Source Received from the publisher
Published by Simon & Schuster Canada on August 6, 2019
Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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.
I love a creepy, atmospheric mystery/thriller, particularly as the temperature drops and the sun sets earlier in the day. We’re approaching my favourite season, and it just feels fantastic to be curling up with a spooky book, a blanket, and a cup of tea or coffee.
This book appealed to me right away, with its remote setting, huge house, and strange behaviour by pretty much every character. I really enjoyed that this story kept me on my toes, and that the narration takes the form of letters written to her lawyer from prison was so enticing.
There were a lot of twists and turns in this story, some of which I anticipated and some I didn’t, and I really enjoyed it! It was a tense, unsettling read because there was a constant sense of things being ‘off’, and I couldn’t stop reading because I needed to know what was really going on. Perhaps my quick reading is why the ending felt as rushed as it did.
This was my favourite of the Ruth Ware books I’ve read, and I definitely recommend it, especially if you’re looking for a page-turning mystery as the cool, dark autumn nights approach.