Publication: 8th August 2019 – Harvill Secker
I know you don’t know me but you have to help me. I didn’t kill anyone.
When Rowan stumbles across the advert, it seems like too good an opportunity to miss: a live-in nanny position, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when she 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 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…
THE TURN OF THE KEY, the new brilliant novel by one of my favourite authors is out next week and I had the pleasure to read it earlier thanks to Harvill Secker and NetGalley.
The first thing I say every time I read a new novel by Ruth Ware is: “This is her best one so far!” and it happened again after I finished reading THE TURN OF THE KEY. The premise is brilliant: a young woman is in prison, accused of killing the child she was looking after, but she claims to be innocent. Gripping, right? Then I started reading and there was another surprise: the story is told from Rowan, the protagonist, in form of a letter written to her lawyer, explaining the events that landed her in jail. Granted, it’s a very long long letter where sometimes I forgot that she was addressing the lawyer, but still, I loved it. And I loved the setting: Heatherbrae House, a remote and isolated mansion in Scotland. I found it a bit claustrophobic and unsettling. The mansion is old but the technology inside is absurd. Everything is controlled by an app and it creeped me out how the voice of the children’s mother would suddenly boom into the kitchen when you less expected. And let’s not forget about the strange and inexplicable noises around the house at night when Rowan was supposedly alone with just the children sleeping in their rooms. It literally gave me goose bumps.
The protagonist of the story is Rowan, a young woman I found difficult to figure out. She leaves her job in a nursery in London, a job she didn’t much like, to move into a remote house looking after four children. As I read her narrative, from the job interview to the wait for a response, from getting the job to her first day at Heatherbrae House, it was clear that Rowan was hiding something. Why did she want the job so much? Although she was something of a mystery and at times I didn’t like her very much, I found Rowan relatable (having worked as a nanny for four years I know that children can test the patience of a saint), brave, and very determined.
The mysterious noises around the house, the inexplicable deaths occurred in the past, and the ghost stories give the novel a supernatural touch that kept me on the edge of my seat. There is tension and a sense of dread that never leave the pages and the twists just kept coming and took me by surprise.
THE TURN OF THE KEY is definitely a must-read and I can’t wait to see whatever Ruth Ware is working next (which will be my new favourite 😉)!!!