From the author of The Lying Game and The Woman in Cabin 10, a jumpy read that feels like putting together a puzzle.
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Why I love it
Author, Cross Her Heart
Whenever I pick up a Ruth Ware book, I’m reminded why she’s such a star in the over-crowded field of psychological thriller writing. There’s nothing better than an author you can absolutely rely on to deliver clever plotting and tight writing, and for me, Ruth Ware is the real deal. Her new thriller is just brilliant.
I love a book that starts with the ending, and that’s what we get in The Turn of the Key. The novel opens with Rowan, a nanny, writing to a lawyer to explain why the charge leveled against her—the murder of a child in her care—is wrong, despite how guilty she looks. Through these letters, we then see the story unfold: how Rowan—who we somehow don’t quite trust—applied for a job in a remote smart house, how she buried her secrets, and how her life became a nightmare that ended in murder.
Full of genuinely creepy moments, this novel—a clever play on the classic The Turn of the Screw—has hints of a ghost story played out with modern technology. Each page crackles with claustrophobic tension as we follow twist after turn until the breathtaking finale. This is one of those books that doesn’t announce how clever it is, but once you’ve finished, you’ll find yourself turning plot points over and over in your head. And boy, does that ending pack an emotional punch. Now do what I did: Grab this book, grab a coffee, and lose yourself in this story for the day. You won’t regret it!
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.