Published by Scout Press on September 8, 2020
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The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Turn of the Key and In a Dark Dark Wood returns with another suspenseful thriller set on a snow-covered mountain.
Getting snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a cozy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your coworkers…and you can’t trust any of them?
When an off-site company retreat meant to promote mindfulness and collaboration goes utterly wrong when an avalanche hits, the corporate food chain becomes irrelevant and survival trumps togetherness. Come Monday morning, how many members short will the team be?
They keep comparing Ruth Ware to Agatha Christie, so I keep reading her books and keep getting a bit disappointed. I will say One by One is definitely better than the other two I’ve read, and I enjoyed it for the most part.
The setting in One by One is perfect. The group is at a ski chalet but there’s an avalanche that isolates them from the rest of the world. The electricity is out, there’s not cell phone service, and the door has buckled with the weight of the snow. And one of them is dead after having taken a dangerous trail down the mountain just as everything was being shut down. And then another person dies, pretty clearly a murder this time. I love the claustrophobic feel of the whole situation and the pressure of not knowing who the killer is, just knowing you’re stuck in the house with one.
There are a lot of characters in the book and most of them are introduced quickly and all at the same time. It’s confusing at first. The group renting the chalet all work or have worked at Snoop, a kind of Spotify-ish app. The group is there for some relaxation and also to discuss a potential buyout that would be worth a lot of money to some, but not all, of them. There are also the chalet hostess and chef who both live in the building, in the employees area. Eventually, between the deaths, disappearances and pages, the characters became clearer, but with so many, some were less developed than others.
Then there was the reveal, which wasn’t much of a surprise, but the tension following it was well-done. Overall, I enjoyed this one, although I’m kinda doubting at this point that Ware will ever be one of my favorite authors.