Book Review: The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

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Australian RRP: $32.99

Published on the 20th August, 2019 by Harvill Secker, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Genre: Thriller, Crime Fiction.

Page Count: 352

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Sypnosis from Penguin Books Australia:


‘So clever and original . . . from the first gripping page to the last shocking twist’ ERIN KELLY, author of He Said/She Said
‘Ruth Ware just gets better and better. The Turn of the Key is her most compelling and addictive to date; I read this in a two sitting frenzy, barely able to turn the pages fast enough’ Lisa Jewell, author of The People Upstairs

When Rowan stumbles across the advert, it seems like too good an opportunity to miss: a live-in nanny position, with a very generous salary. And when she arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten by the luxurious ‘smart’ home fitted out with all modern conveniences by a 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 her in cell awaiting trial for murder.

She knows she’s made mistakes. But she’s not guilty – at least not of murder. Which means someone else is…

‘Will hold you captive until the brilliant ending’ SHARI LAPENA, author of Someone We Know

Full of chilling menace and sinister secrets, The Turn of the Key is a gripping modern-day haunted house novel that will keep you reading through the night.

My Review:

I feel like this is the most appropriate way to start my review of The Turn of the Key – thank you Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of this book to read and review.

This was everything that I needed and more! Once I started reading it, I was so engaged and on the edge of my seat throughout and honestly so unnerved as the mystery unraveled and found myself needing to know more!

This was so unreal! The perfect Thriller, I mean….

Are you unsettled by children who act menacingly, a slightly (no, wholly) unnerving little girl who speaks in riddles, of sorts? Who spells out threatening messages to the new Nanny, saying we hate you?

Are you intrigued by the idea of a supposedly dream house, crafted by two noted Architects? One that can be programmed (and everything within it), from an app, no less? Something that can conjure music or cull the lighting at a mere finger tap?

I cannot even stress enough how unsettling even the image of this house with its beyond insane technological intricacies were! Like, it was even wired with video cameras! It’s no wonder Rowan was feeling unnerved even at her orientation night at the house. I would have too!

See, The Turn of the Key follows twenty-something Rowan as she stumbles upon an advert for a live-in Nanny role, far away from the London she knows and loves, to Scotland, the grassy and vast plains where this immaculate house is located, with gardens aplenty for the little mites to run about.

Let me back up a bit though, for I feel like I can say this as it’s on the back of the book…

A child is murdered in The Turn of the Key. Rowan is in jail for said crime, though she professes her innocence and the book brilliantly starts with Rowan trying to muster up the strength to tell the story of what not only happened that night, but the stream of events leading up to that night, too.

See, knowing prior that a child had been murdered too was even more chilling! Of course I’m not going to say who it was that was slain, see, the family that Rowan is hired to work for has 4 daughters- baby Petra, teenager Rhiannon, 5 year old Ellie and slightly elder Maddie…

Where do we begin with these girls? Honestly, I felt like Rowan was really trying her best with them! She had Ellie slowly warm up to her – but the real issues lay with Maddie. The little girl was so mysterious and completley unnerving and literally scary at times in her intense ways and bizzare cryptic messages. She definitely made it clear that she was not a fan of Rowan at all, she didn’t want to have to listen to her and made it clear that she wasn’t going to.

I digress, slightly. Rowan, trying to handle (and not always successfully doing so), the three chidren (Rhiannon for a time was boarding at her School), finds herself hearing creaks and whispers not only throughout the house, but also rather in close proximity to her bedroom! And she notices that her room has a surveillance camera! I mean, how scary! I definitely didn’t blame her for sealing over the camera itself…even if that’s something that was to affect the whole mystery! So clever!

As Rowan’s narrative, her plea, was rapidly coming full circle, I found myself even more on tenderhooks and on the edge of my seat! I was so addicted to this frankly insane book! It’s honestly fast become a favourite of 2019! I’m actually disappointed that it didn’t win the 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Mystery/Thriller – I mean I enjoyed The Silent Patient throughly but The Turn of the Key is something else entirely! Definitely a must read for anyone who loves an engaging, page turning Thriller! One of the very best that I’ve read!

Happy Reading,


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