27 August 2019: The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware


Dislcaimer: An advanced digital copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. See the bottom of this webpage for publisher/publication details.


Verdict: 4/5 Stars

When Rowan Caine takes a job nannying for a wealthy family in the remote Scottish Highlands she’s expecting to deal with cranky children and overbearing parents. What she isn’t anticipating is that she’ll soon end up in prison, accused of killing a child and upending the lives of her employers. But, since this is Ruth Ware we’re talking about, of course that’s exactly what happens.

Since the release of her first psychological thriller in 2015, British author Ruth Ware has been churning out page turners at an almost unprecedented rate. The Turn of the Key, set to be released in August 2019, is Ware’s fifth stand-alone thriller, following closely on the heels of last year’s The Death of Mrs. Westaway. Like all of Ware’s novels, The Turn of the Key is a heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat read about a young woman with more than a few secrets.

The Turn of the Key begins as Rowan awaits trial for her alleged role in the death of one of the children in her care. The novel takes the form of a letter written from Rowan to a solicitor she is hoping will take on her case. In the letter, Rowan tells her version of the events that transpired leading to a child’s death, and presents evidence she believes will acquit her. Ware’s upcoming fifth novel is part murder mystery and part ghost story. Upon arriving in Scotland, Rowan quickly realizes her new employers are not your average parents. A pair of successful architects, Sandra and Bill have outfitted their home, called Heatherbrae House, with smart technology, cameras, and voice-activated controls. Under constant surveillance, Rowan struggles to get a hold on her new life, and to control the four children she has been tasked with taking care of. To make matters worse, from the moment she arrives, Rowan feels as though someone – or something – is watching her, and a series of bizarre happenings leave her terrified and frantic.

Like everything Ware does, The Turn of the Key is overflowing with atmosphere and vivid descriptions of the setting. Heatherbrae House comes alive under Ware’s pen, and the strange events unfolding inside of its walls will keep readers awake at night, both too afraid to turn off the light and too electrified by the story to but down the book. Ware is a master of foreshadowing, dropping hints throughout the novel that come together to create a shocking and climactic ending. Rowan is an expertly composed character, serving as a compelling witness to the novel’s events, but also holding just enough secrets of her own to keep readers questioning her innocence.  

If you grew up loving Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie you’ll absolutely love The Turn of the Key. It will be the perfect book to read in preparation for Halloween when it hits shelves this fall.


Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Simon & Schuster Canada

Release Date: August 27, 2019

Page Count: 384

Genre: General Fiction, Suspense, Mystery, Psychological Thriller

Disclaimer: www.olivialavery.com earns a small commission from sales made through the Amazon Affiliates program. This does not impact reviews on the site.