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.
A friend of mine read this book, and I saw her raving about it so when I saw it I had to pick it up. And I am so glad that I did. This was by far one of the best thriller books I have ever read. It was so intense.
I adore a thriller book that I cannot guess any part of the plot or what might happen next, and this was one of them, I was forever trying to figure out what was going on, the plot was absolutely fabulous and so well thought out and delivered.
The writing was phenomenal, the way the author set the scene, it was like I could see the book play out through the pages. Ruth Ware is so good at creating an atmosphere, a creepy ambiance that has you on the edge of your seat the whole time.
I really liked how the story was told by Rowan writing a letter to a layer from her prison cell, trying to explain her side of the story, I hadn’t read a book in that style before and I throughly enjoyed it.
The story follows Rowan, a childcare practitioner who takes on a job as I live in nanny in a remote location in Scotland, from the get go something seems to be off with the house or with the family, the mother admits early on that quite a few previous nannies have quit and left quickly, seemingly being spooked by the history of the house. The descriptions are brilliant, for both the scene and the characters, it is just so well written.
Rowan isn’t easily spooked, and takes the job even after what seems like a warning from one of the children. It’s not an easy start for her, unexplained things happen, the children aren’t on their best behaviour and Rowan seems to get a bit stressed, which I think I would too if I was left with children I had just met and hasn’t established a bond with. However, she carries on doing her job, trying to figure out what is going on in the house, while the parents are away on business, checking in on her through their technology based house, speakers and cameras seemingly in every room, this was something I found rather creepy also, I couldn’t imagine feeling like I was being watched all the time. I did feel for Rowan, it seemed that she was thrown right into all of this after just one interview and one night with the mother hind to get to know the children and the house.
Things eventually take a dramatic and awful turn, a child has died and Rowan is the person responsible, so of course she gets the blame. There were so many possibilities floating through my head at this point, that I just didn’t quite know what to believe.
I truly never guess anything until the very last pages, when Rowan was explaining herself, and when the letter with the truth is revealed, it was not what I was expecting at all. I loved it, I loved being creeped out the whole way through, no knowing what was real or what actually happened, it made for a great read. It’s safe to say I loved the ending, even though I still wanted more!
I’ve already bought two more books by Ruth Ware and afternoon this I can’t wait to get stuck into them! I am so glad I picked this up, if you like thriller books with a really creepy undertone, please give this one a go! It’s gone straight to the top of my favourite thriller books list.