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  • Writer's pictureAshley Mongrain

The Turn of the Key

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

Rating - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

"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."


The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware is an atmospheric standalone mystery thriller novel.

I thought that this book had a lot going for it, up until the very end. The book opens up with the reader knowing that someone is dead, and the main character, Rowan, is being blamed for the death. The story pulls you in right from the beginning and you spend the rest of the book figuring out what actually happened.

This takes place in a house that is unsettling to say the least. I found that the creepiest thing about this book was the fact that the house was outfitted with secret security cameras all over the place. Thinking about staying in a house with literal eyes in the walls was what built the atmosphere for me.

The atmosphere completely falls apart, however, when we get to the end of the book and what really happened that night is revealed. The way it ended was something that I personally don't like my books to do as I feel cheated, but you might not be bothered by it.

Overall though, the plot was good, the characters were well-written and the atmosphere was top notch.

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