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The turn of the key
2019
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Author Notes
Ruth Ware grew up in Lewes, in Sussex. After graduating from Manchester University she moved to Paris, before settling in North London. She has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer. In a Dark, Dark Wood is her début thriller. <p> Ruth's second novel, The Woman in Cabin 10, became a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller. <p> (Bowker Author Biography) Ruth Ware was born in West Sussex, England in 1977. She is a graduate of Manchester University. She has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language, and a press officer. She is the author of the psychological crime thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood, and the bestseller, The Woman in Cabin 10. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)
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Fiction
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Trade Reviews

  New York Times Review

In Ware's latest - a nod to "The Him of the Screw" - a nanny arrives at an isolated country house in the Scottish Highlands, and before long, one of her charges is dead. "The Turn of the Key" unfolds as a letter to a prospective lawyer from that nanny, Rowan Caine, who's in jail awaiting trial for the murder. "Dear Mr. Wrexham," she pleads, "Please help me. I didn't kill anyone." In Rowan's telling, she had barely arrived at the job when ominous things began to happen: First she stumbled upon a locked garden filled with poisonous plants; then she discovered an attic strewn with broken china dolls and thick black feathers, its walls graffitied with threats. Once, cleaning up after dinner, she found the words "we hate you" floating in a bowl of alphabet pasta. Most disturbing of all, though, the house's smart technology started malfunctioning shortly after she started, turning off lights, locking doors and worse, much worse (let's just say that if you've got an Echo, you're going to unplug it as soon as you finish the book). "There was a strange feeling of split identity... as though the house was trying hard to be one thing" while the owners "pulled it relentlessly in the other direction ... trying to make it into something against its own will," Rowan thinks, "something it was never meant to be, modern and stylish and slick." The evil nanny is, by this point, a tired thriller trope, and Ware doesn't bring much originality to Rowan, who is - surprise! - hiding a secret and isn't what she seems. But what Ware does beautifully is infuse "The Turn of the Key" with a creepy Gothic sensibility. For all of the novel's contemporary touches - particularly the house's malevolent smart technology - she has delivered an old-fashioned horror story, peopled by children with "eyes full of malice," a dour housekeeper straight out of "Rebecca" and an inscrutable handyman.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Agatha Award finalist Edwin Hill is the author of Little Comfort.
Summary
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER <br> <br> From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood , The Woman in Cabin 10 , The Lying Game , and The Death of Mrs. Westaway comes Ruth Ware's highly anticipated fifth novel. <br> <br> 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.<br> <br> 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.<br> <br> 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.<br> <br> It was everything.<br> <br> 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.<br> <br> Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware's signature suspenseful style, The Turn of the Key is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.
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