The Turn of The Key ePUB –

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “A superb suspense writer…Brava, Ruth Ware I daresay even Henry James would be impressed” —Maureen Corrigan, author of So We Read On “This appropriately twisty Turn of the Screw update finds the Woman in Cabinauthor in her most menacing mode, unfurling a shocking saga of murder and deception” —Entertainment Weekly From theNew York Times bestselling author of The Lying Game and The Death of Mrs Westaway comes this thrilling novel that explores the dark side of technology When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a livein 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 pictureperfect 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 events that led to her incarceration It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the home’s cameras, 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 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 innoent, by any means But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder—but somebody 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

10 thoughts on “The Turn of The Key

  1. Chelsea Humphrey Chelsea Humphrey says:


    Dear Mr. Wrexham,
    You have no idea how many times I have started this letter and screwed up the resulting mess, but I've realized there is no magic formula here. There is no way I can make you listen to my case. So I'm just going to have to do my best to set things out. However long it takes, however much I mess this up, I'm just going to keep going and tell the truth.

    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. The Turn of the Key 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 The Turn of the Key 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 The Turn of the Key to your late summer TBR!

    *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.

  2. Nilufer Ozmekik Nilufer Ozmekik says:

    Review of “TURN OF THE KEY”:
    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!!!
    Let’s take a look: what we have on the menu:
    -A naïve nanny who has little secrets is now in the jail, waiting for her murder trial.
    -Creepy Victorian haunted house: A big, creepy place 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): * years old, middle child of the family, Maddie’s irritating behaviors; reminds us of Regan from Exorcist with her attitudes as if she’s embodied by devil ( at least she didn’t do the terrifying head spinning) and Hereditary’s Charlie (At least her head hasn’t been cut out of her body with a car accident)!
    Her little sister Ellie is not evil child but she was just annoying, spoiled, one which means she is regular 5 years old kid  Both of the girls come together for the mission to irritate poor nanny! You hear the alarm bells ringing right?
    - A sinister 14 year old sister joins the evil sisters club on the weekends: Another meaner member of awkward family. You may think they have quite resemblances with “Addams family”! But you couldn’t be mistaken so much because 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 the young ladies his perverted looks! When you read more about their parents’ characteristic attributes, you may realize: The bad apples didn’t fall far from the tree. I still don’t know which one is the worst: The parent or their children?
    -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 nerve-bending details 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 of the book you’re introduced porcelain version of Annabelle baby’s head who could cut some parts of your body and make you bleed!) non-alcoholic beverages(You need clear mind to concentrate and 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 is surprisingly 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!

  3. Emily May Emily May says:

    I am telling you the truth. The unvarnished, ugly truth. And it is all that. It is unpolished and unpleasant, and I don't pretend I acted like an angel. But I didn't kill anyone. I just fucking didn't.

    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 (view spoiler)[Rowan not being who she says she is (hide spoiler)]

  4. Emily (Books with Emily Fox) Emily (Books with Emily Fox) says:

    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.

    Thank you Simon & Schuster for this ARC!

  5. Nick Nick says:

    not gonna lie, I kinda hated it. It's just that I struggled to finish it, because it was uninteresting, at least for me. I waited and waited for the part that would freak me out but it didn't come at all. And the twist, well kind of surprising, but it just didn't lead the story anywhere. It was like, here's the twist, do whatever you want with that info. I am quite inexperienced with thrillers, maybe this is how they usually go, however I was not pleased with this. The audiobook was quite well made, I'll give you that, because I don't think I would have finished it in paper form. I fell asleep while reading 2 nights in a row. Thrillers? Aren't they supposed to keep you awake from the thrill?

  6. Meredith Meredith says:

    A nanny in jail accused of murdering one of the children in her care. This is her story.

    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 The Turn of the Key.

    The Turn of the Key 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. Overall, this is an atmospheric, slower-paced psychological thriller with some intriguing twists and turns.

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

  7. Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill says:

    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!

    Merged review:

  8. Mary Beth Mary Beth says:

    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.

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  9. megs_bookrack megs_bookrack says:

    Ruth Ware's BEST work yet!!!

    Not only is this my new FAVORITE Ruth Ware book, this is also one of my favorite BOOKS OF 2019!!!

    As typically happens with me...

    I fail to write reviews for the books I love the most. It's a really odd thing I do.

    Perhaps some day I will read this again and maybe write a review then.

    Who knows. It's anyone's guess at this point.

    Just know, I loved this, highly recommend!

  10. Norma Norma says:

    Creepy, suspenseful, & mysterious!

    THE TURN OF THE KEY by RUTH WARE is a compelling, dark, twisted, and haunting mystery thriller that immediately sucked me in and had me totally absorbed within this tale.

    Right from the very start there is this intense sense of foreboding that definitely makes this quite the gripping book to is a slow-burn and the intensity level slowly increases as the story progresses. I absolutely loved the creepy modern gothic vibe going on here and RUTH WARE definitely knows how to deliver an atmospheric, vivid, and hair-raising suspenseful novel that I found to be quite appealing, enjoyable and entertaining.

    My only real gripe here that I have though is that I don't always feel that she follows through with some aspects to the storyline. Not sure if she knowingly doesn't follow through with some things or if it is part of her signature technique to be a little bit vague. I've noticed this style of writing in almost all of her books and sometimes it has bothered me and others not so much. This one it didn't bother me as much.

    I absolutely loved the format of this novel which was written in an epistolary format (letters). The tone was set right at the very beginning and I thought it followed through right to the very end. I also thought RUTH WARE did a fabulous job with the creepy sounds and the ominous atmosphere with the setting of Heatherbrae House. I was a little bit freaked out and scared which definitely left me a little on edge while I was reading certain scenes.

    Norma’s Stats:
    Cover: Intriguing, ghostly, suspenseful, ominous and an extremely fitting representation to storyline. I have an absolute love for Ruth Ware cover designs!
    Title: I was immediately intrigued by the title of this book and definitely enticed me to read this book.
    Writing/Prose: Haunting, engaging, vividly descriptive, and readable.
    Plot: Suspenseful, appealing, eerie, menacing, gripping, perfectly-paced, absorbing, ominous, enjoyable and entertaining.
    Ending: A cryptic and satisfying resolution.
    Overall: I was immediately interested in this tale and thoroughly enjoyed the unraveling of the mystery, the characters and the storyline. So far this is my favourite book by Ruth Ware! Would highly recommend!

    Thank you so much to Simon & Schuster Canada and Ruth Ware for gifting me an advance copy of this book.

    This review can also be found on our Two Sisters Lost in a Coulee Reading book blog: