in person, she is determined to be sure she is the perfect fit for the family and the position. She gets the job and has to begin within a short time, arriving at the house the day before the parents leave for a week or two of work away from home. From the beginning of the book we know that Rowan is writing to a lawyer to see if he will defend her murder case. The book is actually a letter to that lawyer, a very long, book length letter, which felt clunky to me at first, until I just set aside that this woman was writing the longest letter I've ever read. Because Rowan is relating her version of what happened at the house, the events of story have already taken place. Rowan is not going to get to the point quickly, she's not going to make a long story short, in her telling, she's going to give her details of her thoughts and feelings throughout the events. Once I got over the method of telling the story and faced that Rowan was going to take a long time in telling it, I began to enjoy the story more the farther we got into it. Even though Rowan really is a nanny, she is playing a role at Heatherbrae House of being a perfect nanny, rather than her usual quick to anger, quick to slap or grab, messy, sometimes unreliable self. Things at the house, with the house, begin to go lopsided quickly, with strange noises, doors and windows opened, closed, locked, unlocked with no explanation. Cameras are everywhere and the mother of the children will pop in on loudspeaker, from her far away location, to discuss things with Rowan, giving the atmosphere an even more eerie and intrusive feel. Then there is the angry, belligerent eight year old, scared five year old, and the needy baby with a new nanny who is very ill suited for the job. Add in the fourteen year old, who comes home from boarding school, totally out of control and threatening to tell secrets about Rowan and things go downhill from there. A child dies and Rowan is blamed, thus her letter searching for a lawyer who is willing to believe her and help her. I guessed what was happening at almost every turn but still, I wanted to know why it was happening and how it was happening and enjoyed learning those things. What I really liked was the very last letter that was written and the final reveal at the end of the book. Now I look forward to reading more Ruth Ware books. Thank you to Gallery/Scout Press/Simon & Schuster and Edelweiss for this ARC.

  14. 5 out of 5

    JanB

    A child is dead and Rowan, the nanny, is in prison for the murder. From there the story is told in a letter the nanny writes to her lawyer. This isn't a spoiler, it's literally how the book starts. A haunted creepy smart home central to the story sounded intriguing but there was nothing creepy about it. It was nothing more than a home wired with Google Home on steroids. The malfunctioning technology didn’t build tension, it just felt like something that would annoy me. Although there are rumors o A child is dead and Rowan, the nanny, is in prison for the murder. From there the story is told in a letter the nanny writes to her lawyer. This isn't a spoiler, it's literally how the book starts. A haunted creepy smart home central to the story sounded intriguing but there was nothing creepy about it. It was nothing more than a home wired with Google Home on steroids. The malfunctioning technology didn’t build tension, it just felt like something that would annoy me. Although there are rumors of the house being haunted I certainly never felt the gothic creep factor or that there was a ghost. I was only TOLD there was one. Slow burn doesn’t even begin to describe the bulk of the novel. Pages and pages are filled with the minutia of their day to day lives as Rowan cares for the children: what they eat, putting the children down for bed, reading stories, going for walks, driving to school, dealing with an acting out teenager…..…..😴😴😴 I wanted to know more about the parents. Who leaves their children for weeks on end with a nanny they just hired? There’s one little incident about one of the parents that gives us a hint but it goes nowhere till the end. There are a few red herrings, none of which added tension or suspense. I felt there was something off about Rowan from the start…well, because she tells us there’s something off. The book picks up the pace in the last 20% and all is revealed fast and furious in the final pages as if the author hit her page count and was in a hurry to just end it. It wasn’t a clever ending to a mystery novel where everything falls into place. It had me rolling my eyes and if I hadn’t been reading on my kindle I might have thrown the book across the room. Eye-rolling unbelievable. There was so much potential that was never realized. I'm tiring of thrillers that are anything but thrilling. This book was not for me but many others have loved it, so this is probably a case of being the wrong reader for this book *I received a copy of this book from EW for review * This was a buddy read with Marialyce and we were both underwhelmed.

  15. 4 out of 5

    NZLisaM

    ‘WANTED: Large family seeks experienced live-in nanny.' When childcare worker, Rowan Caine, stumbled across the advert she couldn't believe her luck. It's the opportunity she'd been waiting for. But mere months later she’s sitting on remand in a Scottish prison, accused of killing one of the children in her charge. Furiously scribbling letters to a top advocate (barrister under British law), she pleads with him to take her case. ‘”I didn't kill that child. Which means someone else did. And they a ‘WANTED: Large family seeks experienced live-in nanny.' When childcare worker, Rowan Caine, stumbled across the advert she couldn't believe her luck. It's the opportunity she'd been waiting for. But mere months later she’s sitting on remand in a Scottish prison, accused of killing one of the children in her charge. Furiously scribbling letters to a top advocate (barrister under British law), she pleads with him to take her case. ‘”I didn't kill that child. Which means someone else did. And they are out there. While I'm in here, rotting.”’ This was definitely the right book for me. As a former sole-charge nanny (both live-in and live-out), and in more recent years, regular pet-sitter, house-sitter, I've spent a significant amount of time in other people's houses, largely with only children and/or pets for company, so I found the subject matter in this book hugely relatable. I could feel Rowan's frustration as she struggled to grasp the smart house's various control panels, apps, and features, and as someone who once stayed in a property where during a nighttime power cut all the doors unlocked, because the battery on the back-up generator was flat, I know the feeling of being in a strange house with malfunctioning technology, and not being entirely sure what to do. Rowan's first day, the two older children disappear on her, playing/hiding in the expansive grounds, and she's frantically searching for them while trying to juggle a fretful baby. Again, I've totally been there, more than once. There were many other instances I could mention, but I've bored you enough with details of my life. However, even though I enjoyed the day-to-day routine of Rowan settling into her nanny position, I'm not entirely certain other readers will feel the same way. And a large portion of the book was devoted to this. It's a slow burn, alright! But, the more I think on it, the more convinced I am that I would've enjoyed it regardless, as you get to experience exactly what Rowan went through from the moment she arrived until the tragic end. You get to know the lay of the land so to speak, and feel Rowan's mounting uncertainty and fear, her slow realisation that something’s not right with the place. Strange occurrences in the night – creaking, footsteps, cold spots, missing keys, etc – beginning the moment Rowan arrived, also assisted in moving the plot forward, and upping the creepy ante. Technology played a big part in the ‘hautings' making this a bit different from usual. The house itself was part restored Victorian/modern architecture which I found as unsettling as Rowan did. The wild, overgrown, neglected gardens, so different from the interior, heightened this feeling. Being an old house it did of course have an ominous history, and was rumored to be haunted, which as some of you know are two of my favourite gothic elements. The four children (aged 14, 8, 5, and 1) had complex, age appropriate personalities and behaviours. Ruth Ware even included Scottish dialogue, which I thought was a nice touch. Even though the entire book was written as a series of letters, it quickly morphed into present tense, with the protagonist occasionally pausing to address the recipient. I for one was grateful for this, as I wasn't fond of the beginning letter format as it was all ‘tell' and no ‘show’. It was an original set-up though, and the way it all came together in the end cemented this novel's 5 star rating for me. My favourite Ruth Ware crime/mystery by far. I'd like to thank Netgalley, Random House UK – Vintage Publishing, and Ruth Ware for the e-ARC. US Release Date: 6th August, 2019. UK Release Date: 8th August, 2019.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine from How Useful It Is

    A good read, though more towards the end than the beginning. The beginning had me wondering if it was the author’s writing that doesn’t make sense or the character that the author tried to create. Though the author has published many books, it’s my first time to read from this author and I don’t know what to expect. It was hard for me to get into the story with the character being all over the places and not making much sense. Furthermore, all that smart house and interior designs talk is a bit A good read, though more towards the end than the beginning. The beginning had me wondering if it was the author’s writing that doesn’t make sense or the character that the author tried to create. Though the author has published many books, it’s my first time to read from this author and I don’t know what to expect. It was hard for me to get into the story with the character being all over the places and not making much sense. Furthermore, all that smart house and interior designs talk is a bit dull to read. However, I like it when the first twist came to life and then the second and finally the ending. I didn’t see that coming and it was a good change. This book is told in the first person point of view following Rowan, a nanny claiming that she’s innocent. She’s currently in jail awaiting trial and is writing to Mr. Wrexham, a potential lawyer to defend her because she doesn’t like Mr. Grant, who was appointed to her. This story is told in a letter format from Rowan to a potential lawyer so there’s no chapter title. Rowan explained how she saw an ad for a nanny position and applied. Went to the house to interview and got warned by an older daughter, Maddie, to stay away. Rowan is made to believe the house was haunted and learned that there were other nannies that came and went before her. What Rowan discovered for herself is beyond the warnings she received. The Turn of the Key is a bit of a ghost story read and it got me scared a bit here and there. Majority, I don’t really like the main character, Rowan, much but at other times I like her for being brave and how her anger gives her the strengths to face her fears. I like Ellie and that acorn technology that she uses but as for the technology for the house, not so much. I’m glad for the few twists near the end otherwise this book will have a tough time holding my attention. Reading this book is another realization of how tough being a live-in nanny is, especially to 4 kids far apart in age and 2 dogs. If you enjoy a slow paced mystery, I do recommend you to read this book because the twists are well worth the wait. Pro: live-in nanny, twists, secrets, sisters, parenting, ghost story Con: slow paced I rate it 4 stars! ***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Scout Press Books/Gallery Books for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest. xoxo, Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com for more details

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jayme

    This book BEGINS and ENDS, with a letter. "Dear Mr. Wrexham, I know you don't know me, but please. please, please, you have to help me...." Rowan Caine will do anything to secure the post as Nanny at The Heatherbrae House, smitten with the home, and the generous salary. She will even ignore the fact that FOUR Nannies have left the post in the last year. That decision will put her in prison, awaiting trial for murder. Can she convince Mr Wrexham of her innocence? Can she convince you?? This gothic su This book BEGINS and ENDS, with a letter. "Dear Mr. Wrexham, I know you don't know me, but please. please, please, you have to help me...." Rowan Caine will do anything to secure the post as Nanny at The Heatherbrae House, smitten with the home, and the generous salary. She will even ignore the fact that FOUR Nannies have left the post in the last year. That decision will put her in prison, awaiting trial for murder. Can she convince Mr Wrexham of her innocence? Can she convince you?? This gothic suspense novel had it all! An OLD home with a history of MISFORTUNES which has now been MODERNIZED with surveillance cameras throughout the house, and "Smart Home" technology. Technology which always seems to malfunction in the middle of the night.... Is there a malignant force in the house? Or a malignant person?? The LETTERS at the end of the book are a bit cryptic and whether or not you will find the ending satisfying MAY depend on how YOU interpret the letters... This worked well for me, and this just may be MY favorite book of hers to date! Thank you to Edelweiss, Gallery/Scout Press and Ruth Ware for the digital ARC I received in exchange for a candid review! The release date for this one has been moved up to Aug. 6th, 2019!!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Carol (Bookaria)

    Another engaging novel from one of my favorite authors! The story starts with Rowan, a former babysitter who is now imprisoned, we do not know the details of how she got there but she's writing a letter to an attorney asking for help. In the letter she slowly reveals the events that led her to where she is now. I love Ruth Ware's books because they have a classic feel to it, the stories have gothic undertones and she reveals pieces of the story in a way that keeps you interested and wanting to kno Another engaging novel from one of my favorite authors! The story starts with Rowan, a former babysitter who is now imprisoned, we do not know the details of how she got there but she's writing a letter to an attorney asking for help. In the letter she slowly reveals the events that led her to where she is now. I love Ruth Ware's books because they have a classic feel to it, the stories have gothic undertones and she reveals pieces of the story in a way that keeps you interested and wanting to know more. At the end, I wanted to go back and reread some sections, the pieces have fallen onto their places and wow, I did not see it coming. The first half of the novel is a bit slow but once you past the midway point it's a pageturner. Overall, I enjoyed it recommend it to readers of mysteries/thrillers and contemporary fiction. Received ARC from publisher via Netgalley

  19. 4 out of 5

    karen

    i have reviewed this for l.a. review of books, scheduled to run 8/20.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Gabby

    This was so flipping good. This is the latest adult thriller from Ruth Ware, it follows a nanny named Rowen who gets accused of murdering one of the girls she nannies for. This book is so atmospheric and creepy!!! It constantly had me questioning what was paranormal and what was real, some scenes honestly spooked me because I was reading this really late at night while home alone and I was legit freaked out by some of this haha. (view spoiler)[The scenes where she can hear footsteps in the attac This was so flipping good. This is the latest adult thriller from Ruth Ware, it follows a nanny named Rowen who gets accused of murdering one of the girls she nannies for. This book is so atmospheric and creepy!!! It constantly had me questioning what was paranormal and what was real, some scenes honestly spooked me because I was reading this really late at night while home alone and I was legit freaked out by some of this haha. (view spoiler)[The scenes where she can hear footsteps in the attacking and all the stories about the doctor who killed his daughter and how she haunts the place freaked me out haha. (hide spoiler)] There are sooo many good plot twists at the end that I didn’t see coming and one of them my jaw hit the floor! I expected to love this but this blew away all my expectations, I loved it even more than I thought I would. I love thrillers that also have horror or paranormal vibes. This reminds me a lot of Lock Every Door by Riley Sager with the haunted/cursed place vibes. Damn this was just so good. One of my favorite thrillers of the year for sure, and my favorite from this author so far.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Thanks to Netgalley and Simon&Shuster Canada for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review. A Nanny accused of murder...a haunted Scottish home...a cast of suspicious characters...well, bless your heart and take my money! As the story begins, twenty four year old Rowan Caine is writing to a lawyer that she hopes will overturn the murder sentence of a child in her charge. Through flashbacks, the young nanny explains her arrival at Heatherbrae House and the days leading up to the mu Thanks to Netgalley and Simon&Shuster Canada for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review. A Nanny accused of murder...a haunted Scottish home...a cast of suspicious characters...well, bless your heart and take my money! As the story begins, twenty four year old Rowan Caine is writing to a lawyer that she hopes will overturn the murder sentence of a child in her charge. Through flashbacks, the young nanny explains her arrival at Heatherbrae House and the days leading up to the murder. What soon becomes clear is not everything is picture perfect. But is it supernatural forces? Or is something more secretive happening? Ruth Ware is a master at making me feel very insecure while reading her books. The girls under Rowan's charge were so horrendous that I kept on the edge of my seat wondering if they were evil. Even after finishing the book, I still am on the fence with that particular issue. Half-joking! As well, I was very terrified by the modern technology in this house- cameras everywhere! Who wants to live in that kind of enviroment? I had spotted a few mixed reviews for Ruth Ware's 5th book, but found myself really enjoying it. Goodreads Review 02/01/19 Expected Publication 27/08/19

  22. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    August BOTM picks are up, my friends!! Stop what you are doing and cartwheel to your computer because it's time to fill up that August box!!! You'll never guess what I selected!?

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ginger

    Full review up! ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley. The Turn of the Key is the new book by Ruth Ware. I’ve read a few books by her and I was excited to get approved for this advanced reader copy. The Turn of the Key has lots of great things in the plot and writing. The main characters are also well done and different. You suspect everyone is guilty and I love when a book makes me paranoid of everyone. The book starts with Rowan Caine writing a letter to an Full review up! ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley. The Turn of the Key is the new book by Ruth Ware. I’ve read a few books by her and I was excited to get approved for this advanced reader copy. The Turn of the Key has lots of great things in the plot and writing. The main characters are also well done and different. You suspect everyone is guilty and I love when a book makes me paranoid of everyone. The book starts with Rowan Caine writing a letter to an attorney. Rowan has been accused of killing one of the kids that she was in charge of. Before all of this happens, she explains to the attorney on how she gets the job along with what was happening at Heatherbrae before the death. Rowan explains that she finds an ad in the paper for a new nanny position in the Scottish Highlands. She applies for the position and gets it! She’s so excited because the land is beautiful, she wants a new start and the pay is incredible. But things aren’t what they seem at the new house called Heatherbrae. The parents are architects and have completely gutted and renovated the place. They have turned the house into a "smart" home. Think Alexa but on steroids. The technology controls everything from lights, water temperature to telling the fridge to order milk. That part of the book was detailed and described so well on the ole creep factor that I do not want a smart house now. Ha! Rowan’s in charge of four girls and one’s in boarding school when she starts the new position. Rowan comes to find out she’s the 4th or 5th nanny that’s taken on this position. All the others have left in the middle night or for other questionable reasons. Rowan ends up being an unreliable narrator in The Turn of the Key. I liked that along with all the characters in the book. The house and all the things that are happening in the middle of night are super creepy as well. Ruth Ware writes suspense and gothic very well! I really enjoyed the supernatural elements in this book! There’s lots of great things about The Turn of the Key, but I had one big gripe that brought down the rating. The buildup of the plot was slow. I don’t mind a slow burn if the end pays off, but the ending did not. And the reason was the ending was too quick! Damn it, I wanted more from that ending. I loved the plot twists at the end though! I did not expect a few and really enjoyed the shock of them. I’m really torn on this one so I’m going with 3.5 stars rounded up. Recommended to fans of suspense, gothic and supernatural genres!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    I'm not in love with this book. It's tough to figure out what to make of The Turn of the Key because I like Ruth Ware's writing style, but I found this story mostly frustrating. The setup is promising--the narrator is a former nanny who's writing from jail, and she reveals almost immediately that she's been accused of killing one of her charges. She's writing to a legal advocate to explain her side of the story. I thought this premise had plenty of potential. Then, I kept turning pages and waitin I'm not in love with this book. It's tough to figure out what to make of The Turn of the Key because I like Ruth Ware's writing style, but I found this story mostly frustrating. The setup is promising--the narrator is a former nanny who's writing from jail, and she reveals almost immediately that she's been accused of killing one of her charges. She's writing to a legal advocate to explain her side of the story. I thought this premise had plenty of potential. Then, I kept turning pages and waiting for something to happen. Somehow, Ware had me thinking that the storyline would pick up any minute, but boy, did she have me faked out. (I'll give credit to her for being able to string me along, though.) Most of the action was reserved for the last 15% of the book or so. Along the way, I had trouble buying into some elements of the story... -The smart house is supposed to be creepy. Yes, maybe it would be to a Luddite, but to most people, I think it would just be irritating. -Who in their right mind would leave three kids under 10 with a virtual stranger? -The house is supposed to seem haunted, but the "ghosts" are underwhelming. -One of the big reveals about the narrator seems highly unlikely today. (It would have been more plausible in the pre-internet days.) Yes, I'll admit that reading too much Stephen King as a kid could've colored my reaction to the plot a bit. If something's advertised as a thriller, then I do expect it to be pretty thrilling. Despite my reaction to this particular story, I wouldn't hesitate to pick up another book by Ruth Ware. I like her writing, but this plot just didn't work for me. Three stars for The Turn of the Key, but I have a feeling I might enjoy a different Ruth Ware book more than this one. Thanks to NetGalley and Gallery/Scout Press for giving me a DRC of this novel.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dennis

    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!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mandy White

    Ruth Ware is one of my favourite writers. I have read and loved all of her books and I was very excited to get an early copy of The Turn of the Key to read. I had heard so many good things about it and was not disappointed when I read it. I started reading this on Saturday afternoon and finished it Saturday night - it was that good! I loved the way that it was written as letters from the main character to her lawyer and how the ending all came about. We know from the start that something has gon Ruth Ware is one of my favourite writers. I have read and loved all of her books and I was very excited to get an early copy of The Turn of the Key to read. I had heard so many good things about it and was not disappointed when I read it. I started reading this on Saturday afternoon and finished it Saturday night - it was that good! I loved the way that it was written as letters from the main character to her lawyer and how the ending all came about. We know from the start that something has gone horribly wrong - the nanny is writing letters to a lawyer on the outside of prison, trying to make him believe that she is innocent of the death of one of the children in her care. Rowan is a 24 year old child care worker looking for something different. When she comes across a job with a family in the Scottish Highlands as a nanny she believes that her life is about to change for the better. She moves all her things out of her place in London and heads for Heatherbrae house, an old house in the middle of nowhere. This house is dark and gothic but with architects as owners this house has been made into a smart house - with an app to control everything from the lights to the coffee machine. With a generous salary Rowan can't wait to start her new role. The Elincourt family consists of the mother and father and 4 children - one teenager, a baby and 2 school aged twins. On the outside the kids and sweet and lovely once she gets to know them she knows she will have her hands full. The parents leave Rowan and the girls alone after the first day and this is when the fun begins. The house starts making strange noises in the night, the smart features start to play up and Rowan starts to live in fear. One night it all comes to a head and tragedy ensues. This book is beautifully written, making you feel the eeriness of the house and the grounds. You feel scared when Rowan is scared and the whole dark atmosphere comes across so well. I loved this book and was sad when it was over. Thanks to Gallery/Scout Press, Simon and Schuster and Edelweiss for my advanced copy of this book to read. All opinions are my own and are in no way biased.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Paulette

    I was blown away by this book, I would have read it in one sitting, but unfortunately, I had to go to work (very inconvenient)! This book is super creepy, it’s a page turner, with so many great twists I couldn’t keep up…. It is my favorite Ruth Ware novel to date. We have nanny (Rowan) await trial for murder of a child in her care. The story is told through Rowans eyes, in letters scribed to her lawyer of the events leading up to her incarceration. She tells her story from the beginning how she ca I was blown away by this book, I would have read it in one sitting, but unfortunately, I had to go to work (very inconvenient)! This book is super creepy, it’s a page turner, with so many great twists I couldn’t keep up…. It is my favorite Ruth Ware novel to date. We have nanny (Rowan) await trial for murder of a child in her care. The story is told through Rowans eyes, in letters scribed to her lawyer of the events leading up to her incarceration. She tells her story from the beginning how she came to apply for the lucrative nanny position in the isolated Scottish Highlands, offering a generous remuneration package. When it looks too good to be true……… sometimes it is. Rowan arrives as Heatherbrae House to start her new job, as she peels back the layers for us all is not what is seems.... The house is super creepy, and has a haunting history, plus the big brother cameras scattered across the entire house…. You feel watched, with very little or no privacy. This kept me on the edge of my seat, flicking through my kindle I couldn’t read it fast enough. I loved the character development of Rowan, you really started to feel for the poor girl…. She really should have qualified her lead before accepting that position. There is all sorts of crazy stuff going on… a poison garden, yes a poison garden. It is a fabulous read, I highly recommend it you love a creepy, suspenseful, character driven thrillers. It is one of the best I have read. I give it 4.5 stars. Thank you to Edelweiss, Ruth Ware and Scout Press for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Monika Sadowski

    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.

  29. 4 out of 5

    j e w e l s

    FOUR STARS 🎧FIVE SHINING STARS to the brilliant actress, Imogen Church! She exudes the spook in this audio! This is by far the most accessible of the marvelous Ruth Ware’s novels. I was hooked from the very first page. I am in love with the format of this book. Told from ONE person’s point of view, Rowan, it is framed entirely in letter form that she writes to an attorney from prison. She has been arrested for murder at the beginning of her story. There is ONE plot, ONE unreliable narrator, ONE co FOUR STARS 🎧FIVE SHINING STARS to the brilliant actress, Imogen Church! She exudes the spook in this audio! This is by far the most accessible of the marvelous Ruth Ware’s novels. I was hooked from the very first page. I am in love with the format of this book. Told from ONE person’s point of view, Rowan, it is framed entirely in letter form that she writes to an attorney from prison. She has been arrested for murder at the beginning of her story. There is ONE plot, ONE unreliable narrator, ONE completely addictive "what the hell is going on here" story. There is a twist that I truly did not see coming (hooray!), but, please, let me warn you: this is a S-L-O-W 🔥 B-U-R-N. In a good way. Like most of Ware’s novels, she spends a lot of time here on atmosphere and setting. Yes, this is set in a modern smart house, but it is 100% Victorian/Gothic, pure WARE creepiness on every page. My major complaint with TURN OF THE KEY is the detailed descriptions of the mundane daily schedule a nanny leads. It is a bit draining being a nanny. We get it. Uggghh. The chores. The kids. The pain in the neck stuff. But, I do love those UK terms like “alphabetty spaghetti”, how precious 🥰 is that? If you are a Ware fan, I think you will LOVE this one. If you have not read her before, this is the best place to start! WARNING. 🎧You may not want to listen to this book when you are alone in a dark house at midnight…Imogen Church FREAKING PERFORMS the HELL out of this novel and you will find yourself frightened out of your mind😳Just save yourself the panic session and don’t listen alone. Seriously, Imogen’s spin on the Creeeeaaaak creak coming from the attic LITERALLY scared me half to death. She is AMAZING.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Erin Clemence

    Finally! The Ruth Ware novel I have been waiting for! “The Turn of the Key” is the newest novel by Ruth Ware, author of The Woman in Cabin 10, The Lying Game and The Death of Mrs. Westaway, to name a few. I found these books moderately entertaining, more middle-of-the-road, not-living-up-to-expectations novels, but “Key” is exactly what I’ve been missing. When Rowan Caine sees an ad in a newspaper seeking a live-in nanny, she is intrigued. Even though it isn’t what she expected, Rowan is impress Finally! The Ruth Ware novel I have been waiting for! “The Turn of the Key” is the newest novel by Ruth Ware, author of The Woman in Cabin 10, The Lying Game and The Death of Mrs. Westaway, to name a few. I found these books moderately entertaining, more middle-of-the-road, not-living-up-to-expectations novels, but “Key” is exactly what I’ve been missing. When Rowan Caine sees an ad in a newspaper seeking a live-in nanny, she is intrigued. Even though it isn’t what she expected, Rowan is impressed by the salary and, maybe even more so, by the sprawling grounds of Heatherbrae estate, in the secluded Scottish highlands. Decked out with the most modern and convenient of technologies, the “Happy” app controls mostly everything in the mansion, from the lights to the temperature. Rowan is immediately left on her own when the children’s parents go out of town and right from the onset strange things begin to happen- footsteps overhead, cold draughts from behind locked and closed doors, and even the cryptic messages whispered to her by the children, warning her of the dangers of the house. Again and again, things go wrong in the house and soon, Rowan is doubting her own sanity. But when her secrets are discovered by the oldest child, Rowan begins to wonder if more than her sanity is at risk. This novel checks all of my boxes; a haunted house full of possible ghosts and ethereal beings, the Scottish highlands setting, and a murder mystery. To be honest, I need nothing else. However, Ware delivers this and more with her well-developed characters and addicting storyline. I enjoyed the character of Rowan. She was relatable and honest, and just charming enough to be likable. The struggles she faces with the young children are also realistic, compounded with her struggles with the “Happy” home and its many appliances. This story is told in order, narrated by Rowan who tells the tale to her lawyer from her prison cell. Cryptically, we find out Rowan is in jail and a child is dead but we do not yet know the details. Then we are taken to the Scottish highlands and the haunted house- what more do you need? Although the story was gripping, I found the character of Jack to be a confusing addition. He appears in Rowan’s life simply to be a suspect in all of the wrongdoings in the house (and of course to be a romantic interest) but then when things are resolved toward the end, Jack is simply written out (in a weak way). As with Ware’s other works, she has strong characters and plot points, but there is no follow-through and major plot points seem to end abruptly, and often disappointingly. The twist at the end though was surprisingly unexpected. All that being said, “The Turn of the Key” is a creepy read, for those who aren’t looking for blood and gore, Ware weaves a mysterious whodunit, where a child ends up dead. Some of the twists are expected, some of them are not, but this novel is certainly an entertaining one that will hook you from page one. Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review.

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