Book Review | The Turn of the Key

Posted April 19, 2021 by TheNonbinaryLibrarian in book reviews / 1 Comment

Title: The Turn of the Key

Author: Ruth Ware

Publisher: Scout Press

Published: 6 August 2019

Pages: 337

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This review is not spoiler-free!

I’ve read (listened) to a few of Ruth Ware’s books before, and this one sounded fascinating. Rowan Caine was not planning on applying for a position as a nanny at Heatherbrae House, but it seems like too good of an opportunity to pass up. The luxurious smart house with all modern conveniences is in the beautiful Scottish Highlands with what seems like a picture-perfect family.

Yet, not everything is as perfect as it seems, and Rowan doesn’t know she’s stepping into a nightmare that will end with a child dead and herself in prison.

I absolutely love how the book is set up. The whole story is a frame story, where Rowan is writing out what happened to her lawyer as a way to explain what really happened. Rowan tries to explain that it wasn’t the constant surveillance in the house, the malfunctioning technology that woke the house with music, and the lights turning off at the worst moments. It wasn’t the girls who were not as immaculately behaved children as she met at the interview. Nor was it the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with not adults, except the handyman, Jack Grant. It was everything.

Rowan realizes she made mistakes. Lying to get the job is one, and her behavior to the children wasn’t always the best. But she maintains that she is not a murderer.

I did think the story was fascinating, as all most of Ware’s stories. She does such an amazing job of setting up the story and creating such a suspenseful tale. Yet, I guess having read some of her previous novels, I figured out most of what was going to happen before it did.

When Rowan first arrives in the house, and sees that her room has a camera, she grabs a shirt or something and strategically places it over the camera. This is, what I would assume, a normal human thing to do. Personally, I don’t want a camera in my bedroom, also I’m wondering if this is even legal to have a camera in a bedroom. But, I knew as I was reading that this would be a mistake later-on, as this was the place the murder took place.

Also, the readers are aware that there is something Rowan is keeping secret from the family. As I said, I’ve read a couple of Ruth Ware’s books before, so I had a feeling that Rowan wasn’t actually Rowan and she was going to be related to the family in some way. I was right….the reason she wasn’t planning on applying to the job is the fact that she wasn’t looking for a job. She was Googling her dad, which she did every once and a while, and found the post of the nanny job.

It was easy to see that the girls were acting out do to their parents failing marriage. The girls were planting all of the tech failures as a way to keep the nannies from staying, as their dad was having affairs with them.

The story is well-done and Ware does an amazing job of keeping readers engaged even when some of them may know what is going to happen. It’s also fascinating to see how Ware ties everything together and how the story concludes, which is why I keep reading. I need to know how this is all going to be solved, so whether I know what is going to happen or not, seeing how writers tie everything up with a nice bow is just as fun for me.

Happy Reading Darlings!

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