When Rowan stumbles across an ad for a live-in nanny, she's looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—with a staggeringly generous salary. And when she arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious "smart" house fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.
What Rowan doesn't know is that she's stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and Rowan in prison awaiting trial for murder.
Writing to her lawyer from prison, Rowan struggles to explain the unravelling events that have 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 children, 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.
Rowan 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.
Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware's signature suspenseful style, this is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.
** I received a free kindle ebook from Simon & Schuster Canada via Netgalley in exchange for a review**
From the very start, we believe this woman's name is Rowan the Nanny who is on trial for murder. We don't know who was murdered but when she retells her story to her solicitor she has to go into detail with her side. It was a nightmare but the character building was formidable as I was drawn in and felt very close to the important characters which IMO were the children. Always the children ho-hum. Brats. Yes. They were brats. The only exception, 5 yr old Ellie ultimately. She was adorbs ♥
Heatherbrae House wasn't a "smart-house" if a young child could manipulate it AND from an older phone on top! UGH! I could never live in a house like that! I am not one who trusts technology enough for my life to depend on it. The house was wired up and could function on an app called Happy as it didn't even have doorknobs or light switches.
Still, creak...creak... goes the sound of something in the attic.
Admittingly the suspense was killing me but when the attic was finally opened up there were still the unexplainable open windows, the lost or stolen necklace, the sudden music disturbances and most importantly the history. Why would all the hired Nanny's tuck tail and run? The Turn of the Key is a well-written murder mystery/haunting but I felt I was deceived with all the hidden secrets. The main one being about who Rowan actually was.
I can't imagine what the girls had been through. Was it because of their father? What disturbed them so much? They kept repeating that they hated her and she should go away. Why? Was it not because of what their father made them do?
The strange poison garden seemed exciting but I was disappointed that nothing really became of it. All we know about the history of the house is that it used to be called Struan House and that Dr. Kenwick Grant planted rare poisonous plants nowhere else found in all of Scotland. His daughter died from ingesting some of those plants and he and his wife also passed away there. I wasn't convinced the house was haunted though *shrugs, even though it was meant to be believed as such.
Not particularly fond of the end. Too many loose ends.