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The Turn of the Key ハードカバー – 2019/8/6
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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
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.
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.
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.
"A superb suspense writer… Ware is a master at signaling the presence of evil at the most mundane moments… Rowan stays put for reasons we won’t understand until the final act of this tragedy. And that’s when 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. Brava, Ruth Ware. I daresay even Henry James would be impressed."
—Fresh Air's Maureen Corrigan for The Washington Post
"Let’s just say that if you’ve got an Echo, you’re going to unplug it as soon as you finish the book… 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."
—The New York Times Book Review
"Ruth Ware—one of our favorite thriller writers—is bringing down the house… Read it for a fast-paced ride."
“This appropriately twisty Turn of the Screw update finds the Woman in Cabin 10 author in her most menacing mode, unfurling a shocking saga of murder and deception.”
"A clever and elegant update to James's story… Surveillance and home technology slot easily into the conventions of horror: They bring the sense that your environment is invaded and controlled from afar, and that you are never quite as alone as you might wish… The Turn of the Key, and novels like it, point to a new reality. We are all, constantly, haunted."
"Henry James via Black Mirror… While the ambiguity in James’s masterpiece is 'ghosts or madness?,' here it is 'ghosts or glitch?' Unlike The Turn of the Screw, however, Ware picks a lane, deploying a satisfyingly dizzying parade of twists and reveals without leaving much unexplained."
—Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB)
"Diabolically clever. Twisty and creepy, The Turn of the Key is Ruth Ware's best book yet. Read with a blanket nearby, because you will get shivers up your spine."
—Riley Sager, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Time I Lied
"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, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Before
"Pure suspense, from the first gripping page to the last shocking twist."
—Erin Kelly, bestselling author of He Said/She Said
"Ruth Ware has been called the Agatha Christie of our generation… The Turn of the Key is a great read. You’re going to enjoy it very much."
—#1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci for his “Hot Beach Reads: Guilty Pleasures, Popular Books” pick as part of the Today Show’s “Best Summer Reads of 2019, according to Top Authors” segment
Ruth’s writing was as good as always. And despite the book dragging and dragging with mundane details, I still wanted to finish. That said, I read her other books in 1-2 days, this one took over a week. I remember at one point looking down the Kindle page, seeing that I was at 70%, and thinking, what?! Nothing’s happening!
What I didn’t like:
As much as I love (mentioned earlier) how Ruth usually and brilliantly immerses us readers into the settings, it didn’t work this time. The house sounded like a clown house — I absolutely hated the half Victorian, half severely modern aspect — and the “smart” features sounded like the most annoying way to live ever. I kept thinking more would be explored concerning cameras everywhere, etc, but no, it was just how lights wouldn’t come on because of confusing panels or the out-of-town mother telling her kids goodnight. It seemed like being a “smart” house would be a huge factor in the book, but it really wasn’t. I just didn’t have a sense or feel for the house/gardens/etc; it all seemed one-dimensional. Ok, readers, it’s old and maybe haunted and has weird architecture and cameras and a secret attic. It’s creepy, ok? (It wasn’t, at all.)
Every character was annoying, yet not well fleshed out. It almost felt like even Ruth didn’t like them much and was very unsympathetic in writing about them. Much like the house, they seemed one-dimensional. In fact, I kept getting the kids mixed up because they were just cardboard cutouts (except the baby, who we heard too much about and didn’t need to).
Too many outlandish scenarios that pretty much had no purpose (page filler) ... I don’t want to give away spoilers, so I have to be a bit vague. The hunky handyman there to rescue the damsel in distress, the fact of the parents just leaving a stranger with their young children out in the middle of nowhere for a long time and we hardly hear from them again, the cliched rebellious teenager coming home and acting the fool for really no good reason in the story, how negligent and annoyed the nanny always seemed around very scared, unsettled young kids in her care, the silly footsteps in the attic every night, the story of the previous owner which went nowhere, the descriptions of spit-up, the stories of former nannies/pervert husband that went nowhere, the identity thing, etc. Even being vague here, it’s clear to see how many plot lines with potential just fizzled out. The book plodded along slowly until the very end ... then the twists were all crammed in confusingly and abruptly. And one of the biggest “reveals” came off as too little too late and silly to me. Would someone take things that far? Doubtful. Didn’t ring true.
I hated the ending. Hated it. It was unnecessarily cruel and was a terrible twist. It wasn’t shocking, it was just sad.
But the worst part for me, the most disappointing — the entire book being written as a letter (in this case, to an attorney). UGH. I cannot stand letters, journals, etc used as plot devices for an entire story. It’s cliched, it’s lazy, it’s juvenile, it NEVER works well. Who would write out Every. Single. Detail. in a letter like that? Every daily thought and emotion? No one. Especially when time is of the essence, this person is going to pen a novel in letter form? Of course not. And we don’t find out much after the big reveal, so what’s the point of the letter-to-attorney pretense?
Sorry, Ruth. I’m still a fan and happily look forward to reading your future books, but this one didn’t do it for me. I think it could’ve been a truly great book, there were some unique and original ideas (poison garden, for instance). But it just kind of felt all over the place instead of cohesive and determined. It’s certainly not the worst book I’ve ever read, not even close, but I know you have the abilities to do much better!
*Review from paying customer, not given free book.