The Turn of the Key

By: Ruth Ware

Rowan Cain wasn’t looking for a new job when the perfect opportunity lands in her lap. A wealthy couple living in the remote Heatherbrae House is looking for a live-in nanny to care for their four young girls. The home is a mix of Victorian and modern architecture with every room wire up to Happy the smart-home system. The Scottish location is picturesque, and Rowan has never wanted anything more in her life.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a hellish nightmare- one where a child dies and she lands in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing her lawyer from prison, she struggles to put the pieces together of how events unraveled from the beginning. Was it the constant surveillance, the malfunctioning technology, or the girls themselves who seem to hate her from the start? Maybe it was none of these things and instead something far sinister lurks on the grounds. All Rowan knows is that she was deprived of sleep, and some force is working to remove her from Heatherbrae House at every turn.


Rowan Cain is a piece of work, and I thought she sucked. Can that be the end of my review? No? Fine. Yes, Rowan is unlikable but so are the majority of the characters in this story including the children. I understand the stress Rowan was under tending to the children on her own in a new place with new technology and rules. That, however, does not mean that I thought she made good choices or fit the role of a nanny. She was unfit in every way, and it ended up costing her and the dead child dearly.

I enjoyed how this novel kept me guessing. Is there something paranormal in the house, something evil? Or are the mysterious occurrences caused by a human? If they’re human, who’s doing it? I genuinely felt creeped out in parts which means the author was doing her job to set the tone. Though, Ware does tend to be heavy-handed with hints at times.

The book is quite dark since you know (to a certain extent) how the story will end. The plot twists were okay and made things interesting at least. The Turn of the Key is not a must-read, in my opinion, but it is unique. A lot of other people seem to like it, maybe you would too. I can admit the story is solid even if the main character is an idiot.


Overall rating: 3.5

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