Book Review: A terrifying tale

08:00 AM Jan 05, 2020 |

Horace Walpole is acknowledged as the pioneer of ‘Horror fiction’. Known for his magnum opus The Castle of Otranto, Walpole paves way for the gothic novels to flourish.

Since its origin the Novel of Terror has been the centre of attraction for all. Hanery James is another American novelist who carries the legacy of ‘Horror Fiction’ forward.


Reading Ruth Ware’s latest psychological thriller The Turn of The Key, it would not be fallacious to remark that the author has paid a rich tribute to James’ paranormal work of fiction The Turn of the Screw.


There are a host of similarities between both the exponents of this genre. In the fashion of James, Ware’s chief protagonist Rowan (a woman) manages to obtain the job of a nanny in a palatial mansion.

The narrative which is loaded with supernatural and spooky elements predominantly revolves around this protagonist’s nightmarish life. As the title symbolically suggests, there comes a sharp and dramatic turn in the events of the life of this newly appointed nanny.

Mystery is one of the chief ingredients of a great ‘Horror Fiction’ which keeps the readers on tenterhooks unless it is resolved. Here the element of mystery crops up with the killing of a child.

As an easy suspect the nanny is accused of the murder and lodged in a jail. Awaiting the verdict, she writes a couple of letters from the jail to a famous barrister wherein she claims to be innocent.

Suspense permeates throughout the book with a remarkably overwhelming sense. Who is the real killer? The question remains shrouded in the layers of mystery. The answer to which should be left to the readers to find out.

Undoubtedly, the success a horror fiction hinges to a large extent on its setting. Understanding the fact, the author weaves a plot which is fully bustling with surreal surroundings, looming fear, supernatural appearances of unearthly individuals and the paranormal occurrences.

The haunted mansion generates enormous awe which makes the blood of the readers creep. Succinctly speaking, the book fits into the segment of an exquisitely crafted gothic tale which will haunt every reader.

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