Posted in Book review

Book Review: The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

The Turn of the KeyTitle: The Turn of the Key
Author: Ruth Ware

ISBN: 1501188771 (ISBN13: 9781501188770)

Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Recommended Age: Adult
Series: No

Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Publication Date: Aug. 6th 2019 (337 pages)


Synopsis from Goodreads

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.


One thing I know about myself is that I dislike unreliable and unlikable characters, which the main character kind of is. And yet… it worked for me?

See, she herself is part of the mystery, part of the “something isn’t right” feeling. I had thoughts on this too– regarding the mystery, the suspense. At the same time, it was one of the weakest links for me because it was so unbelievable and unsustainable. The main character was perhaps the weakest link to the book for me haha.

I’m a huge fan of books told in letters though, it is such an interesting storytelling format. While the writing here didn’t always have me hooked, the mystery behind everything had me and forced me to continue reading, reading, reading, without wanting to stop.

Did the ending surprise me? YES, in more ways than one. Like that ending had me shook. It is an ending that I both loved AND hated.
Do I recommend this to people? 100% if you like thrillers or are even new to the genre, this is a good one to try.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

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