the turn of a key ruth ware

THEIR DREAM HOUSE WILL BECOME HER WORST NIGHTMARE; 'Ruth Ware just gets better and better' Lisa Jewell, bestselling author of The Family. BOOK OF THE WEEK - 'The Turn of the Key' by Ruth Ware The much-anticipated new novel by Ruth Ware—the Agatha Christie of our time. The #1 instant bestseller from the Agatha Christie of our times. When Rowan stumbles across an ad for a live-in nanny, she's looking for something else. the turn of a key ruth ware

The turn of a key ruth ware -

What kind of suspense writer would be so reckless as to invoke Henry James’s masterpiece of terror and ambiguity and expect to see her own work do anything but suffer in the comparison? Happily, the answer is: a superb suspense writer who is dead set on making her own distinctive mark on the governess-alone-with-weird-children-in-an isolated-house formula. The Turn of the Key pays scrupulous homage to James’s The Turn of the Screw and also slyly updates it ... Ware is a master at signaling the presence of evil at the most mundane moments ... Ware’s gifts for structuring an ingenious suspense narrative really come to the fore ... Ware pulls out a stunner on the penultimate page that radically alters how we interpret everything that’s come before ... I daresay even Henry James would be impressed.
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... a clever and elegant update to James's story, one with less ambiguity but its own eerie potency ... contains all the most pleasurable hallmarks of the genre ... Rereading Ware, you admire her cleverness, the way she hid her tracks and left bright threads winding in different directions, but the charge is gone. But though mystery is solved, she offers the possibility of another kind of horror, one that is ongoing and very real.
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Furnishing a traditional Gothic suspense story line with such ultra-modern trappings may seem incongruous or even anachronistic, but Ware handles this juxtaposition admirably ... The Turn of the Key is a modern Gothic novel with a simple, chilling premise: '[A] young woman, alone, in a strange house, with strangers watching you.' Built around this premise are layers of suspense forming a web of complexities reflecting a number of contemporary concerns ... Unlike The Turn of the Screw...Ware picks a lane, deploying a satisfyingly dizzying parade of twists and reveals without leaving much unexplained.
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The Turn of the Key

Chapters 1 - 6The book opens with a series of letters addressed to a solicitor, Mr. Wrexhamasking for help. They are from a 27-year old woman, Rowan Caine, who is in prison awaiting her trial for murder of a child. Her court-appointed layer, Mr. Gates, doesn't believe in her innocence. Her trial is in 140 Days. Rowan starts to dictate her story. She responded to an advert posted by a wealthy couple Sandra and Bill Elincourtseeking a live-in nanny for four children (baby Petra, Ellie 5, Maddie 8, and Rhiannon 14 who is at boarding school during the week). The Elincourts own an architectural firm and have two dogs (Hero and Claude). They also have a young man who drives and does other odd jobs for them, Jack Grant, and an older housekeeper, Jean McKenzie. Bill likes technology. Their house is full of gadgets and "smart" appliances. The front door has no physical lock, only a digital panel. Their house, Heatherbrae House, is located on several acres of wooded grounds and has some superstitious stories that have been passed around about it. Sandra says they've had trouble keeping nannies, the last one being Katya, due to those stories. The beginning of the interview goes smoothly, but she finds a disconcerting drawing and an unfinished note from Katya addressed to whoever the new nanny would be on the floor. Still, Rowan is eager for the job. She was recently passed up for a promoting and her flatmate Rachel is off traveling, so she's wanting a change. Chapters 7 - 11Rowan spends the night at the house in order to continue the interview the next day. All the "smart" technology is overwhelming. She can't get the lights to work or the shower to adjust to her settings. She meets the kids, and learns that Sandra monitors them via the cameras set up in their bedrooms and all over the house, which Rowan finds a bit creepy. She covers up the one in her room. When it's time to leave, Maddie (8-yr-old) tells her not to come work here and that it's not safe because of the ghosts. Rowan gets the job and soon she moves into the house. Sandra gives her a 250-page manual. That night, Bill comes on to her, but she rebuffs him. When she goes to sleep, she hears footsteps but doesn't see anyone there. She feels anxious and needs her inhaler. The Elincourts head out of town the next day. Alone with the kids, they are being difficult. Rowan feels anxious over being monitored via the cameras. She takes the dogs on a walk, but hears a scream from the baby monitor. She runs back, but Jean is there, but says she heard nothing. Chapters 12 - 15In the house, some of the doors have physical locks. For those, the keys that are kept on hooks where kids can't reach them. But there's doors being locked and keys going missing, and Rowan doesn't know what is going on. She's not sure if she can trust either Jean or Jack. Jack seems to be nice, but Jean clearly dislikes her. The kids continue to be difficult. Jack, who lives on the ground as well, shows up to check on things, and Rowan has supper with him. When Rowan she goes to lock the utility room door, she finds the key is missing. But Jack finds it in a place Rowan is sure she searched previously. That night, she hears footsteps again. There's a locked door in her room, and she wants to unlock it to investigate, but can't get it open. She also finds that a necklace she took off earlier has gone missing. Rowan starts to wonder if someone is trying to scare her off, but doesn't know why anyone would want to do that. The next day, Rachel calls from abroad to say hi. Then, the kids take her to a locked garden. It's a lush area, but has a creepy statue of a woman labeled Achlys (Greek Goddess of death and poison).Later, Sandra calls and is angry about her going in the garden, which is full of poisonous plants left over from the previous owner who was a chemist (Kenwick Grant). Rowan realizes Maddie purposefully took her there to get her in trouble. When Rowan confronts the kids about it, Ellie admits it. She also tells her that the chemist's daughter Elspethdied from something in the garden. The chemist went crazy after her death and had to be put away. Chapters 16 - 18That night, music starts blaring from everywhere in the house, and it scares the kids. Rowan is unable to turn it off because she's locked out of the system. Jack shows up and fixes the settings to turn it off, but Rowan still wonders who was trying to log in as her to get her locked out. Jack's also confused since only an admin (Sandra or Bill) could override all the speakers in the house. The next morning, Maddie refuses to get dressed. When she brushes her teeth, she spits into Rowan's face. Rowan nearly hits Maddie. With the kids in school, Rowan and Jack take a tour around town. One of the townswomen, Mrs. Andrews, tells her about the Struans that used to live in the house. It was called the Struan Housethen. One of them killed his wife and child and another committed suicide in the house. That afternoon, Rowan then ties up the garden gate with string. The doorbell app rings in the middle of the night, but she checks the door and no one is there. Rowan returns to her room to find the window open. There's more mysterious footsteps coming from above again that night. The next day, Ellie mentions something about a man who makes the girls do things they don't want to do. Chapters 18 - 24Rhiannon arrives that day, earlier than planned. She's rude and bratty. She goes off to a sleepover at her friend's house. When she comes home, she's drunk. Jack comes by later and offers to check out the locked door in Rhiannon's room. When the open it, it leads to a closet and a boarded up staircase to the attic. In the attic, they are shocked to see it covered in feathers and angry messages saying "WE HATE YOU" "GET OUT" and whatnot. The feathers seem to be from a bird that must have gotten in there. After, she asks Jack (Grant) if he's related to the chemist that lived here, Kendwick Grant. He says no. They lock back up the door, but that night she finds a doll's head from the attic downstairs, which she cuts her hand on. Ellie tells her it was "another little girl" who put it there. Rowan figures out Rhiannon lied about being at her friend's house and was with a guy, Craig. When Rowan says she has to tell to her parents, Rhiannon threatens to expose Rowan. She knows Rowan's real name is Rachel Gerhardt. It's now revealed that Rachel (the real name of our protagonist) used Rowan's (her roommate) background, experience and references to get the nanny job because it was similar but somewhat better than her own. And Rhiannon has figured it out (by doing some research on her online).Chapters 25 - 28Rachel knows she needs to talk to Sandra and Bill and tell them the truth. That night, Jack comes over sees the cut on her hand is infected. They go to his flat across the grounds where he has a first aid kit. Jack tells her that he suspects Bill preyed on all the previous nannies which is why they left. Rachel and Jack sleep together. Before she leaves his flat, Rachel sees the string she used to tie up the garden gate and a purple poisonous flower on a counter top in his flat. She goes back to the house and sees poisonous cherry laurel berries, the same type that killed Elspeth, crushed in the kitchen sink. She feels a breeze in her room and goes up to the attic and finds the window has blown open. She closes it, but also sees a pile of stuff, including her necklace that had gone missing and someone's cell phone. She charges up the cell phone. Rhiannon tries to sneak home after sneaking out and drinking. Rachel confronts her, and tells her to go ahead and expose her. They argue and Rhiannon admits why they are mean to the nannies. Holly, the first nanny, had been sleeping with their father for two years. Rhiannon found out and managed to get Holly to goad her into hitting her in front of a camera to get her fired. Rhiannon also tells Rachel that he had another family, another child, before them who he left. Rachel already knows this though, since she now reveals via narration that she is Bill Elincourt's first child. Chapters 29 - 31Rachel now fills in details of her past, that she was the child that reminded her mother of the man (Bill) that left her when she was nine months pregnant. Rachel grew up hungry for her mother's approval, but could never get it. The necklace she had that went missing was the only gift he ever sent to Rachel, which she always wore. Rachel found the job ad while Googling his name, and she applied for the job because she wanted to meet him, only to find out what type of man he really was the first night. When she goes to check on the kids, Maddie is missing. The find her dead body on the cobblestones just outside Rachel's window. The police think that Rachel and Maddie must have had some sort of altercation that happened in Rachel's room which is how Maddie ended up outside Rachel's window. Because Rachel covered up the camera in her room, she can't prove otherwise. Through the investigation, it's revealed that Jack has a rather mundane secret, that he is married, with a wife and two year old. Rachel ends her letter to Mr. Wrexham by begging him to take her case, saying she's innocent. EpilogueThe book ends with other other letters and papers that reveal what happened after. We find out that Rachel never ends up sending the letter to Mr. Wrexham. We learn that Jean was unfriendly, since she viewed the nannies as more pretty girls who would come and leave and break the little girls' hearts. Sandra ended up leaving Bill and taking the children. Ellie writes Rachel a letter admitting that she was the one who pushed Maddie. Maddie was the one messing around in the attic to try to scare Rachel. (She used the cell phone with Sandra's PIN in order to have access to the controls of the house to scare her, etc.)

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See The Turn of the Keyon Amazon.
  • 02 Apr 2020
  • Vintage Publishing
  • Vintage
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1784708097
  • 9781784708092
  • 61,004
  • Review Text

    Ware tells a cracking tale and, as in her breakout novel In a Dark, Dark Wood, the house itself plays a hugely menacing part in proceedings.
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    Review quote

    So clever and original . . . Pure suspense, from the first gripping page to the last shocking twist -- Erin Kelly Ware tells a cracking tale and, as in her breakout novel In a Dark, Dark Wood, the house itself plays a hugely menacing part in proceedings. * Guardian * Ware tells a cracking tale and, as in her breakout novel In a Dark, Dark Wood, the house itself plays a hugely menacing part in proceedings. * Guardian * An ingenious suspense narrative...Ware pulls out a stunner on the penultimate page that radically alters how we interpret everything that's come before. I daresay even Henry James would be impressed. * Washington Post * A ghost story for the twenty-first century, a propulsive gothic thriller with characters you'll really care about. With this book, Ruth Ware proves she's the true heir to Wilkie Collins. Creepy, engrossing, and oh-so-hard to put down -- JP Delaney
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    About Ruth Ware

    Ruth Ware is an international number one bestseller. Her thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, The Lying Game, The Death of Mrs Westaway and The Turn of the Key have appeared on bestseller lists around the world, including the Sunday Times and New York Times. Her books have been optioned for TV and film and she is published in more than 40 languages. Ruth lives near Brighton with her family.
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    Rating details

    184,906 ratings

    3.93 out of 5 stars

    5 28% (51,410)

    4 44% (82,276)

    3 22% (40,741)

    2 4% (8,111)

    1 1% (2,368)

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