About the Book:
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.
“I have to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Because to leave out these parts would be less than the whole truth. To tell you only the parts that exonerate me would make me slip back into the old, old trap. Because it was the lies that got me here in the first place. And I have to believe that it’s the truth that will get me out.”
Atmospheric and moody, ‘The Turn of the Key’ was the perfect psychological thriller! Mixing a contemporary “smart home” with the remote Scottish location, Ruth Ware expertly blends the modern with the creepy. Rowan is a nursery worker toiling away in London, who finds an almost too-good-to-be-true job notice for a live-in nanny position in Scotland. She doesn’t quite have all the job requirements, so she fudges her resume…just a little.
Nonetheless Rowan is hired by Sandra and Bill Elincourt to care for their young children. Because they travel a great deal for their architecture firm, Rowan is left almost immediately in complete charge of the children. There are red flags everywhere: one of the children is almost hateful to Rowan, the house has cameras everywhere, and there is a handsome caretaker who might not be all he seems to be.
Rowan’s patience (and sanity) is soon put to the test. The demands of the children are endless, and the lack of sleep from the nighttime noises make Rowan exhausted and edgy. Because Rowan is not really as experienced as she claimed to be, she is completely and utterly overwhelmed by her job and by the enormous house.
This book begins with the death of a child and with Rowan imprisoned for the crime. The story is told in an epistolary structure with Rowan penning all the details to a lawyer who she hopes will take her case. This is my first book by Ruth Ware and I adored it. The twists and turns were spectacular! Even though Rowan was not totally honest with her employers, I completely sympathized with her and her longing to live in such a glorious home as Heatherbrae House.
I was shocked by the twists in this book and did not want it to end. The conclusion was absolutely stunning! Perfection. I like to get lost in a book, and this book did just that. Highly recommend!
(ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)