A Book Review by Lori Carol Maloy
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
Genre: Psychological Thriller/Mystery/Suspense
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press Publications
Sick of working at her current daycare job, a 27-year-old woman stumbles across an ad for a nanny position in Scotland. She sends in her resume and is eventually hired. When she arrives at Heatherbrae House she is awestruck and bewitched by it. The property is both beautiful and mysterious with its sprawling grounds and dangerous woods. The home is half historic and half modern in an eerie kind of way. This beautiful home is a smart home with all the bells and whistles with a family she quickly realizes she would love to be part of.
But Rowan lied on her resume and hopes she won’t be found out. Besides the cameras that are
everywhere, the children are difficult and begin tattling on her. They’ve had their share of
nannies who don’t stick around. Rowan knows she hasn’t made the best of choices in how to handle them and if the parents see any of it on the surveillance video or find out about her falsified resume, she’ll be fired. But when a child dies while in her care her lies are found out.
Ruth’s creepy psychological thriller/mystery opens with a series of letters the main character is writing to a lawyer from behind bars. She desperately hopes that she will convince him to
represent her. Turn of the Key is a bit of a sweet shout out to Henry James, who wrote Turn of the Screw in1898. I found this novel to be very suspenseful. Many times, during the read I was holding my breath, shoulders and neck tight with anxious stress. I couldn’t wait to find out more with every line I read.
The nanny was under so much pressure from the mother. The stress of the smart home, the
surveillance and all the creepiness that was going on; add all that to the resentment and anger from the children and combine that with her lack of sleep. Wow. She was stressed out. Psychologically I was surprised how she held it together, knowing her lies could be revealed at any moment. She was a tough cookie.
Ruth can write—that’s for sure. She has no problem finding creepy themes, crafting in-depth characters, and then spinning the tale to entice the reader. Turn of the Key was one of the fastest reads I’ve done because I couldn’t stop reading and wanted to get to the ending.
There was continual intrigue, suspense, and the poor nanny was constantly bombarded with one scare and twist after another. I was shocked at the twist at the end. I did not see it coming. But I do wish the ending would have been more fleshed out. I tend to be the kind of person that wants everything spelled out for me, but I don’t always do that in my own work, so I totally get it.
You’ll be glad to know that some of Ruth Ware’s books are being made into movies. In a Dark, Dark Wood, a 2015 novel, is optioned for the movies by New Line Cinema and the buzz is that Reese Witherspoon and Pacific Standard may produce it. CBS has also acquired film rights for The Woman in Cabin 10 which Ware published in 2016. So, movie goers are in for a real treat. I’m a Ruth Ware fan so I’m in!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book review of The Turn of the Key and found it edge of the seat suspenseful.
It definitely gets a Knives Up
Happy Reading, Lori