The Turn of the Key is the fifth book by Ruth Ware, and the first that I’ve read by her. I definitely feel like I started off on the right foot.
This book was creepy. It had suspense, mystery, and an element which left you puzzling whether or not it was supernatural, or if there was a logical explanation for it. The main character we have is Rowan. Following a rough childhood, she became a nanny and began working at a daycare. After finding an advertisement for a nannying job with a salary she can’t say no to, she leaves London and moves to the Scottish highlands to work for a family in a remote, and extravagant house. The parents are aloof, busy, and flustered by the departure of the previous four nannies they’ve hired.
As Rowan starts her new job, she begins to wonder if the nannies left because of the parents, the slightly aloof and creepy children, or something more sinister happening in a house with a lot of history.
This book is told in an epistolary format, as Rowan writes letters to appeal to a lawyer she wants to represent her in the trial for the murder of one of the children. Most of the time that I was reading this, I forgot that it was written in this format, and liked the reminders of the jumps in time we were experiencing.
Maybe it’s because I read the book in one day, but I found myself so hooked into the plot and Rowan’s actions (and her assurances that she was innocent), that I didn’t have time to theorize or try and figure out what the twists were. I was along for the ride, and found the plot twists, surprising and very well executed.
This was the thirteenth thriller/mystery/horror book that I’ve read this year, and is definitely towards the top of the list. It’s the book that surprised me the most. From what I’ve seen and read about Ruth Ware’s other books, this is her best so far. I’m reluctant to go back and read some of her older novels, but if they have any similar twists to this one, I definitely want to give them a try.