One by One

by Ruth Ware

3.83 of 5 stars 3 ratings • 3 reviews • 7 shelved
Book cover for One by One

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One by One

by Ruth Ware

3.83 of 5 stars 3 ratings • 3 reviews • 7 shelved

Snow is falling in the exclusive alpine ski resort of Saint Antoine, as the shareholders and directors of Snoop, the hottest new music app, gather for a make or break corporate retreat to decide the future of the company. At stake is a billion-dollar dot com buyout that could make them all millionaires, or leave some of them out in the cold.

The clock is ticking on the offer, and with the group irrevocably split, tensions are running high. When an avalanche cuts the chalet off from help, and one board member goes missing in the snow, the group is forced to ask - would someone resort to murder, to get what they want?

  • Publish Date 12 November 2020 (first published 8 September 2020)
  • Imprint Vintage Publishing
  • Edition Waterstones Signed Special Edition
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 352
  • Language English
  • Special Signed Sprayed Edges


Avatar for eve1972

Eve1972 3.5 of 5 stars

Enjoyed this one. However, I think it was fairly obvious who was the culprit right from the start. Srill, it was an enjoyable read!

Avatar for quirkycat

Quirky Cat 4 of 5 stars
I received a copy of One by One in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Picture Ruth Ware with a heavy influence from Agatha Christie, and you'll have an idea of what is in store for you in One by One. The latest Ruth Ware novel is a divergence from her previous books, but not in a bad way.

An isolated and high-end ski resort might just sound like heaven. To a small tech company, it certainly did. That is until a storm trapped them up there. With no way out, and no way to get help, they suddenly found their numbers dropping.

Fans of Agatha Christie really will see her influence here. Not just in the title (though there is that), but in the writing and plot as well. Throw in the concept of isolation, and suddenly this plot is hitting harder than normal (courtesy of the pandemic and social distancing).

One by One was such an absorbing read. It wasn't quite what I expected, being very different from Ruth Ware's other works. Still, I expected the Agatha Christie twists (kind of hard not to, with that title!). Even with all of that in mind, I was still pleasantly surprised by what I found here.

There are multiple angles of this book worth discussing, as well. There's the whole Snoop thing – the tech company that gets stranded. It was kind of a fun idea, and I love that the influence from their app is shown at the beginning of every chapter. It's a nice touch.

Then there are the characters themselves, of which there are several to get to know. Only two of them offer main perspectives for this tale though, resulting in us knowing them better than the rest. Still, it's hard not to pick favorites. I know I did.

Liz and Erin are about as different as possible. Erin is one of two employees running the chalet, and she has a secret past. Plus she's calm, confident, and knows how to handle emergencies. Liz, on the other hand, is an ex-employee of Snoop, yet is somehow still along for this ride. She's as nervous as a rabbit in a fox den, and it takes time to understand why.

Together these two characters provided a world of insight, both to what was happening and to the characters surrounding them. I personally loved how different they were, and how well their chapters played off against one another.

One of the things I really did love about Ware's writing here is how carefully she doled out hints of the past. We're never given these large chunks of information, instead, we're left to sort of piece it together as we go. It was the perfect balance to keep interest going.

I'll confess that I did sort of predict the ending, which I'm okay with, even while being a bit disappointed. I was hoping that it would turn out differently. You guys know how much I love a surprise! But it did make sense, in the end, and that is just as important to me.

One by One was an overall enjoyable read – one that I was thrilled to have gotten my hands on early. I'm not sure I would have pegged it as a Ruth Ware novel, had you handed it to me without an author on it, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It's been quite the experience, watching Ruth Ware grow as a writer, and it's something I intend to continue with for as long as she keeps writing books.

Check out more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

Avatar for amber

Amber 4 of 5 stars
I have been loving Ruth Ware's books this past year. I have read everything she has written to date (you might be interested in my video in which I read her backlist and decide what my favourite is), so when I saw One by One up on Netgalley I had to grab it.

One by One is about a group of co-workers who go on a corporate retreat in the French Alps. There's an avalanche which leaves them stranded, then people start going missing or dying... one by one.

Ruth Ware is absolutely one of my favourite thriller writers right now! I'm not sure how anyone else can compare. She is so good at crafting suspense in her books and keeping me on the edge of my seat.

The setting in One by One was particularly standout and incredibly well done. Ruth WAre spent enough time describing the remoteness of the location (and any escape routes) and the icy cold that when the avalanche happens you feel the same isolation as the characters. The creepy atmosphere was so prominent throughout the book.

One by One is told from two POVs. Erin, who is one of the hosts at the chalet, and Liz, who is an ex-employee of the company. I really enjoyed Erin's point of view, as she was a very sympathetic and kind character with a mysterious past. I thought Ruth Ware was smart to use a character outside of the main affected group to tell some of the story, as Erin was able to discover things along with the reader. She didn't have any prior knowledge of these people which was important as she had no idea baout the company drama and the connections.

Also, having Erin be a host was a good idea as these rich people treated her as part of the furniture, meaning she was able to listen into conversations as though she wasn't there.

Liz was... an interesting choice. I had no idea what to think of her for most of the book. She's very awkward and has trouble picking up on social cues. The company employees spend a lot of the book ignoring her. To be honest, I didn't enjoy her point of view as much as I enjoyed Erin's, but I can see why it was necessary as Erin ad a limited perspective and Liz was one of the group. Kind of.

I got strong Agatha Christie vibes from One by One. It was quite clearly inspired by And Then There Were None. Ruth Ware managed to pull it off without it being a complete rip off. I also got some Gillian Flynn vibes from it.

I really enjoyed trying to figure out the mystery as there were so many possibilities. It was a lot of fun to read.

I think the main appeal of this book will be the dark atmosphere and the setting. That will be what makes it stand out from a lot of other thrillers out there.

I'm giving One by One by Ruth Ware four stars, as it is very well written and engaging, but not an all time favourite. At least not quite.