Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Review: The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Title: The Turn of the Key
Author: Ruth Ware
Published: August 2019, Gallery/Scout Press
Format: ARC Paperback, 352 pages
Source: Publisher

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.

My thoughts: Ruth Ware is hands down one of my favorite writers. I love her writing style - gothic thrillers with amazing twists that just pull you in and keep you hooked all the way through. I've read all her books, having been introduced to her at one of my first BookExpo outings - I actually have a signed copy of one of her books!!! Since then, she is a must read and I feel that like a good wine, she seems to get better with each book.

I absolutely loved this book. I loved the way it was set up - as a series of letters from Rowan to her solicitor while she is sitting in prison. Right off the bat that captures your attention...how could it not? Rowan is sitting in prison awaiting trial for the murder of one of her young charges, yet she claims she is innocent. I felt this was such a brilliant way to frame the story...it built up the suspense ever so slowly as we learn what happened that fateful night.

I loved that while we know that someone has been murdered, we don't know who and we don't know how. The build-up is slow and methodical. Rowan admits in her letters that she has made mistakes and there is a hint that there is more to her than meets the eye, so you already get the sense that she is hiding something here...which I loved. It kept me glued to the pages, desperately trying to figure out just what it could be. 

I also loved that Heatherbrae House was like a character itself. I'm all about technology, but this smart house was a beast unto itself. There are cameras everywhere that track of everything and an app that controls everything. It gave me nothing but creepy, eerie vibes. Between being totally isolated and having it's own poison garden...it really added to the overall tension and spooky atmosphere of the book. 

This book kept me glued to the pages and while I did guess one of the twists, I did not see the ending coming. I loved every minute of the book and think this now might be my new favorite, though I seem to say that after all her books!  I highly recommend adding it to your summer reading list...it's a thrilling, addictive, binge-worthy read that you don't want to miss!


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