One By One by Ruth Ware

Happy publication day to Ruth Ware for her latest release, One By One! My thanks to Graeme at Vintage for the review copy!

Author : Ruth Ware
Title : One By One
Pages : 374
Publisher : Harvill Secker
Publication date : November 12, 2020

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

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?

| MY THOUGHTS |

After gothic delightfulness in her most recent books, Ruth Ware has gone back to her roots so to speak with One By One, a tense and claustrophobic psychological thriller.

Contrary to what the book blurb says, I personally think getting snowed in at a mountain chalet sounds like an absolute nightmare. And that is without taking into account being forced to spend time with a company of people you probably don’t have much in common with. One By One‘s chapters switch between two characters, Liz and Erin. Liz is one of eight guests at the chalet but she’d much rather be anywhere else. I get it, Liz, I really do. Anywho, things are somewhat tense between the retreaters but they’re about to get much, much worse. An avalanche shall come forth from the mountain tops (sorry) and one of the company of eight goes missing. They won’t be the last. As a member of staff, Erin is responsible for making sure the guests have a wonderful stay but her job becomes harder as the hours tick by. Especially when there may just be a killer among them.

A locked-in mystery à la Agatha Christie then and who doesn’t enjoy those! Despite my aversion of anything relating to freezing temperatures and snow, I thought the setting worked extremely well here and it’s most definitely where the strength of the book lies. I felt immensely claustrophobic as the chapters went on. Also, cold. I could almost feel it deep down in my bones and it made me wish for cosy blankets and roaring fires, which seemed rather apt.

None of these characters, with exception of the staff, are particularly likeable. They don’t need to be because of course we’re looking for a killer here. My only gripe is that I felt there were too many of them and I didn’t really get to know them all that well. While I did figure out quite early on who the culprit was, that didn’t ruin my enjoyment of this book as I was left guessing about motive and how things would ultimately end.

The tension builds up and the whole thing is so incredibly addictive that “one more chapter” quickly turns into “forget sleep, I’ll just keep going until I’m finished”. In that respect, One By One is a suspenseful whodunnit that I’m sure will appeal to fans of the genre, while quite possibly also putting you off the idea of skiing for life. Enjoyable, entertaining and perfect for a chilly evening, though I will admit that I personally missed that gothic vibe that put Ruth Ware on my list of go-to authors.

Available from Bookshop.org UK

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