Kait's Bookshelf

The website of author Kaitlin Scirri

Book Review: The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

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Kait's Bookshelf The Turn of the Key Ruth Ware Book Review

Cover art is copyright of Gallery/ Scout Press


Happy August everyone! I can’t believe it’s already August, but I am pleased with the change in temperature here in the northeast. We’re still getting warm, sunny afternoons, but we woke up to a cool, crisp 60 degrees this morning, which felt amazing! Between the chilly air and September being a mere month away, I’m finding myself in the mood for fall – the colors, the refreshing cool down, pumpkins, and of course all things magical and spooky. Speaking of spooky, I have quite the creepy tale to talk about today, Ruth Ware’s upcoming release, The Turn of the Key.

The Turn of the Key was my first Ruth Ware book, so I can’t speak to whether it is in line with her previous books. I can tell you that if you’re in the mood for a spine-tingling mystery with a gothic theme, then you’ve found the right book!

The main character in this book is young Rowan, who takes a job as a nanny in a hauntingly beautiful home in the Scottish Highlands. The home has been completely modernized and is a “smart” home – you can open doors, start and stop music, and adjust the lighting all with a voice command. It seems like a dream…but quickly turns into a nightmare.

The book is told in a unique way. We read Rowan’s point of view as she writes to her lawyer from prison, where she is awaiting trial for the murder of a child. These are not spoilers, by the way, but are included in the publisher’s synopsis.

The story started out fast-paced but then definitely slowed near the middle. Thankfully, it picked up again about two-thirds of the way through.

Overall, I found The Turn of the Key to be a good mystery. There were some twists that I didn’t see coming, which kept me intrigued and turning the pages to find out what would happen. Ms. Ware really messes with readers’ minds with this book (perhaps like she does in her others – I’m not sure!). I wasn’t quite sure while reading if this was a ghost story, a murder-mystery, or a little of both. You’ll see what I mean as you read. I can say for sure that this book made me look over my shoulder and jump at creaking stairs and howling winds.

All in all, I enjoyed it, though I did feel the ending was a bit lacking. The story ends abruptly after a shocking revelation. Again, maybe that’s Ms. Ware’s signature style. In any event, it left me not so much with questions but more with a, “wait, what?!” type of feeling. I was shocked at the revelation and then found myself thinking back over the entire story. I found Ms. Ware’s writing to be very Agatha Christie-ish. So if you like mysteries and whodunits, I’d say give this one a read!

I received an advance reader copy from Gallery/ Scout Press through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Author: kaitsbookshelf

I am a freelance writer and published author of multiple juvenile nonfiction books and a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. I'm also a book reviewer and blogger.

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