Monday, November 4, 2019

Review - The Turn of the Key

Author:  Ruth Ware
Genre:   Mystery Thriller
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster
Format:  Audiobook
No. of Pages:   384
Date of Publication:  August 6, 2019
My Rating:  4.5 Stars


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.


Rowan Caine is determined to be the perfect nanny. She manages to find the perfect post. She bends whatever she needs to make sure that she gets hired there. The home she will be working in is a "smart" home. It has very advanced technological appliances. These play key in some of the drama about to occur in this thrilling story by Ruth Ware.

The story is written in two time frames. When it starts, Rowan is writing to her attorney from prison. As she starts explaining how one of her very young charges turned up dead, the story goes back and forth, with much of it being relayed as in current tense.

She never felt comfortable in that house, with the parents, nor with the children. Rowan especially felt uncomfortable with all the roving cameras, music that seemed to turn on by itself, or the strange situation with the lights. It is in writing this that I even get the chills imagining myself in such a house.

Rowan seemingly has an ally in her strange new circumstances, and that is Jack Grant, the property's handyman. Is he to become suspect to her as well? Their byplay was rather interesting in this truly intriguing story.

The children: precocious, evil, problematic.
The mother: a block of ice.
The father: a creep of the highest caliber.
The house: a Victorian like home I would never want to set foot in.
The mystery: Well, you will just have to read the book to find out.
The ending: stellar, chilling and unforgettable.

This book comes highly recommended. I will do my best to carve a path in my TBR to read every book Ruth Ware has out currently, and will be sure to grab anything she will be writing in the future.


So I guess if you’ve clicked on this page, you’re interested in finding out more about me. Here is the paragraph that my publishers put on the back cover of my books:

Ruth Ware is an international number one bestseller. Her thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, The Lying Game and The Death of Mrs Westaway were smash hits, and she has appeared on bestseller lists around the world, including the Sunday Times and New York Times. Her books have been optioned for both film and TV, and she is published in more than 40 languages. Ruth lives near Brighton with her family. Visit to find out more.

If you’re writing a festival programme or presenting to your reading group, perhaps that’s all you need to know. But possibly you’ve already read that paragraph on the back of one of my books, and you’ve come here, as per the last line, to “find out more”.

At this point I should probably admit that by far the most interesting thing about me is my books, which are full of murder, family secrets, toxic friendships and things that go bump in the night, in contrast to my own very mundane, peaceful existence. I’m often asked which of my characters most resembles me, and I’m never quite sure how to feel about this, since my main characters are usually complicated, conflicted, lonely, spiky and sometimes downright selfish. Of course they’re also brave, defiant, dogged and occasionally very selfless – much more so than me, actually. If I was faced with half the set backs my characters encounter, I’m pretty sure I’d pack up and go home. The truth is that barring a few obvious overlaps (writing, parenthood) the biggest autobiographical element of most of my books is that the main characters are generally intolerant of bad coffee.

...this continues on her website.


  1. I didn't love the other Ruth Ware book I read but you've really intrigued me with this review! Wonderfully done!

  2. Shucks, Netgalley rejected my plea for this one

  3. I'm not one for mysteries but this one sounds really interesting! Thanks for putting it on my radar!

  4. I really want to read a Ruth Ware book! They sound amazing! Great review!

  5. I've seen lots of great reviews of this book. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  6. I absolutely adored this one! Glad you liked it too!

  7. Great review I've not read her books before, I might have to in the future.

  8. Great review Robin, I have an Ruth Ware book on my shelf but I have not read it yet but hopefully I can read it soon. I've seen mix reviews about her books but I've seen amazing reviews about this book. I'm really glad you fully enjoyed reading it. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.