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 unraveling 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.
The Turn of the Key has been touted as an addictive thriller and addictive it was, from the beginning to the very end. It follows Rowan Caine who takes the job of a nanny for an affluent family called the Elincourts in Scotland. Everything about the family and the house seem ideal, but in reality, it is nothing more than a mere illusion.
The book definitely seems to have taken plenty of inspiration from the classic tale of The Turn of the Screw, written by Henry James. There are a grumpy and oddly-behaving old female housekeeper and little girls whose behavior seems alarming. Even the book’s title seems to have been taken directly lifted from Henry James’ book.
Apart from the above ‘inspiration’ , which did bother me a little bit, I enjoyed the book. It was well-written and totally engrossing. I will surely check out more books by Ruth Ware.