Book Review | One by One by Ruth Ware

Book Review | One by One by Ruth Ware

Title: One by One

Author: Ruth Ware

Publisher: Random House UK

Release Date: 12th November 2020

Source: NetGalley

Buy: Amazon UK
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?

After a spate of reading books where snow is a claustrophobic factor I have now made the decision to never, ever go skiing or to any sort of winter lodge because quite frankly I think I’m taking my life in to my own hands.

This is my first dive in to the mind of Ruth Ware and I can honestly say I enjoyed it, One by One takes us to the out of the way Alpine resort of Saint Antoine and on to an even more remote luxury ski lodge which is only accessible by a funicular railway.  It is the perfect bolt hole for a corporate retreat.  

The chalet is run by Erin who is helped by Danny the chef, they are preparing to host Snoop, a music app company which is about to go stratospheric but that can only happen if the shareholders agree.  

Snoop is run by a young and trendy crowd headed by Topher and Eva, the rest of their crew have titles like Chief Bean Counter and names like Inigo and Tiger and they are all privileged, private school education, moving in those every so important circles, they have all been there except for the odd one out of the group, Liz.

Liz is different, she is dowdy and self conscious, how on earth did she end with this shower of millennial show offs?  Well she used to work for them, she was the efficient secretary and when the company was in dire straits she stepped up and invested making her a shareholder but then she left and now she has been dragged back in to the world of Snoop which is the last place she wants to be.

 I think, suddenly, of the fairy tale for which the blue run is named – Blanche-Neige – Snow White. Skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, hair as black as ebony. The hair is wrong. Eva’s hair is almost as white as snow too. But today it is tucked into a black beanie, making the comparison almost spookily accurate.

Told from the POV of both Erin and Liz, we see firsthand how Snoop is heading for the big time but like all good mysteries a large spanner is stuck in the works, actually several large spanner’s.   With snow falling heavily and the threat of avalanches imminent, the group head out to the slopes but on arrival back at the chalet they discover one of the party hasn’t returned and just as they are letting that sink in, the worst happens and an avalanche hits the area and part of the chalet rendering them cut off from the outside world.

Left to their own devices the group start to quickly point fingers at each other and when they discover help might not be coming, things go from bad to worse especially when another body turns up, is there a murderer in their midsts?

There is definitely a hint of And Then There Where None about this book, the group from Snoop with the exception of Liz are all such shallow human beings, more concerned about money than a dead colleague, you don’t feel any sympathy for them at all.  Erin and Danny are great, Erin is just seen as help so is able to blend in to the background falling privy to conversations she probably shouldn’t be hearing.  They class differences are very apparent and they add to the way the story pans out.

One by One is a great thriller, it is pretty much on the go from the start until the final ten percent - the aftermath which didn’t feel quite as exciting as the rest of the book.  It definitely has a creepy claustrophobic vibe to it which I definitely appreciate.

Thanks to Net Galley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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18 comments

  1. I got this one from Book of the Month, and I'm so excited to read it. It will be my second by Ware. Glad to hear that you really enjoyed it!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  2. I've never read Ruth Ware, but I've been seeing lots of great reviews about this book. Sounds like fun! Also I love the name of the app😁

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    1. I hadn’t till this one! I know, some apps have the most ridiculous names,
      ,

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  3. Hi Heather! Wha ha ha!! I think I share your sentiment on the skiing thing. I would love to go to one of those fancy resorts one day, but then I will still inside, curled up in front of the fire with a book. The rest can go play outside.

    I've only read The turn of the key by Ruth Ware, but really want to read more of her books. She is an EXCELLENT author. Her books are just rather expensive on Amazon and we don't have any in the Book Club. Maybe when it's my turn again, I will buy one. And this one seems good!

    Loved your review and long to read it...!!

    Hope your week is treating you kindly!

    Elza Reads

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    1. If I went skiing I would break something major like my neck! I love looking at snow but being out and about in it can be trying. I do love the idea of being curled up with the book in front of a roaring fire!

      I bought the Ruth Ware Cabin 10 book as it was only 99p, there are a load still on special offer on Amazon.

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  4. Heather, I've read all of Ware's books and this one wasn't a favorite; you liked this more than me. I figured it out early on and the story didn't pull me along as quickly as I hoped.

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    1. I’m really looking forward to reading her other books, I probably would have scored this higher if I hadn’t read another book called The Sanatorium just before this which had a similar setting but was even better.

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  5. I'm always amazed at authors like Ruth Ware who are able to write so quickly and also so well.

    We have been missing you at Sunday Salon.

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    1. I didn’t realise the extent of her back catalogue, I’ve bought The Woman in Cabin 10 to try.

      I took a bit of blogging time off but I’m back at the Sunday Salon this week!

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  6. I'm thinking Christie probably did this plot better in her book, but I still very much want to read this one. :)

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    1. It was a similar plot, quite a few authors have taken inspiration from that!

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  7. I have not read Ruth Ware yet, but she sounds like a good thriller writer.

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  8. I'll have to try this one. I loved Ware's first book and this has a similar sound to it.

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  9. I've read mixed things about the author but I've never read her work. I am curious about this kind of plot though.

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    1. It was a great setting and I enjoyed it but yes I’ve seen mixed reviews too.

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