The Turn of the Key

The Turn of the Key

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...

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Title:The Turn of the Key
Author:Ruth Ware
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Edition Language:English

The Turn of the Key Reviews

  • Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill

    Gothic, creepy, a house with a hideous history...OMG yes please!! This was hands down my favorite book by Ruth Ware! All the stars for this one! I have read all her books except The Death of Mrs. Westaway (which is sitting here in my bookcase waiting to be read). Up until this point In a Dark Dark Wood was my favorite, but wow oh wow I loved this book.

    Four nannies in a year, umm okay people that should be a sign that there are some real problems at the Heatherbrae House. Granted the

    Gothic, creepy, a house with a hideous history...OMG yes please!! This was hands down my favorite book by Ruth Ware! All the stars for this one! I have read all her books except The Death of Mrs. Westaway (which is sitting here in my bookcase waiting to be read). Up until this point In a Dark Dark Wood was my favorite, but wow oh wow I loved this book.

    Four nannies in a year, umm okay people that should be a sign that there are some real problems at the Heatherbrae House. Granted the house has an extensive history, I mean don't all old homes? That is what Rowan told herself when she applied for the job. Okay Rowan, you just keep telling yourself that. Drawn in by the generous salary and the gorgeous home she decided to roll the dice and try out the job, even with the history of previous nannies not being able to cut it. Were the the rumors true that the house was haunted? Is that what caused them to leave so quickly? Or was it the somewhat difficult children that they were entrusted to? I began to wonder if it was Sandra and Bill Elincourt whom appeared to be a bit challenging to deal with in themselves.

    I tell you what, there is no way I would have spent numerous nights in this house like Rowan did. I was completely creeped out as nightfall hit each evening. Things were happening and they appeared to be supernatural. Given the history of this home, there is no doubt that is what would be running through my mind if I were staying there. Add to it this "smart house" with all the amazing, yet creepy features. That would drive me mad in itself. If I were Rowan I would be concerned that my employers were watching my every move, meaning that someone else could be too.

    I have read some reviews that said this was a slow start or slow moving book but not for me! I was sucked in from the very first page. This was a really fast pace for me and I couldn't put it down. I read this late into the night. I am really looking forward to what Ware is going to come up with next. I read this with a group of fellow Traveling Sisters! It made for a fantastic group read.

    Thank you so much to Gallery/Scout Press for this ARC I received via Edelweiss. I LOVED it!! Thanks you to Ruth Ware for another fantastic book!

  • Chelsea Humphrey

    And so begins our tale. I'm sure that, unless you've been walking around with your eyes closed and your ears plugged up, you've caught wiSELECTION"Dear

    And so begins our tale. I'm sure that, unless you've been walking around with your eyes closed and your ears plugged up, you've caught wind of this upcoming release, but if not let me give you a brief introduction.

    is a compulsive tale of a nanny sitting in jail awaiting trial for the murder of one of her charges. The entire book is told through letters from said nanny to a potential solicitor, recalling the events leading up to her incarceration, along with a few surprise notes at the end. The basic jist of events is that we begin with Rowan answering an advertisement for a nannying position in the Scottish countryside. The catch is that this particular household has been through 4 nannies in less than a year, and the reasons behind this are murkily associated to legends of the estate being haunted. Shenanigans ensue, all hell breaks loose, and much havoc is played out over the course of the book.

    As someone who has taken time to warm to Ware's novels over the year, I think she's found her niche in the gothic suspense genre. I truly enjoyed Mrs. Westaway, and I believe

    is her best novel yet. The pacing was 100% what I was praying for, and the creepy elements, such as the locked closet, the poison garden, and the smart home with little to no privacy, were all excellent inclusions and flawlessly executed.

    I found that even the supporting characters, especially Jack and Jean, were just as intriguing as Rowan was. My only complaint was with the ending; it felt like a bit of a let down after such a large build up, and even though it worked, it felt like the easy ending to take. The twists may or may not surprise you; I felt that I had most of them figured out, but there were a few smaller twists that took me completely by surprise, which I wholly appreciated. If you're looking for a creepy, character driven psychological thriller that will keep you thrilled and chilled from beginning to end, definitely add

    to your late summer TBR!

  • Meredith

    When Rowan, a young nanny who lives in London, comes across for an ad seeking a nanny to live in a remote area of Scotland, it sounds too good to be true. The pay is high, the house is beautiful, and the family seems lovely. She is warned that previous nannies have quit due to the house being haunted. Rowan doesn’t believe in ghosts, so she pays no heed to the warning. She is hired for the position and packs

    When Rowan, a young nanny who lives in London, comes across for an ad seeking a nanny to live in a remote area of Scotland, it sounds too good to be true. The pay is high, the house is beautiful, and the family seems lovely. She is warned that previous nannies have quit due to the house being haunted. Rowan doesn’t believe in ghosts, so she pays no heed to the warning. She is hired for the position and packs up her life in London and moves to remote Scotland. But what is beautiful on the surface is hiding deep dark secrets.

    One of my favorite things about The Turn of the Key is the house which is named Heatherbrae. Equipped with state of the art technology (the whole house runs off an app), it takes on a life of its own. Juxtaposed with Victorian architecture and Gothic feel, Heatherbrae adds another layer to

    is told only through Rowan’s eyes, as she shares what led to her arrest through a series of letters to a solicitor. Rowan is an unreliable narrator and the reader must contend with a lot of telling. While this type of narrative style usually irks me, I found that it works in this case as Rowan provides a detailed account of her time at Heatherbrae. One just needs to continue to question whether or not her version of events is accurate.

    There are some twists as well some red herrings thrown in for good measure. I guessed many of the smaller twists, but I completely missed the most significant twist. And I was looking for it! Sadly, my detective skills failed. This twist added an additional layer and made me want to reread from the beginning. The ending felt a bit rushed and I could have done without the final letter. I would rather have been left guessing than be told a less than satisfying conclusion to Rowan’s story.

    I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  • Paromjit

    This is Ruth Ware's latest offering, a chiller of a psychological thriller with its central protagonist, 24 year old Rowan Caine working in childcare in London. She is looking for another post when she come across an incredible job as a live in Nanny for the Elincourt family, the parents Bill and Sandra are architects, living in the remote Scottish Highlands, and the pay for the post is unbelievable. If there is one thing you should beware of, it is that if a job sounds to be too good to be true

    This is Ruth Ware's latest offering, a chiller of a psychological thriller with its central protagonist, 24 year old Rowan Caine working in childcare in London. She is looking for another post when she come across an incredible job as a live in Nanny for the Elincourt family, the parents Bill and Sandra are architects, living in the remote Scottish Highlands, and the pay for the post is unbelievable. If there is one thing you should beware of, it is that if a job sounds to be too good to be true, then it is, something Rowan is to discover to her cost. At her weekend interview, young Maddie warns Rowan to not take the job, and it seems other nannies employed have left abruptly. The Elincourts have four children from 18 months to 14 years old, a heavy burden of responsibility for Rowan, especially as she is left almost immediately as their sole carer with the parents travelling so often, and it is no exaggeration to say that they are a real handful.

    Heatherbrae House itself is a jarring blend of Victorian with all the tech that makes it a smart home, with cameras everywhere and a handy man, Jack, is employed. Strange and eerie happenings create a creepy, menacing and ghostly atmosphere within Heatherbrae, and a litany of incidents culminate in the murder of a child. Rowan is languishing in prison awaiting her trial for the murder, concerned with her legal representation, and writing a letter to a solicitor, Mr Wrexham, proclaiming her innocence of the crime she has been charged with and laying out the circumstances which have led to her present ghastly predicament. She admits to not always being the perfect nanny and true to form with this genre, she is an unreliable narrator and the characters are almost universally dislikeable. This is an intense story of many twists, small and big, slow in pace, and where you are going to have to suspend your sense of disbelief on occasion. The premise of the novel held my interest, although this is far from my favourite Ware book. Many thanks to Random House Vintage for an ARC.

  • Susanne  Strong

    4 Stars

    I have been waiting YEARS for this day! Yep.. you heard that right! Years! My first read by Ruth Ware was “A Woman in Cabin 10” and I loved it. Ever since then I have been continually disappointed by each successive book of hers that was published. I was beginning to think she’d lost her touch but nope!

    So what’s it/>FINALLY,

    4 Stars

    I have been waiting YEARS for this day! Yep.. you heard that right! Years! My first read by Ruth Ware was “A Woman in Cabin 10” and I loved it. Ever since then I have been continually disappointed by each successive book of hers that was published. I was beginning to think she’d lost her touch but nope!

    So what’s it about? I’m afraid you must grab a copy and turn the pages to find out.

    What I can tell you is that the characters are highly intriguing though admittedly, lots of questionable activities take place. Shocking! Ha! The parents also made me raise an eyebrow.., or two! There were lots of twists and turns to this novel and many had me in knots. While I guessed part of the ending, I was so highly engrossed in the intricacies of the storyline that it hardly mattered.

    This is a novel for the mystery/suspense lovers in all of us. I listened to the audiobook with narrator Imogen Church (who is phenomenal) and she truly brought the novel to life. If you’re looking for your next thriller, look no further.

    Published on Goodreads on 8.8.19

  • Nilufer Ozmekik

    Four okay I loved it, it freaked me out, gave me enough chills, my all nails are shorter, oh wait a second I don’t have nails anymore and my arms are covered with stress bites, my hair is in the air, you made a great job Ruth Ware, I wanted to clap but my hands are still shaking stars!!!

    Lalalala here's my 200th book of this year!

    Look what we have on the menu:

    -A naïve nanny who has little secrets is now in the jail, waiting for murder trail.

    -Creepy Victorian haunte

    Four okay I loved it, it freaked me out, gave me enough chills, my all nails are shorter, oh wait a second I don’t have nails anymore and my arms are covered with stress bites, my hair is in the air, you made a great job Ruth Ware, I wanted to clap but my hands are still shaking stars!!!

    Lalalala here's my 200th book of this year!

    Look what we have on the menu:

    -A naïve nanny who has little secrets is now in the jail, waiting for murder trail.

    -Creepy Victorian haunted house: A big surrounded by an eerie, ominous secret garden which is full of poisonous flowers served with charming Scottish gardener/handyman Jack

    - Three problem children and a baby (like 80’s movie name, but please be sure this is not comedy): Maddie’s irritating behaviors stood between Regan from Exorcist acted like she’s embodied by devil( at least she didn’t do the terrifying head spinning) and Hereditary’s Charlie ( At least her head didn’t cut out of her body with a car accident)!

    Her little sister Ellie was not evil child but she was just annoying, spoiled, noisy meant she was regular 5 years old kid  Both of the girls come together, you hear the alarm bells ringing!

    - A sinister 14 year old sister joins the evil sisters club on the weekends: Another meaner member of awkward family. They start to resemble “Addams” right? Nope, Addams family members are cartoon characters when you compare them with these nerve-racking people.

    - A workaholic, snob, show-off mother and he’s flirty husband gives you his perverted looks! The bad apples didn’t fall from the tree. I still don’t know if the parents or the children were worse? PARENTS got the scores and won the game.

    -Creaking floors, secret attics, ghost stories, runaway nannies! And BAAMM: we have a death child.

    So before you order your book and feed yourself with the disturbing, riveting pages of the story, ask yourself, could you absorb all of these or could goose bumps on your arms and aching on your stomach force you to vomit because of too much pressure and stressful pages?

    If you say: “I’m in!” , I recommend you to consume it with lighter foods( greasy popcorn is not a good option especially at the parts you’re introduced porcelain version of Annabelle baby’s head who could cut and make you bleed!) non-alcoholic beverages( that was real challenge for me! But more Chardonnay meant lack of concentration. You need to be full alert to enjoy the story.)

    So it’s great combination of modern and gothic horror materials. There are too many disturbing characters but it worked perfectly with this well-rounded story telling.

    And the ending: It was nice touch! Every little detail in this book is important so you have to give full attention for great satisfaction!

    It’s fast pacing, one or two sit reading. Sip your soda (preferably didn’t contain any high fructose corn syrup), lay on your favorite couch, silence your loved ones and begin to enjoy this book! It’s one of the best thrillers of this year!

  • Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*

    In the beginning of the book, Rowan is writing a letter to Mr. Wexham, begging for him to help her. She tells him that she is innocent of a crime of murder that she did not commit and that she needs his assistance with her trial that is coming up soon. He is a lawyer and she wants him to prove her innocence.

    There is an old house located in a remote area in the middle of nowhere in the Scottish Highlands. Rowan becomes a nanny for a family of three children in this creepy estate. The

    In the beginning of the book, Rowan is writing a letter to Mr. Wexham, begging for him to help her. She tells him that she is innocent of a crime of murder that she did not commit and that she needs his assistance with her trial that is coming up soon. He is a lawyer and she wants him to prove her innocence.

    There is an old house located in a remote area in the middle of nowhere in the Scottish Highlands. Rowan becomes a nanny for a family of three children in this creepy estate. The house has a haunted past. Other nannies left and the family has a hard time keeping nannies. The house has everything that you can imagine and Rowan is getting paid very well. It is a smart house with different technology and it has creepy noises in the night. Dark and disturbing events happen in this house. The parents leave Rowan alone with their children in this estate. What Rowan doesn't know is that she is stepping into a nightmare. There are cameras installed in the house and she is having a difficult time and she knows that she has made some mistakes.

    There is something about a Ruth Ware book that makes me excited to read it. I loved The Death of Mrs. Castaway and I knew that I would love this one once I opened the book. This is gothic suspense, a mystery, and a thriller. It is so creepy. I loved the gothic atmosphere and it's elements. The book was quite addicting. It was totally gripping, especially if you like gothic suspense like me. It is so haunting.

    I didn't see the twists coming and it had a couple of jaw dropping moments and I loved them. I kept guessing till the very end. I thought the characters were developed well and it was very well written. The ending was so surprising.

    This was a Traveling Sister read.

    I want to thank Edelweiss, Simon & Schuster and Ruth Ware for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Emily May

    This wasn't bad, but it was nowhere near as good as I was expecting from an author like Ruth Ware.

    The protagonist, Rowan Caine, stumbles upon an opportunity that she considers amazing and I would consider an absolute nightmare-- a live-in nanny to four children, including one baby and one bratty teenag

    This wasn't bad, but it was nowhere near as good as I was expecting from an author like Ruth Ware.

    The protagonist, Rowan Caine, stumbles upon an opportunity that she considers amazing and I would consider an absolute nightmare-- a live-in nanny to four children, including one baby and one bratty teenager. On top of this, she's staying in the high-tech Heatherbrae House - a refurbished "smart" home with constant surveillance, voice-activated lights, and an app to go with it.

    Unlike Rowan, I think this sounds like a horror story. And, honestly, I found the book to be at its strongest when it is drawing on creepy horror tropes like creaking footsteps in the attic, objects going missing and reappearing where the MC knows she already looked, and freaky dolls. The atmosphere is quite good and it would make for a somewhat spooky Halloween read. The combination of nightmare children, a malfunctioning house that seems haunted, and the hunky but suspicious handyman kept me reading.

    I also liked how Ware framed the story within a letter to a solicitor. It worked so well that I'm surprised I haven't read books that have done this before (that I recall).

    But it just wasn't very strong as a mystery, in my opinion. The culprit can be guessed pretty easily (this really isn't a surprising reveal anymore) and it irked me how it doesn't make sense for Rowan to withhold the identity of the dead child, though of course she does so because once we know who it is, it removes any doubt as to who the killer must be.

    The author also dropped a lot of heavy-handed hints about

    so I even started to work out what was going on there. This part of the story frustrated me, actually, because it kind of changes the whole focus of the book from being about the potential horrors of a nanny living in a "smart" house to something else that didn't interest me half as much.

    The ending felt unfinished, too. I wanted more after becoming invested in the story.

    I won't rush out to recommend this one, but there are some Halloween-worthy chills to be had here. I'll still check out Ware's future books.

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  • Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

    ***NOW AVAILABLE***

    I have read and enjoyed all of Ruth Ware’s books, therefore I was incredibly excited to be fortunate enough to receive an early review copy of The Turn of the Key. Being a fan of the author, it is very hard to write a review about a book that just didn’t WOW me. This was a good but I wouldn’t say great read.

    I have recently read several books where we know what happens, what the “big tell” is at the beginning of the novel. We then work through the past events and

    ***NOW AVAILABLE***

    I have read and enjoyed all of Ruth Ware’s books, therefore I was incredibly excited to be fortunate enough to receive an early review copy of The Turn of the Key. Being a fan of the author, it is very hard to write a review about a book that just didn’t WOW me. This was a good but I wouldn’t say great read.

    I have recently read several books where we know what happens, what the “big tell” is at the beginning of the novel. We then work through the past events and how we got to this ending. This style just doesn’t work for me, I like to feel a lot of tension and excitement in mysteries/thrillers and I just don’t experience that when I know the ending, it takes that part of the surprise and tension away. This may just be me, there are many 5 star reviews for this book.

    First off, this is definitely a slow burn type of mystery, in fact I think I was at 75% on my kindle before I was turning pages quickly. There is an element of "ghosts" or the supernatural which helps to move the story along and kept my interest.

    From the blurb you know that there is a creepy, “smart house” and I felt as though that would be a large part of the excitement in the book, unfortunately after much is explained about how the controls are all used, etc., the house doesn’t really play that large of a part in the story. The idea and descriptions of the smart house reminded me of a few other books written about the smart house which “takes over”, does horrible things, etc . I really thought the house was going to be one of the primary elements in the crime, was it????

    Rowan is the main character, the nanny, and I quickly starting thinking that something was not quite right about her. Right from the start it seems that Rowan is out of her element and these kids are not at all what she was expecting. She is also left with the four children, one a toddler, only 18 months old, alone for many nights while the parents are away at a meeting of some sort. What does this tell us about the parents? The teenage daughter comes home from her weekly boarding school and immediately begins to give Rowan trouble, from her attitude and actions including talking down to Rowan and sneaking out several times with a much older man. . Rowan fails to contact the parents immediately as she certainly should have.

    A lot of the book is about taking care of the kids, we are taken along on picnics and other outings but don’t really get to know the kids. The only really well developed character is Rowan and I found her rather ordinary when I was hoping for something more This is a part where the plot gets bogged down, for me, the everyday taking care of the kids and descriptions of dinners and baths. It is pretty clear that although Rowan likes the kids, this isn’t something she wants to continue to do with her life. Why did Rowan actually take this job then, and was her CV spot on????

    There is a driver/ handyman named Jack who may or may not be a good guy. He is the book as a possible romantic interest for Rowan, it seems every book must have one.

    I think that it comes down to the characters in this novel. I just didn’t like any of them. I also would have liked to know more about the parents, as a couple. We do find out more about Bill but the children could have been more well described.

    I think that Ruth Ware will continue to be one of my favorite writers, this book however wasn’t one of my favorites, I’m sure that it will find it’s audience. I would describe this as a well written, enjoyable mystery with plenty of twists to keep you reading.

    I received a ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss.

  • Emily (Books with Emily Fox)

    This is my third book by the author so by this point I know she's great at creating an atmosphere, a creepy ambiance.

    New nanny working for a family living in a remote house in Scotland. Past nannies leaving after the house seems haunted with its dark history and secrets... you get it.

    It was interesting, even a bit unique since the main character wasn't likeable and that the format is through letters she's writing to a lawyer from prison since she's accused of murdering one of the ch

    This is my third book by the author so by this point I know she's great at creating an atmosphere, a creepy ambiance.

    New nanny working for a family living in a remote house in Scotland. Past nannies leaving after the house seems haunted with its dark history and secrets... you get it.

    It was interesting, even a bit unique since the main character wasn't likeable and that the format is through letters she's writing to a lawyer from prison since she's accused of murdering one of the child in her care...

    The ending was a bit lukewarm in my opinion but I can't wait to see how others feel about it all!

    If you're looking for a quick read for the fall and have liked her other books, I would recommend.

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