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The Turn of the Key

by Ruth Ware

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1,2089811,794 (3.86)67
"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"--… (more)
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The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Rowan Caine answers an ad for a live-in nanny at Heatherbrae House in Scotland. The old house is set up with indoor cameras and everything is controlled by an app, a modern day "smart home". On her first day there she finds she will be left alone for a week with the children, this becomes a challenge from the start. She realizes this is a mistake and a child ends up dead. She maintains her innocence in the death, but admits she has not been completely honest in obtaining this job.

Told from Rowan's point of view in a letter to her attorney had me on edge. From the way she feels, to the challenges tending to the children. Add rumors of the house being haunted, the turn over in Nanny's, the need to know the truth. With twists, turns and secrets slowly revealed, we learn the harrowing truth.

A definite page turning thriller. I was hooked from the first page until the end. I highly recommend The Turn of the Key to those who love a great psychological suspense. ( )
  SheriAWilkinson | Jan 11, 2021 |
We know that a child has died and we know that our narrator has been accused of being responsible for it. The details unfold in a letter written to her solicitor explaining why she is innocent of this crime and begging for his help. There are several twists and reveals at the end that I did NOT see coming AT ALL although I've read a few reviews who claim to have figured it out early on. I'm not one of those that are able to figure out the mystery in the first few chapters though and I'm very thankful that I'm not because I get to enjoy each shocking reveal. However, one of my pet peeves, is an unsatisfactory ending. I don't need a happy ending but I do prefer books that wrap up at least the major plot lines. I hated the way this ended and all the questions it raised that will go unanswered. I doubt I will ever read another book by this author because of the way this ended despite the fact that I otherwise really enjoyed the story. ( )
  NCDonnas | Jan 2, 2021 |
We know that a child has died and we know that our narrator has been accused of being responsible for it. The details unfold in a letter written to her solicitor explaining why she is innocent of this crime and begging for his help. There are several twists and reveals at the end that I did NOT see coming AT ALL although I've read a few reviews who claim to have figured it out early on. I'm not one of those that are able to figure out the mystery in the first few chapters though and I'm very thankful that I'm not because I get to enjoy each shocking reveal. However, one of my pet peeves, is an unsatisfactory ending. I don't need a happy ending but I do prefer books that wrap up at least the major plot lines. I hated the way this ended and all the questions it raised that will go unanswered. I doubt I will ever read another book by this author because of the way this ended despite the fact that I otherwise really enjoyed the story. ( )
  NCDonnas | Jan 2, 2021 |
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware was one of my highly anticipated summer reads. I have really enjoyed her writing in the past and the Woman in Cabin 10 left me on the edge of my seat with anticipation. The summary of the book sounded right up my alley and I was intrigued by the idea of it being written in letter format.

I found that the story was a slow build and didn't totally engage me right away but I stuck with it. I think Ware is a fantastic author who really knows how to keep you guessing and The Turn of The Key had all the elements of a Gothic tale...a faraway vacation home, a nanny, a garden and house filled with secrets, mysterious characters, and haunting happenings.

Unfortunately, I struggled to connect and kept waiting for the mysteries to unravel. When they finally did, they felt like they were really crammed into the last few chapters of the book and many of them just seemed unbelievable. I am not sure if it is just me and maybe I am just thrilled out", but this one just didn't deliver as I had hoped. All in all, this one was just okay for me. Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
  genthebookworm | Dec 19, 2020 |
Rowan, a childcare worker in London, comes across an ad for a too good to be true nanny job in the Highlands of Scotland. The large Victorian mansion has been upgraded to a smart home by the architect couple who own it. Upon arrival, Rowan learns that there have been a long series of nannies who have left abruptly. The children are clearly troubled. The smart home seems to have a mind of its own. And there are too many unsettling and unexplainable events. And the coolest thing: it also has a poison garden.

The title Turn of the Key immediately reminded me of the Henry James classic, Turn of the Screw. Like that book, a nanny arrives at her new job at a beautiful but isolated house. After the initial interview, the parents are absent and difficult to reach. Like the classic, the children are either innocent, or very much not. And like the classic, the nanny doesn't know if she's losing her mind or if there is something actually sinister happening.

This was a well-paced thriller, and all the mysteries were explained at the end. Several good twists to keep things interesting. The weakness, for me, is that at the beginning we know the nanny is in prison for the murder of one of the children, and she swears she's innocent. She tells her story in a long letter in an attempt to solicit a better lawyer that the appointed one. This structure of the long letter, I think, should have been done differently. No one writes a letter to a lawyer that sounds like a novel. In the end, I understood where it came from, but it didn't quite work. Beyond that, it was a ripping yarn (I've never used that term before, but it sounds kinda Scottishy) ( )
  Nickelini | Dec 16, 2020 |
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For Ian, with more love than I know how to put into words
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3rd September 2017
Dear Mr. Wrexham,
I know you don't know me but please, please, please you have to help me
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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"--

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