Hello, fellow book lovers! Today I’m reviewing two mystery/thriller books: The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware and The One by John Marrs.
Mystery/thriller is a genre I’ve struggled with in the past. I always find the plots super intriguing, but I find the execution usually lacking. I’m never scared or nervous, and the plot twists aren’t shocking enough or are so out of left field that they don’t even make sense.
But, I recently read these two books, and they’ve restored my faith in the genre! So, without further ado, here are my reviews for these books!
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware: 4 stars
Paraphrased from Goodreads
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.
This book restored by faith in mystery/thrillers! It was every bit as entertaining, suspenseful, surprising, and interesting as I hoped.
Rowan was a really great narrator; she was simultaneously reliable while leaving room for her to be potentially unreliable. I liked her interactions with the children she nannied, and with the adults in her life. The side characters also added a ton to the overall tension. The parents seem somewhat aloof or neglectful, which made the future seem daunting. The gardener and housekeeper were also both great at adding to the tension and intrigue, and I liked their twists at the end.
I liked the setting and thought it really added to the overall feel of the book. I mean, a secluded mansion in the highlands with a mysterious past and potential ghosts is a pretty great setting, and it really worked with this book.
I did manage to predict two of the major twists, but I still thought they were really well executed and weren’t obvious. They’re both fairly common tropes, which is how they were predictable, but they were still done in a novel way. They made sense in the story, and you could see them coming if you were paying attention, the hallmarks of a good twist.
Overall, I’d definitely recommend this book if you’re like me and don’t tend to enjoy mystery/thrillers!
The One by John Marrs: 4.5 stars
Paraphrased from Goodreads
A simple DNA test is all it takes. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner, the one you are genetically made for.
That’s the promise made by Match Your DNA. A decade ago, the company announced that they had found the gene that pairs each of us with our soul mate. Since then, millions of people around the world have been matched. But the discovery has its downsides: test results have led to the breakup of countless relationships and upended the traditional ideas of dating, romance and love.
Now five very different people have received the notification that they’ve been “Matched.” They’re each about to meet their one true love. But “happily ever after” isn’t guaranteed for everyone. Because even soul mates have secrets.
When people say “this book was compulsively readable”, they’re talking about this book specifically. I picked it up on a whim after seeing it at my local pharmacy, and read it in 24 hours. I couldn’t put it down, it was so addicting. Every chapter ends with an intriguing hook, and I always wanted to know what was happening next.
This book’s biggest potential downfall is the characters, as the book is so plot-heavy that there isn’t necessarily a ton of time to develop good characters. However, I thought they were mostly well-done. I understood the motivations and wants of all the main characters, and they were compelling characters I wanted to root for (even Chris). Some of the side characters fell a little flat, including one of the main villains. But, for what I was expecting to be the biggest weakness, I’d say the characters were overall well-done.
Like I mentioned, the plot is definitely the biggest part of this book. And luckily, it’s as intriguing as you’d expect. Marrs managed to explore a ton of different topics relating to the idea of soulmates, and it was so interesting. He’s not necessarily trying to say anything about soulmates or push a message (not that I picked up on, at least), but there’s a lot to explore and discuss in this book. It’s not trying to be serious, and it isn’t. It’s just a fun, good time.
This is definitely a popcorn-thriller type of book, but if you need a book to hook you, I cannot recommend this enough.
So there are my reviews! Like I said, I’d definitely recommend both of these books, especially if you’re not a fan of mystery/thrillers like me.
Have you read these books? What were your thoughts? Do you have any recommendations for thrillers? What you take the DNA test in The One? Let me know!