When Rowan takes a job as a live-in nanny at a recently remodeled home, she has no idea that not only will she have to learn how to deal with the children, but the possibility of ghosts as well. The house, known as Heatherbrae House, stands alone on the Scottish moors.
The locals continue to tell stories of its troubled past of deaths and the “poison garden” on the grounds. When strange things start to happen, Rowan must dig into the house’s haunted past and find out for herself if it really is haunted by ghosts or if the strange events are caused by something more human.
If you’re looking for a quick recommendation, no, I would not recommend this book.
I’ve read a few of Ruth Ware’s other books, such as The Woman in Cabin 10 and The Death of Mrs. Westaway, but I believe this is her best book yet. Her other books have never really caught my attention. Sure, they were entertaining, but there always seemed to be a few plot holes and questions at the back of my mind by the time I finished reading them. I think she’s getting better in her writing and this book shows it.
My favorite part about this book is the unique narration style. The main character, Rowan, is writing from jail to an attorney. The attorney whom she hopes will take on her case. The entire book is her letter, explaining what really happened and why she’s innocent. Sometimes, I found myself so caught up in the story that when she addressed the attorney, I felt suddenly removed and confused. Like waking up in a new place in the middle of the night and trying to remember where you are. But I think that’s the sign of a good story.
The reason I gave it four stars is because the characters feel a bit bland. The story focuses more on scary situations and surroundings, rather than building the characters. The other reason is because of the writing. It’s functional, but not beautiful. It’s simple. There are a few spots where the author seems to try out some fancy words, but they feel out of place and odd.
Overall, I would recommend this to a fan of Ruth Ware, as I think it’s her best book yet. If you haven’t read her books yet, I would recommend a few other mysteries before The Turn of the Key or any of her other books. I don’t think I would recommend it to a busy mom, as I think there are lots of other books out there that are worth your time. But I still think it’s a pretty good book, just not great.
Four out of five stars
If you enjoyed my review of The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware, you might also like Lock Every Door by Riley Sager. Check out my review!
If you’re interested in purchasing The Turn of the Key, here are some quick links to buy the book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. And, if you’re interested to see what others think, here’s the link to the book on Goodreads.