The Turn of the Key

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About The Book

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 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.

About The Author

Author photograph © Gemma Day Photography

Ruth Ware worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language, and a press officer before settling down as a full-time writer. She now lives with her family in Sussex, on the south coast of England. She is the #1 The New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark WoodThe Woman in Cabin 10, The Lying Game, and The Death of Mrs. Westaway. Visit her at RuthWare.com or follow her on Twitter @RuthWareWriter.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (August 2019)
  • Length: 352 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781501192364

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Raves and Reviews

Praise for Turn of the Key:

"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

“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.”
— ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

"Ware cleverly puts a high-tech spin on [The Turn of the Screw’s] gothic foundations of spellbinding menace set in a remote cavernous mansion with mysterious locked doors and a spooky garden… Ware’s James-like embroidery of the strange and sinister produces a Turn of the Screw with cellphones and Teslas that will enthrall today’s readers… it will not disappoint."
— BOOKLIST, starred review

"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 SAGAR, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Time I Lied

"Ware hits another one out of the park. Fans of hers or anyone with a taste for the disturbing will stay up late devouring this."
— LIBRARY JOURNAL, starred review

“Ware does a good job of creating tension. . . . But above all, Ware skillfully lays the bread crumbs to the novel’s satisfying conclusion . . . [that] leaves readers with one final, haunting question, one that will stay with them long after they turn the last page.”
 PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review

"Pure suspense, from the first gripping page to the last shocking twist."
— ERIN KELLY, bestselling author of He Said/She Said

“Truly terrifying! Ware perfects her ability to craft atmosphere and sustain tension with each novel.”
KIRKUS REVIEWS

"If you've never spent a long weekend devouring a Ruth Ware thriller on a hammock, this is the summer to start. Her fifth novel, The Turn of the Key, is set in the Scottish Highlands and is as compulsively readable as you would expect a Ware book to be."
— CBS WATCH! MAGAZINE
 

"Chilling."
— MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE

“We hope it’s not too much to say that Ruth Ware is the future of traditional mystery in contemporary settings; each of her novels takes us into well-worn territory and reinvents for the present day. Her upcoming mystery is no exception.”
— CRIMEREADS

"Readers, you’ll want to sleep with the lights on (and your Alexa off) after reading this spooky tale from Ruth Ware."
— BOOKISH

“The No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in Cabin 10 returns this summer with a new novel fans of the thriller genre will love."
— WORKINGMOTHER.COM

"All of Ruth Ware’s books have been creepy and deeply mysterious, in other words . . . awesome! But I think this might be her best one yet."
— GET LITERARY

"The Turn of the Key is a brilliantly crafted, chilling suspense thriller. Clues are seeded through the tale like poisonous plants that you only recognise when it's far too late. Trust no one in this novel except Ruth Ware—she has come up with a totally compelling tale once again."
— JANE CASEY, award-winning author of The Burning

"Superb as expected. . . . Lovely echoes of Turn of the Screw in a contemporary thriller. A masterclass in tension." 
— SARAH PINBOROUGHNew York Times bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes

"Ware’s mastery of the traditional mystery merged with the twisty psychological thriller never fails to impress! While Ware is known for her sudden reversals, I promise you that you’ll never see the end of The Turn of the Key coming. Which means everyone needs to read it so we can talk about that ending."
LITHUB

"A classically spooky thriller involving a potentially murderous nanny and a smart house gone wrong in the Scottish Highlands. Ruth Ware is a No. 1 New York Times bestselling author, and her fans are legion and loyal."
— VOX

"A tale full of mystery and suspense that no one other than Ware can weave, The Turn of the Key will keep you on the edge of your seat." 
— GRAND ISLAND INDEPENDENT

"Ruth Ware is the master of writing terrifying novels that readers can’t get enough of. From The Woman in Cabin 10 to The Lying Game and a plethora of other smash hits, she knows what it takes to write a truly captivating book."
— SHE READS

"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." 
— DAVID BALDACCI, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Redemption and One Good Deed

"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

“Over the course of four explosive novels—In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, The Lying Game, and The Death of Mrs. Westaway—Ware has established herself as one of the best mystery writers working today, and her streak remains unbroken with this, her fifth novel.” 
— B&N READS

“Ware is a cunning author with many books and a bag of tricks up her sleeves. . . . [She] never loses track of her storyline and I found this one irresistible from first page to final line.”
THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Praise for Death of Mrs Westaway:

"Spooky and claustrophobic, Ware’s newest release will have you looking over your shoulder and sleeping with the light on . . . A master of atmosphere, Ware has crafted an indelible mystery with The Death of Mrs. Westaway."
— WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Praise for The Lying Game

“This is the sort of territory where Ruth Ware is most at home. She’s strongest when she’s writing about embattled women, best when characters have a slight sense of privilege about themselves, most effective when events creep along the edges of disaster. Ware’s new book has all of this plus an air of foreboding that won’t go away.”
— TORONTO STAR

“An absorbing summer read perfect for a stormy night out at the lake, The Lying Game will capture your attention and hold it until the very end.”
— WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

"So many questions . . . until the very last page! Needless to say, I could not put this book down!"
— REESE WITHERSPOON

Praise for The Woman in Cabin 10

“Ware plunges the reader headlong into this action-packed, vivid tale, rendering one unable to come up for air until the very last page is turned.”
— TORONTO STAR

“A fantastic read. A fog-enshrouded cruise ship, a twisty puzzle of a murder mystery reminiscent of Agatha Christie, and unrelenting suspense.  Batten down the hatches and prepare to read it in one sitting!”
— SHARI LAPENA, author of The Couple Next Door

Praise for In a Dark, Dark Wood

“Prepare to be scared . . . really scared! When I read this page-turning book about a bachelorette party gone wrong, I almost bit all my fingernails off!”
— REESE WITHERSPOON

“Who pulls a gun at a bachelorette party? The answers are unveiled with Gillian Flynn–style trickery.”
— O MAGAZINE

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    Author photograph © Gemma Day Photography
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