Ruth Ware's writing! I have been eagerly waiting for her newest - The Turn of the Key.
The cover image makes me wonder what's on the other side of the door and the title itself hints at things hidden away. The premise builds on that initial impression.....
Childcare worker Rowan is looking for a job change. When she sees an ad for a live in nanny for the Elincourt family, she applies - and to her surprise gets the job. One catch - she must start asap. Did I mention that Heatherbrae House is quite isolated out in the countryside? And that it is a 'smart' house - controlled by an app? A Gothic feel with a side of modern.
We know that something has gone very, very wrong right from the beginning of the book. Rowan is writing a letter to a lawyer, explaining what happened and I was caught up in the tale immediately.
Rowan is left in charge of the four daughters right away as Mr and Mrs Elincourt must travel to a convention for work. This was unexpected for Rowan. And the children do not seem to want her there. But is it just the children? The house seems to have a mind of its own as well.....
Ruth Ware is a master at building the suspense. Everyday occurrences take on a malevolent air - items misplaced, unexplained drafts and noises and more. The tension grows and grows - and I found myself mentally shouting at Rowan to just leave the house. The movie equivalent of don't go in the basement applies to the attic in this case.
Ware's description of the house made it easy to imagine the setting. Making the house a 'smart' house adds a layer and more questions to the story. I appreciated the many what if's and possibilities afforded by the isolation and the electronics - and the history of the house and previous nannies. Let alone the family - there are secrets in this house, and Rowan hints at one in her own as well.
The ending provides a twist - one I hadn't thought of, but the finale wasn't the outcome I had imagined.
I chose to listen to The Turn of the Key. Imogen Church was the reader and she was brilliant! Her interpretation of Rowan's fear, frustration and anger are so well done. Listening drew me into Rowan's state of mind and amplified the tension. The description of events was so creepy - I will never hear the word 'creak' again without hearing her voice. I simply couldn't stop listening. I've said it before and I'll say it again - listening immerses me in a book. And The Turn of the Key was a standout! Well done! Listen to an excerpt of The Turn of the Key.