5 Ruth Ware Novels That Still Send Chills Down Our Spines

September 3 2020

In less than a week’s time, bestselling thriller author Ruth Ware will be publishing yet another captivating piece of literary suspense for her fans to devour. One by One, publishing September 8, is set in a rustic ski chalet high up in the French Alps as coworkers gather for a corporate retreat. But when a devastating avalanche hits, cutting the group off from the outside world, suspense heightens. With each hour that passes, the chalet grows colder, fears are exacerbated, and the group begins to dwindle . . . one by one. 

In anticipation of this chilling new read, we’re refreshing ourselves with Ruth Ware’s other captivating tales. Whether you’ve been a longtime fan of this impeccably clever suspense writer, or are just diving into her twisty story lines, here are some must-read titles to add to your shelf.  

The Turn of the Key
by Ruth Ware

This bestselling book follows Rowan Caine, a live-in nanny whose life has quickly escalated to a full-blown nightmare. Writing her lawyer from prison, Rowan attempts to explain everything that went wrong and the tragedies that led her there. Rowan knows she’s guilty of many things that took place in the luxurious “smart” home. 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. Now she’ll do anything to clear her name. 

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The Turn of the Key
Ruth Ware

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“A superb suspense writer…Brava, Ruth Ware. I daresay even Henry James would be impressed.” —Maureen Corrigan, author of So We Read On

“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

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Lying Game and The Death of Mrs. Westaway comes this thrilling novel that explores the dark side of technology.

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 events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the home’s cameras, 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.

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—but somebody is.

Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, The Turn of the Key is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

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The Lying Game
by Ruth Ware

This atmospheric and twisty novel follows four girls who were best friends at Salten, a second-rate boarding school set near the cliffs along the English Channel. The group became inseparable and were notorious for playing the Lying Game, telling fibs to faculty, students, and anyone who dared to listen. But unbeknownst to them at the time, this little game had consequences. Flash-forward to the presentthree of the womenFatima, Thea, and Isaall receive a text from their previous clique-mate Kate. After parting ways post-Salten, she has now come to the girls with a request for help. As the four converge in present-day Salten, they realize their shared past was not as safely buried as they had once hoped. 

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The Lying Game
Ruth Ware

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY, AND LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLER!

“So many questions...Until the very last page! Needless to say, I could not put this book down!” —Reese Witherspoon

“Once again the author of The Woman in Cabin 10 delivers mega-chills.” —People

“Missing Big Little Lies? Dig into this psychological thriller about whether you can really trust your nearest and dearest.” —Cosmopolitan

From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes a chilling new novel of friendship, secrets, and the dangerous games teenaged girls play.

On a cool June morning, a woman is walking her dog in the idyllic coastal village of Salten, along a tidal estuary known as the Reach. Before she can stop him, the dog charges into the water to retrieve what first appears to be a wayward stick, but to her horror, turns out to be something much more sinister.

The next morning, three women in and around London—Fatima, Thea, and Isa—receive the text they had always hoped would never come, from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique, Kate, that says only, “I need you.”

The four girls were best friends at Salten, a second-rate boarding school set near the cliffs of the English Channel. Each different in their own way, the four became inseparable and were notorious for playing the Lying Game, telling lies at every turn to both fellow boarders and faculty. But their little game had consequences, and as the four converge in present-day Salten, they realize their shared past was not as safely buried as they had once hoped.

Atmospheric, twisty, and with just the right amount of chill to keep you wrong-footed, The Lying Game is told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, lending itself to becoming another unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

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The Death of Mrs. Westaway
by Ruth Ware

After Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance, she realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person. But she also has an idea in her head that her intuition and tarot-card reading skills could help her claim the money anyway. Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased . . . where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it. 

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The Death of Mrs. Westaway
Ruth Ware

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, and The Lying Game comes Ruth Ware’s fourth novel, “her best yet” (Library Journal, starred review).

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.

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.

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The Woman in Cabin 10
by Ruth Ware

As a writer for a travel magazine, Lo Blacklock is assigned the project of a lifetime: travel for a week on a luxury cruise for a story. But when things suddenly take a turn for the worse, she realizes she is way in over her head. One night Lo witnesses a woman being thrown overboard. However, the next morning the ship carries on as if nothing happened, and all passengers remain accounted for. Desperately trying to convey the tragedy she witnessed, Lo has a restless, uneasy journey packed with surprise twists.    

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The Woman in Cabin 10
Ruth Ware

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In a Dark, Dark Wood
by Ruth Ware

Reclusive writer Leonora is invited to the English countryside for what she expects to be a cozy, fun-filled getaway. But things quickly turn sinister and dark upon nightfall. Revelations unfold among friends, and an unnerving memory resurfaces for Leonora. When the haunting realization creeps in that the group is not alone in the woods, this darkly twisted psychological thriller reminds readers that sometimes the only thing to fear is fear itself.  

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In a Dark, Dark Wood
Ruth Ware

During a weekend away with a friend in an eerie glass house, crime writer Leonora wakes up in a hospital bed injured wondering not “What happened?” but “What have I done?” This one is for fans of GONE GIRL and THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN.

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MENTIONED IN:

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