The Turn of the Key, Ruth Ware: Book Review

The new deliciously-haunting thriller by bestseller Ruth Ware, get ready for The Turn of the Key.

The plot:

When Rowan comes across the advert, it seems too good to be true: a live-in nanny position, with an extremely generous salary.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare – one that will end with a child dead and her in a cell awaiting trial for murder.

She knows she’s made mistakes. But she’s not guilty – at least not of murder.

Which means someone else is…

If you think you’ve predicted the ending, you are most definitely wrong

This book really knows how to drag you in from the get-go. Within the first few pages, we hear pleas from Rowan to a lawyer, setting the scene for what is a very tense book. It’s one of those ones you immediately can’t put down – very addictive.

Much like Ware’s other books, it’s very well written, and I feel like she’s really got the tone of Rowan spot on. A little bit edgy, with a few worrying traits but overall, someone who you become to trust as a narrator. As the story progresses, you enter into Rowan’s story, but you do revert to the present, as a grounding point, and helps you to make a decision on the character.

The plot itself was great! It sort of felt like a murder-mystery – you’re told very early on that a child has died, but not who or how or why. You’re playing the ‘what’s going to happen’ game, and if you think you’ve predicted it, you are most definitely wrong.

In terms of other books in the gothic genre, I felt like this element was down-played. It could have been a lot more atmospheric, although there were a few parts which gave me goose bumps. The house is shown as old but with modern technology, and that’s probably why this felt more like a psychological thriller than your typical ghost story.

It’s likened to The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, but I haven’t read this yet (although very high on my list), so can’t analyse this element, but I’d say it’s a mix of Laura Purcell’s The Silent Companions but with Cara Hunter’s mind and writing.

I don’t think The Turn of the Key will keep you up at night in comparison to some others in this genre, but it’s definitely worth reading for the thrills and shocking twists. The ending wasn’t particularly rushed, but brutal and very enjoyable.

I had about three different endings planned and still didn’t guess it. And that’s saying a lot. I read a lot of these books, so it takes a lot for me to be shocked. But shocked I was.

There were many short chapters, to keep you heavily engaged. It’s a book you won’t feel guilty about reading all evening.

A solid 4/5 stars – highly gripping, and one I’d love to read again in a few months.

I read this book as part of a read-along with the wonderful Tandem Collective. Find out more about them here.

The Turn of the Key, Ruth Ware, RRP £8.99 (paperback); Book Depository 

Pages: 340

Publisher: Vintage

Genre: Thriller

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