The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware takes us into Rowan’s jail cell. She is a young woman accused of murdering a girl in her care, and the case against her looks pretty solid. Her story is told in the form of a letter appealing her case to a prominent lawyer. She feels that she must tell her entire story, including all the details leading up to the young girl’s death, in order for him to have a clear picture of her innocence.
The job as a nanny for affluent Sandra and Bill Elincourt’s four daughters seems too good to be true. She will be paid handsomely and be able to live at historic Heatherbrae House. Rowan is filling in after a long line of nannies who have abruptly left the position, so she must commit to starting quickly and staying for at least a year.
Sandra and Bill leave her on her own with the girls almost immediately for work travel. This is when things start going wrong. The combination of the girls’ poor behaviors on top of nightly creepy noises and odd occurrences around the house have Rowan completely on edge. The only person she has to turn to is the handsome caretaker Jack, and even then she is not sure if he is completely trustworthy.
Rowan finds out that there is a tragic past to the house which seems to have affected the girls. As more comes to light, she is confronted by the eldest Elincourt daughter who knows that Rowan is lying about something.
This story is full of secrets, creepiness and lots of twists and turns, especially toward the end, which is when several surprising truths are finally revealed.