Review: One by One by Ruth Ware

Title: One by One by Ruth Ware
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 383 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


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 luxurious, rustic ski chalet high in the French Alps doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world. Especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a full-service chef and housekeeper, a cozy fire to keep you warm, and others to keep you company. Unless that company happens to be eight coworkers…each with something to gain, something to lose, and something to hide.

When the cofounder of Snoop, a trendy London-based tech startup, organizes a weeklong trip for the team in the French Alps, it starts out as a corporate retreat like any other: PowerPoint presentations and strategy sessions broken up by mandatory bonding on the slopes. But as soon as one shareholder upends the agenda by pushing a lucrative but contentious buyout offer, tensions simmer and loyalties are tested. The storm brewing inside the chalet is no match for the one outside, however, and a devastating avalanche leaves the group cut off from all access to the outside world. Even worse, one Snooper hadn’t made it back from the slopes when the avalanche hit.

As each hour passes without any sign of rescue, panic mounts, the chalet grows colder, and the group dwindles further…one by one.


Set in the French Alps, One by One by Ruth Ware is an atmospheric, tension-filled mystery.

Chalet hosts Erin and Danny welcome the latest guests to Chalet Perce-Neige and they are immediately unimpressed with the Snoop app owners and employees. Co-founders Topher and Eva are glamorous  yet entitled and rude.  Coder Elliot spends most of his time working.  Rik and Miranda are clearly more than co-workers. Inigo is Topher’s personal assistant but he is also intimately involved with Eva. Ani, Tiger and Carl round out the rest of Snoop team.  Liz no longer works for Snoop but she is a shareholder. With a lucrative offer for the app on the table,  Topher, Eva, Elliot and Liz are expected to vote on whether or not to sell or find other funding to keep Snoop solvent. They are not in agreement about the future for Snoop and when an afternoon skiing trip turns deadly, is it just an unfortunate accident or something more sinister?

With a storm headed their way, the Snoop team cut their business meetings short to go skiing. Although not everyone is enthusiastic about skiing, they head out to enjoy a few hours on the slopes.  Erin and Danny become a little concerned when they fail to appear for lunch but they try to keep their worries at bay.  The reason for the delay becomes clear when all of the group return except for one person. Before Erin has the chance to begin her search, an avalanche isolates them and cuts off the various avenues for escape.

One person is able to make a call for help before the spotty cell coverage becomes non-existent.  When a power outage means no wifi, they remain hopeful help is on the way.  After another death that is clearly a murder, everyone begins to view one another with suspicion. Danny and Erin strongly suggest everyone pair up and avoid venturing anywhere alone, but they soon learn someone leaves on their own to seek help.  After another night passes, they wake up to the terrible discovery that the killer has struck yet again. How many more  people will die before help arrives?

With chapters alternating between Liz and Erin’s points of view, One by One is a clever mystery that is fast-paced.  The suspense builds as suspicions grow and tempers  flare. The isolation, bad weather, and the inability to contact authorities add another layer of danger to an increasingly fraught situation. With a series of breathtaking twists and turns, Ruth Ware brings this spellbinding mystery to an action-packed conclusion.  An absolutely riveting mystery that I highly recommend to fans of the genre.

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Filed under Contemporary, Gallery/Scout Press, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Ruth Ware, Suspense

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