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The Turn of the Key

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  303 ratings  ·  139 reviews
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, The Lying Game, and The Death of Mrs. Westaway comes Ruth Ware’s highly anticipated fifth novel.

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 sal
Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: August 6th 2019 by Gallery/Scout Press
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Johnna | abookinmybag I discovered Ruth Ware in 2018, like, halfway through the year and devoured all but her first novel before the end of the year. I finished "In a Dark,…moreI discovered Ruth Ware in 2018, like, halfway through the year and devoured all but her first novel before the end of the year. I finished "In a Dark, Dark Wood" today and cannot wait to have this one in my possession. I hope she does a tour and comes close to my home! I would really like to get it and have it signed! (less)

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3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  303 ratings  ·  139 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
"Dear Mr. Wrexham,
You have no idea how many times I have started this letter and screwed up the resulting mess, but I've realized there is no magic formula here. There is no way I can make you listen to my case. So I'm just going to have to do my best to set things out. However long it takes, however much I mess this up, I'm just going to keep going and tell the truth."

And so begins our tale. I'm sure that, unless you've been walking around with your eyes closed and your ears plugged up, you've
Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)
I have read and enjoyed all of Ruth Ware’s books, therefore I was incredibly excited to be fortunate enough to receive an early review copy of The Turn of the Key. Being a fan of the author, it is very hard to write a review about a book that just didn’t WOW me. This was a good but I wouldn’t say great read.

I have recently read several books where we know what happens, what the “big tell” is at the beginning of the novel. We then work through the past events and how we got to this ending. This
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A child is dead and a nanny is in prison while her trial is pending. This novel consists of a letter she is writing to a lawyer explaining her innocence of the murder and how she wound up incarcerated. The thing is she is not entirely blameless. One thing is certain: “if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.”
Book of Secrets
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved it! THE TURN OF THE KEY is creepy, twisted, and disturbing, and totally absorbing — a modern-day The Turn of the Screw, but far more entertaining.

Rowan Caine’s new dream job as nanny for the seemingly perfect Elincourt family quickly turned into her worst nightmare. Their remote home in the Scottish Highlands called Heatherbrae House was an unusual hybrid of modern “smart” design and spooky Gothic Victorian. Inside its walls, cameras were watching, machines were listening for
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
This is my first Ruth Ware book and I plan to read more because of the good things I've read about her books. The Turn of the Key takes place in an old home, Heatherbrae House, that has been restored faithfully in parts of it while other parts have been gutted and transformed into the most modern of homes. The entire home has "smart home" features which seem to have been set to an overly intrusive level. Not only that, the features don't always work as intended or don't work at all, making the h ...more
Katie B
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Out of the four Ruth Ware novels I have read (still need to get to The Lying Game), this one is my favorite. While I liked her other books, either my interest would wane a bit and/or I had an idea or two about the ending. With this book, my eyes were practically glued to the pages because I really had no clue where the author was going to go with the story. This was a fun read for me which is all I really wanted when I picked up the book.

A nanny is in prison awaiting trial for murder. S
Monika Sadowski
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I knew that book by Ruth Ware will be good, but I didn’t suspect that it’s going to be sooo good. Creepy, fast pace, twisty and keeping me on the edge from the first to the last page. Hunted house, wired family and one nanny who tries to figure out what is happening around her. Just one day, fantastic read.

Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery/Scout Press for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
I was really excited to receive my copy of THE TURN OF THE KEY; I love reading Ruth Ware! Rowan Caine begins a "too good to be true" job as a live in nanny in an incredibility "smart" home for a fantastically great salary. People are keeping secrets while the atmosphere get more and more tense. Get prepared for a couple of surprises you'll never see coming! I highly recommend this novel.
I'm torn between 3 and 4 stars, but since it's Ruth Ware (and the fact that I loved the story, for the most part), I'll bump it up. Turn of the Key is Ware's fifth novel, and I'll tell you right now that all five of them are worth binge-reading (well, maybe not The Lying Game hehe). Turn of the Key is the most suspense-driven novel that Ware has provided readers yet; with it's slow building suspense oozing from the pages.

Rowan Caine lives around London, working as a daycare instructor at Li
Jonathan Maas
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Putting a 5 Star Review here.

This is not released yet, but considering all other Ruth Ware books are 7/5 stars for me, this will be 5/5 stars on average even if it is just blank pages.
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was blown away by this book, I would have read it in one sitting, but unfortunately, I had to go to work (very inconvenient)!

This book is super creepy, it’s a page turner, with so many great twists I couldn’t keep up…. It is my favorite Ruth Ware novel to date.

We have nanny (Rowan) await trial for murder of a child in her care. The story is told through Rowans eyes, in letters scribed to her lawyer of the events leading up to her incarceration.

She tells her story from the beginning how she ca
I’m a huge Ruth Ware fan and have read and enjoyed all of her books, but this was by far my favorite. Right from the start, we learn that the protagonist, Rowan, is in prison writing to employ the help of a solicitor to help her overturn the charge of murder for which she is incarcerated. And then she dives right into her story. I was captivated from the very start and would have read this straight through had I unlimited time to read.

Rowan travels to isolated northern Scotland to become a nann
Katie (katieladyreads)
Easy, fast read but nothing new or exciting here. Felt a little bit too similar to the death of Mrs. westaway.
Laura Rash
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dark and a tad bit creepy-but that’s what makes a Ruth Ware book so good! Not quite what I expected when all was said and done which is a good thing bc I didn’t see where it was heading at all.
Emily May
Apr 22, 2019 marked it as arc-2019  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller, arc

ARC provided in exchange for honest review 🗝
The fabled house sits atop the Scottish Highlands. A mix of vintage and contemporary. But as soon Rowan Caine begins her dream job, nanny to the Elincort children, mysterious, ghostly and frightening occurrences start to unfold. A wildly entertaining and atmospheric tale reminiscent of Henry James' The Turn of the Screw and Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House. This is Ruth Ware's best work yet.
Apr 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
Told in Ruth Ware's signature gothic style - albeit with a few modern additions this time (the ULTIMATE smart house, equipped with voice recognition, personalized shower experiences, mood lighting, music and of course, cameras), The Turn of the Key does a fantastic job of building the suspense page by page. The prologue lets us know that Rowan is sitting in jail accused of murder for one of the children she is nannying for - via a letter she writes to a lawyer enlisting his help. We then start a ...more
Jessica Woodbury
I go hot and cold on Ruth Ware, but part of that is because she's so willing to move around within genre. It's one of the things I like about her. Her readers may be surprised to find that this really isn't a crime novel at all. It's pretty straight up horror. There is a mystery if you lose the word loosely, if you find out something has happened at the beginning of the book and then flash back to understand how and why, but it's a stretch. It's just a horror novel with a flashback structure, re ...more
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't remember the last time I read a book this quickly! No sleep, barely any snacks and great amount of anxiety. Once again, I confirm that Ruth Ware is one of the best creators of eerie atmosphere, haunting sceneries and chilling characters. The Turn of the Key was highly entertaining, which made me realize that I need more of Ruth Ware's books! The problem is, I read them all.

Rowan Caine takes up a "too good to be true job" offer, to take care of four girls somewhere in Scotland. She is su
ruth ware, take two.
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
Ruth Ware is double-triple back on form! Yay! Having blown through The Turn of the Key in 12 hours flat (with some sleep inbetween!), I am more sound than ever in my thinking The Death of Mrs. Westaway was an earlier, shelved novel. The mastery in The Turn of the Key feels like the most natural progression from The Woman in Cabin 10 in terms of character, setting, mood, twists. The Lying Game felt like a classic "too short a deadline to bang out a book after having become famous" miss and then W ...more
Laura Peden
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-tbr, netgalley
The Turn of The Key is Ruth Ware’s upcoming release with a pub date of August 8th and WOW did it deliver! Although I’ve only read one of her previous books, The Death of Mrs. Westaway, I’ve heard from multiple people who have read all her work that this is her best yet. Rowen is an au pair who comes across an advert for a position in the Scottish Highlands and she immediately applies for the position. She longs to leave London and her current job at a daycare behind, looking for a fresh start. H ...more
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I adore Ruth Ware's books and this immediately became my favorite as I read it in one sitting! It has all her classic features: suspense, unreliable, often unlikable characters, a masterful and intricate plot, and gothic elements for the creep factor we readers have come to know and love! When Rowan applies for a nanny job in Scotland, she is lured by the money as well as the promise that the house and grounds are magnificent. And yes, it is a "smart" house with all the requisite bells and whist ...more
Jennifer Novotney
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware starts out in a letter written from a Scotland jail by Rowan Caine, a former nanny, to Mr. Wrexham, an attorney. She’s pleading for him to represent her in court as she’s been accused of murdering a child, her former charge.

Rowan then goes on to tell the story of how she got her nanny job with the Elincourts at their supposedly haunted estate, Heatherbrae House. There are several references to the Victorian, which I can’t help but think is a nod to similarly styl
Lisa Mancini
I read this book already but it was called something else. I know. The Turn of the Screw. Underwhelming read. Overrated author.
Christi M
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved it. Full review to come closer to publication date.
Nancy McFarlane
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most brilliantly written thrillers I’ve read in a while! Told in a letter written in prison while awaiting trial for murder, Rowan lays out the circumstances of her taking a job as a nanny to a family in Scotland, the death of one of her charges, and her innocence, hoping she can convince a famous solicitor to take her case.The setting in an old manor in the middle of nowhere Scotland adds to the creepy, ghostly, almost gothic like atmosphere. The addition of smart lights,cameras,soun ...more
Apr 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
I've felt that each of Ware's books has just gotten better and better. I LOVED The Death of Mrs. Westaway. So I was super eager to read her new one. Sadly, I was disappointed. This one was gripping enough, but the story felt like it didn't progress and we had a lot of the same things happening over and over again. Then when the end came, it was resolved too quickly and left me unsatisfied. I didn't see where this one was going, though I haven't read James's Turn of the Screw either.
Apr 24, 2019 marked it as not-released-tbr  ·  review of another edition
Ooo! A description! I have a feeling this book is going to blow up (in a good way)

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Jill Atkins
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ruth Ware strikes again with her newest novel, The Turn of the Key. For fans of The Lying Game and The Death of Mrs. Westaway, Ware’s fifth novel will satisfy any domestic thriller fan with every twist of the plot...and household keys.

This novel opens with an experienced childcare provider, Rowan Caine, writing from prison. She explains her crime after she applied for a private nanny position with the family who lives in a secluded, magical Scottish Highlands smart-home, Heatherbrae House. Look
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Ruth Ware grew up in Sussex, on the south coast of England. After graduating from Manchester University she moved to Paris, before settling in North London. She has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer. She is married with two small children, and In a Dark, Dark Wood is her début thriller.

Find her on twitter at