The Turn of the Key
Great opening chapter: check
Building suspense: check
Mysterious forces: check
Creepy smart home: check
Black Mirror-esque: check
“Something inside me seemed to twist and break, just a little, and suddenly I was not sure if I should have come here at all. But I knew one thing. I could not go back. Not now.”
The Turn of the Key had equal parts Hitchcock and Black Mirror elements to it. The reader knows from the beginning that something good is not going to happen to the main character. Dumb choices, lies, and a lot of point of no returns, made for a protagonist that was set up to fail. But it was oh so entertaining.
All Rowan really wanted was to confront her past. However, she did it the most deceitful way that one can argue if she really did deserve what happened to her throughout the course of the book. We get glimpses of her real character when interacting with children. It also brings up doubts about her nanny abilities. Rowan is a character that’s not really likeable, but very human indeed.
The creepy smart home really stole the show though. All the glitches and strange goings on really made the atmosphere foreboding and haunting. All that builds up and Rowan’s character slowly frays and shows sign of losing her sanity.
Slight spoiler alert:
The twist at the end really shocked me. I had an inkling but the book tricked me overall.
With the turn of a key, Rowan’s decisions are locked in and her future forever set.
Ruth Ware is a new-to-me author and I found her writing style fluid and easy to read. Not a bad introduction to her books, and I look forward to reading more from her.
The Turn of the Key
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.