Review: The Turn of the Key

Title: The Turn of the Key
Author: Ruth Ware
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback, Ebook
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

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.


I loved this thriller!

I read The Turn of the Screw by Henry James a few times in university, and I loved it. I was excited to see what would happen in this adaptation.

This story was very fast paced. I read it in one day because I couldn’t put it down. It was quite creepy too. One new element in this adaptation was that the home was a “smart” home. Everything was connected by an app, including the water in the shower and the locks on the front door. These things were convenient, until they malfunctioned. The home was originally a Victorian house, but was renovated to have this modern technology. I love how this can be compared to the original book, Turn of the Screw, which was a Victorian novella, but has been adapted into this modern story.

One thing that I can’t really talk about is the ending. It gave more closure than the original story, but it felt a little rushed, especially in the last couple of pages. I’m curious to hear what other readers thought of this ending.

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

Have you read The Turn of the Key? What did you think of it?

Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

4 thoughts on “Review: The Turn of the Key”

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