Another Friday upon us, means it’s another book review on the blog. The Turn of the Key is a book I have been VERY interested in since it’s release! I headed to Bargain Books one day and thankfully they had 2 copies left and I literally grabbed one of the copies and ran to pay. I have this crazy idea that somebody will wrestle me for good books if there’s only one copy available. LOL. I had previously read The Death of Mrs Westaway, by Ruth Ware….and I liked her writing style already. Then…the synopsis for The Turn of the Key, I mean….I don’t have to justify why I wanted this book right? See for yourself….
What is The Turn of the Key about?
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. Nor was it 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.
We meet Rowan, who is the new nanny. The parents are barely worth mentioning, as they are quite absent from the book, but okay, their names are Sandra and Bill.
We also have Jack, the handyman…. he gave me some relief from the tension and creepy suspense in this book, because 90% of the time Rowan was ALONE in this creepy house. I hate a lonely protagonist! Though of course, Jack’s presence, as helpful as it is, also has us thinking…what if it’s him??? There is also the cleaner, Jean …who I hoped would be a friend to Rowan, but for her own reasons (and also…potential suspect alert!), she also flits in and out of the house and keeps her distance.
Lastly we have the 3 kids, though for the most part, the older daughter is away at boarding school, so mostly we have Maddie and Ellie.
The storyline and writing style
From page 1, this book hits a certain tone and pace. The book is written in the style of these frantic letters, from Rowan to her (potential) lawyer, Mr Wrexham. When it starts, there is the start of a letter, one line on a page. A second page, 2 lines…. as she builds up the nerve to really start her story. I just felt like it made such an impact and it was such a unique and interesting writing style. This style also immediately gives us a glimpse as to Rowan’s mental state and how desperate she is to be heard.
The story has been done…or well, the setting at least….creepy haunted house, but Ruth has elevated that and brought the haunted house into 2019. Instead of old creepy doors and loose floorboards, there’s malfunctioning smart panels that control the house. Again, a very interesting take on a classic. The story though, is something new and different to me….and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was creepy, it was mysterious….and Ruth also left crumbs for us, but I unfortunately was running so fast, to the main course, that I ran straight past the crumbs on the floor. lol. The ending….I did not see any of it coming!
The Turn of the Key has a Goodreads rating of 4.01 out of 5 stars, which is an excellent rating. This was a book club pick and most of the girls rated this 4-5 stars. I’d rate it around 4.8 stars! It was really good! Seeing as 2 of Ruth Ware’s books have been a hit for me, I really need to pick up some more from her soon. Does this sound like something you’d like to pick up? If it does, I highly recommend that you add it to your list of books to read!
I hope you manage to get in some reading time this week! Looking for more reviews? Check out The Bad Place😉