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?
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.
Ruth Ware grew up in Sussex, on the south coast of England. After graduating from Manchester University she moved to Paris, before settling in North London. She has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer. She is married with two small children, and In a Dark, Dark Wood is her début thriller.
One by One is a thriller/mystery about a corporate staff retreat at a ski chalet that goes horribly awry, resulting in members of the group being killed off “one by one.”
A group of technology executives arrive at a French Ski Chalet, but not all make it out alive. They are fighting to decide whether or not to sell the company. Alliances are formed, and the atmosphere is rife with tension. When a natural disaster occurs, the group must fight to survive, but there’s a murderer amongst them, making it difficult to do so.
Warning: Harsh review ahead.
I had a lot of issues with this book and was constantly questioning if Ruth Ware actually wrote it. I am going to limit my gripes to my top 5 issues.
Issue #1: The number of characters and lack of development. There are too many characters to keep track of, none of whom I really cared enough about to pay much attention. Some of the characters just fall off and are barely mentioned again, while others play a more prominent role. Some are only distinguished by hair color, others have no distinguishing qualities or features. Most of the characters are whiny and entitled, and I was hoping they would all die! Erin and Liz are the only two characters who were developed, but they both fell flat for me.
Issue #2: The narrative. Liz and Erin are the narrators. Liz, a former Snoop employee, now holds the power as her ownership of 2 shares in the company makes her the deciding vote on whether or not to sell. Erin is the chalet hostess, who is hiding from her past. We don’t know much about either one, except for their Snoop username and number of followers (who cares)! I didn’t find either to be a compelling narrator, but they had potential. Both constantly tell what was happening versus allowing the reader to see what was happening, which took away all the possibilities for tension and creepiness to develop.
Furthermore, nothing really happens. The plot is dragged out, andt even after the first major event, it continues to drag.
Issue #3: The abundance of superfluous details. Pages and pages are taken up with technological details about how Snoop functions, as well as on avalanches and skiing. These details don’t add much to the plot, they just added to my boredom.
Issue #4: The killer. It is way too obvious from the start who the killer is. I was hoping I was wrong and that there would be a twist, but no. I thought about DNF’ing, due to my boredom, but the possibility of a twist kept me going. I was sorely disappointed.
Issue #5: The ending. The ski chase showdown between the killer and the protagonist had me laughing inappropriately. After the killer has been identified and taken care of, the book continues to drag on. I didn’t get the final pages. Was the introduction of Choon supposed to mean anything sinister? I get the significance, but seriously, this is how this book ends? Pointless.
I have loved several of Ware’s books and had high expectations for One By One, but, sadly, this was a major disappointment.
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Well, here we are again. I've been hit or miss with Ruth Ware's novels since she broke onto the scene, and while I wasn't a huge fan of her first 3 books, I really connected well with The Death of Mrs. Westaway and The Turn of the Key. Finding out that Ms. Ware has a true calling in telling stories of modern gothic suspense, I assumed she would stay this route, at least for awhile, but it seems she's come full circle back around to her roots. I have no desire to be mean or personally attack the author, so I'll keep this brief: One by One reads like a debut locked room thriller with a large cast where I am expected to care about a made up social media app where followers can anonymously creep on what music their favorite celebrities are listening to. 👀👀👀 Unfortunately, I felt that the murderer was blatantly obvious from the moment that they were introduced, which is a real shame, and I didn't really find myself caring about any of the characters, as we don't really get a chance to know any of them relatively well along the way and we are constantly fed information like how many followers they have. At this point, I would gladly read another gothic mystery from the author, but I think this is where I part ways with the author's stories beyond that scope.
*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
Predictably lame and boring. A paint by numbers “suspense” novel that fails to offer any shock and awe. Given my history with the author’s work, not even the dud conclusion managed to evoke surprise.
Ruth Ware’s work—the few books I’ve dabbled in over the years—hasn’t left me with an overly positive impression. My experiences with her work hit-or-miss, most finding a home in the latter category. Regardless, some warped sense of missing out, bred from the enthusiasm I’ve seen for her work, continues to drag me down this tortuous rabbit hole. No more. I refuse to sacrifice any additional time on her lackluster storytelling.
Ware's sixth novel brings readers to the French Alps for a stay at a mountainside chalet hosting a Snoop corporate retreat. A motley crew intent on bringing their tech startup public and relishing in the subsequent success. Their claim to fame, an app that allows users to stalk or Snoop the music others are listening to at any moment. Who cares? But, I digress.
I won’t get into the nitty-gritty of the plot, because there isn’t much nit or grit to be had. I’ll also refrain from any introduction to the characters because the moment my eyes met one person in particular, I just knew. Knew this person would be responsible for the antics of the trip and for picking off fellow chalet guests *one by one*. Ware phones this one in, making for an uninspired and grating experience.
Things in particular that tanked this novel for me, the: (1) obviousness of the killer’s identity from go, (2) removal of almost the entire cast around the 60% mark, (3) killer's hackneyed revelation, (4) unsatisfying ease in which things are wrapped up, and (5) incessant drivel strung across the final eight chapters, offering nothing to the storyline.
Needless to say, this is not a book I enjoyed, nor one I can recommend. Ware's approach often involves taking an Agatha Christie novel and molding it into something of her own. One by One an iteration of Christie’s, And Then There Were None. If you’re looking for a high-stakes, edge-of-your-seat, lost in the snowy wilderness plot that pays homage to And Then There Were None, I highly recommend checking out Loreth Anne White’s latest novel, In the Dark. The characterization, stunning backdrop, and puzzling plot—catapulted by White’s compelling words—are sure to leave a lasting impression.
*Thank you to Scout Press for the copy furnished in exchange for sharing my honest thoughts.
1. The Turn of the Key: 5-stars 2. The Lying Game: 4.5-stars 3. The It Girl: 4.5-stars 4. One by One: 4-stars 5. The Death of Mrs. Westaway: 4-stars 6. In a Dark, Dark Wood: 3.5-stars 7. The Woman in Cabin 10: 3-stars
I will pick up anything Ruth Ware writes; make no mistake about that. I think at this point, I'm legally obligated to do so. If her name is on the cover, I'm reading it.
One by One was a solid, locked-room Mystery. I loved the nod to the classic formula; well played by Ware.
I hear your booing! I can see your sulking faces and your rising arms holding rotten eggs aiming at my face! Well, you busted me! I’m writing a real unpopular review right now! I’m not sorry for sitting on my throne at the minority land of ultra annoying tough graders’ palace. I’m just sorry for my tears I shed when my arc request got rejected by the publishing company. I should have seen as a sign. It tells me stop spending your money for your grandiose appetite for books and trim your tbr which is more terrifying than my morning face before coffee, make-up!
Well, I should have listened my logical side which is screaming at my left ear to pull myself together as I whistle and pretend not to hear her. But we’re talking about a novel written by Ruth Ware , one of the talented thriller authors’ work. Of course I had to read it even though I wanted to take back the time I got the book into my hands.
Let’s take a look at the plot:
Corporate staff retreat for making a crucial decision about the company’s fate at French Ski Chalet couldn’t go so wrong! A natural disaster occurs and in the meantime a killer inside the group start to kill the staff ONE BY ONE! So this high tension, gripping, surprising premise may satisfy any die hard thriller fans! So why it didn’t work with me?
Here are the reasons listed below:
1)Oh no, what kind application you’re talking about: SNOOP seems like the least interesting, nonsense application idea: why I wonder what kind of music celebrities listen! Do they wonder what I listen? Hell, no! So tech executives of the firm don’t need to decide between selling the business or resuming it. Just sell and invent something creative guys! You don’t have to go that bloody French Chalet to make a decision. Look what happened to you! Shame!
2- Sorry, the character development you’re calling cannot be reached at this moment.Please leave your curses after the beep: Five shareholders, five company employees and two chalet employees are introduced as main characters but I feel like I’m memento man during the chapters they’ve been described. Oh, no! I’m not suffering from short term memory loss, they were not probably described or developed. So their memories started diminishing in my head.
Only Erin and Liz were semi developed characters who were the narrators of the book. Liz is ex Snoop employee who is in the crucial position to decide the destiny of the firm with her vote and Erin is chalet hostess is hiding a big secret. But the other characters don’t have any catchy background story or any differentiated physical qualities. They are already unlucky vanishing ghosts of the story.
3- So many technical mumbo jumbo fried my last brain cells standing: Technical blah blahs about app took more place than the character development part of the book.
4- The killer of the book waves us to see him/ her, wearing a t-shirt emblazoned those words: “ I have a great body, it’s in my trunk”:
The killer was carrying out a neon sign on his/ her head, screaming at our faces: “ I’m the psycho killer, qu’est-ce que c’est,fa fa fa fa fa far better,run run run run run run away, ohhhh!” Sorry guys even my husband didn’t read the book find who the killer was!
For several times I expected to secret note in the middle of my book telling me the author was teasing us and she didn’t write this but she published it to test us how loyal fans we were. But I couldn’t find that note! Bullocks!
You can get angry with me! You can boo me! You can ignore my opinions. You can think that’s so unfair of me. That’s okay! And I’m so happy at least so many readers enjoyed their reading. But I was truly expecting more and I got disappointed about this book. I wished I could like it just a little bit but unfortunately this is absolutely not my cup of Jameson!
One By One, by Ruth Ware, dumps twelve characters on you pretty quickly, so you need a cheat sheet or a sharp mind to keep track of the characters. I started the book when I was hungry and tired and had to quit reading to eat a meal and take a nap, before I could keep the characters straight. But once I got them into my head, I kept a firm grip on who was who.
Erin and Danny are the staff at a fancy, mountain chalet and this week they are hosting co-workers and one ex co-worker, of a very successful new music-related app called Snoop. Four of the Snoop employees and the ex Snoop employee are the shareholders in the company and there is going to be a vote to decide whether to sell the company...shareholders are deeply divided on the issue and it's going to be up to Liz, the minority shareholder, ex co-worker, to break the impasse. Before there can be a vote, people are murdered or disappear and this all is intertwined with a massive avalanche, stranding the entire group, knowing that there is a murderer in their midst. The story is told from the perspectives of Erin, a member of the chalet staff, and Liz, the co-worker/shareholder, that left Snoop under mysterious circumstances.
The story seems to move along quickly in some ways but slowly in others. There is a lot of reflection on Erin's part, as she tries to understand the dynamics of the guests and how frumpy Liz even fits in with the rest of the company employees. There is some action but then there is sitting around, as people wonder if they are ever going to be rescued. At some point we know "who done it" and have to see if they are going to do it again.
Pub: September 8th 2020
Thank you to Gallery Books/Scout Press and NetGalley for this ARC.
I just love a good locked-room mystery, so when I saw that Ruth Ware had written one, I decided to give her one more try. I'd previously read three of her books, and they were all somewhat disappointing to me. But their premise is always so intriguing, and I keep hanging on, in the hopes that she would work out her story-telling tics (in particular: silly, sniveling, self-doubting female leads). And she finally has. I had so much fun with this story. It sucked me in and kept me riveted from beginning to end.
In One By One, we are introduced to the executive team of Snoop, an internet startup on the verge of a lucrative deal. But like most startups, they are hemorrhaging cash, and not every member agrees on what they should do next. So they are whisked away to a corporate retreat in the snowy mountains to hash it out. But things quickly take a dark turn when an avalanche hits and not everyone makes it back to their lodge. Cut off from the world, they are unable to signal for help. And it seems someone in their group is dead set against them making it out alive.
I found the internet startup idea of Snoop to be fascinating. I kept thinking whether the idea could be viable, and hope the author got it patented, just in case. The maneuvering and wrangling among the shareholders was another well-executed touch in the plot line. When a story is hinged upon a company, the fact that the company felt real made it that much more believable.
There was so much suspense in this story, almost from the very beginning. It felt tautly-paced, with just the right amount character tension without being quagmired in their thoughts and ruminations. If I had one criticism, it would be that the climax and resolution are too drawn out. It kept going, and then even when it was over, we got some more chapters of explanations that weren't really necessary. Still, I'd rather have more explanation than less, so it's a minor quibble.
Regarding the mystery itself, this isn't really that genre, per se. There aren't actually clues to put together, though I stared to get an inkling of who might be responsible. But it doesn't fully make sense until everything is explained at the end. However, for once, not being an armchair detective didn't take away my fun of reading this story.
I'm so happy I stuck with Ruth Ware, and she finally wrote a story that is to my taste. Looking at the other reviews, it seems a lot of readers don't agree with me. They loved her previous books and found this one to be boring and so-so, whereas I'm exactly the opposite. Thinking it over, I venture that the reason could be our different tastes in psychological thrillers. I prefer the thriller part (which I find exciting), and want less of the psychological (which I find to be mostly overstrung dithering and second-guessing). But many readers prefer the other way. So do take my review with a grain of salt, and don't let it alone influence your decision to read or not read this story.
Because the world does not have enough social media apps, Snoop is on the scene to allow you to anonymous listen to the music that your friends, relatives, favorite celebrities, and social media influences are listening to. People can snoop in on you as well. It's a fun way to discover new music and be able to sit back and listen along with celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Beyoncé as they are listening to their favorite music.
When the developers of Snoop and their staff arrive at a ski chalet in France, staff members, Erin and Danny think it will be business as usual. Danny is there to Cook and Erin will keep the chalet and their rooms clean and ensure that the guest has a good time.
When the staff at Snoop leave to go skiing before the impending storm arrives, all seems to be as well as can be expected. There is tension amongst the shareholders, and they will be discussing their options but first, they will ski, blow off some steam, and have some fun. Soon their group of eight becomes seven when one member does not come back. Then an avalanche hits and things really begin to go downhill from there. Soon, the tensions rise as the cold sets in. Not only do they not know who they can trust, but members of their group are also dying and not from the cold.
This book is told through the POV of Erin, the chalet employee, and Liz, the socially awkward minor shareholder in Snoop. Both have distinct personalities and thought processes. As the cold looms, and they wait to be rescued, suspicion and tension mounts.
I found this book to be an enjoyable read in a fabulous setting. A ski chalet, an avalanche, no electricity, thus no WIFI. They are really left to their own devices while trying to determine who amongst them is a killer. What should be a cozy and relaxing work getaway becomes a nightmare.
Will you guess the killer? Is anyone safe? Who has the most to gain from the murders? Who has the most to lose? This felt like a classic whodunit with a very apt title of One by One as the guests are dying one by one. Some may guess the killer; some may be surprised. Either way, I found this one to be a fun whodunit in a great location. I love it when there is no escape and no way of calling for help. Where do you hide? How do you stay safe? Heck, how do you stay warm? If the elements don't get you, the killer certainly might!
Another enjoyable book by Ware. Some things I found a little unrealistic, such as having only two staff members on duty at a prestigious ski chalet. Erin is twenty-two, and although she does come off as very mature, it seemed unlikely that she would be put in charge of such a high-end place. But those are minor things that I was willing to overlooks and sit back and enjoy.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.
Ruth Ware's latest offering is a terrific, light and entertaining thrill of a ride, a great opportunity to lose yourself for a few hours with a cuppa and forget the troubles of the world. Set in the perfect atmospheric remote and isolated location of beautiful snowy mountains, we have a locked room mystery with a number of classic golden age of crime tropes, as an avalanche leaves a diverse set of characters without power and cut off from the outside world whilst a terrifying killer begins to murder them. Ware gives us a modern twisted version of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. A tech corporate retreat is organised at a chalet in a exclusive ski resort, Snoop, an App that allows a person to see what music others are listening to, the guests need to decide its future amidst conflict over a buyout.
The narrative is related primarily from the perspective of the outsider, Erin, an observant chalet girl there to clean and facilitate the visitors as a guide and instructor, and the socially awkward, key minority investor, Liz. In a tense and suspenseful story, Eva disappears, turning up dead, and each of the guests look at each other with suspicion and distrust as, one by one, they are being killed by a murderer within their group, whilst being trapped in the chalet by an avalanche. Whilst much of the characterisation is on the sketchy side, this is a wonderfully engaging read as the pace quickens considerably during the last third of the book. Recommended for those who love the classic golden age of crime and Agatha Christie in particular. Many thanks to Random House Vintage for an ARC.
BOOM SHAKALAKA! …. said Ruth Ware when she finished writing this book!
OH HELL YES!! …. said myself and so will you after reading this book!
A fancy chalet atop a French mountain rented by a company for an employee retreat. Things are moving along when the group heads out to ski. Until not everyone returns to the chalet, one of their party is missing. As if that isn’t stressful enough, how about adding in an avalanche that cuts off all communication and seals you inside the chalet. Want more? How about finding one of the employees dead in their room. Was this person killed? If so, who killed this person? Why? Is there a killer amongst them?
A whodunnit mystery turned thriller near the end!! This was my first time reading Ruth Ware. She definitely made a new fan out of me with this one. I was blown away. This was absolutely so much fun to read, satisfyingly intense and I did not want it to end.
I have always loved the stories where each character is slowly picked off until the big reveal at the end. However, I must admit that I generally find the ending to be disappointing compared to the rest of the book. This was simply not the case in “One by One”. I loved every part, including the ending. Ware's story telling skills really shined for me in this novel. I cannot wait to pick up another book by this author. Well done!
*Thank you to Simon & Schuster via Edelweiss+ for the digital review copy!
I am a fan of Ms. Ware’s writing and I was highly anticipating this novel. What I have truly realized with this book is that Ms. Ware always has “something” that will turn a novel around and make you second guess where you think the plot is going,
Most of the book points to a killer that is trying to make a profit through the outcome of the company, but is that really what is motivating this killer? Think about this you will thank me!
Truthfully the beginning of this book drove me crazy! This was a buddy read and my friends can tell you I wasn’t happy about the GIANT cast of characters that we have to keep track of. I really had to take notes on each. I think this is the weakest part of the book.
The co-workers and stockholders are together to enjoy some time off, but also to address the issue of whether they should allow a buy out of the company. There has been a decline in subscribers to the app and money is running out. Eva and Topher are the two major stockholders but there is an ex-employee, Liz, who has a 2% share. We aren’t sure whose vote she will follow, Eva or Topher, because they divided into two camps right off the bat.
The explanation of what the company SNOOP really was and did was a little hard to follow. Each chapter began stating who the character was, their Snoop ID, what they were Listening To, the #of snoopers and the # of Snoopscribers. WHAT YOU SAY!!! It took a while for that info to sink in.
I can tell you this, don’t worry too much about the explanation of the company, it isn’t really important which surprised me. I thought there would be SNOOP interaction but the WI FI at the chalet is down because of incoming storms. Dang, that would have been interesting.
At the chalet we meet Erin, the “do it all” coordinator for this event and Danny, an incredibly talented chef. These two are the most interesting members of the cast of characters for me. They were also probably the most well developed.
After the first morning of skiing there is a person missing. This immediately begins to get the book going as to what happened. Was it an accident, are there witnesses as to where they last saw this person?
We really only get to know and ultimately understand the narrators, Erin and Liz. Their characters are more described, in their personal and professional lives. I enjoyed both narrators equally.
The last third of the novel is the strongest and this is what turned this from a 3* to a 4* book for me! We have an avalanche, a storm continuing and more people turn up dead. Some people decide they have to go for help, still others are missing and someone has to stay at the chalet in case help finally comes. This part of the book was the most fun and felt like a quick ride with a satisfying if somewhat unbelievable ending.
A strong point of this book is the location and the descriptions of the chalet, the mountains, the coziness of the fire. I’m not a skier but can still relate to the beautiful setting.
I do admit that this was somewhat disappointing read for me. The premise of the novel, people stuck together in a house, mansion, chalet, cottage, whatever, has been done too many times. By the title and the blurb it’s pretty obvious that people will be dying ‘One by One”.
I did enjoy the book and will look forward to Ms. Ware’s next novel.
I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss.
4 stars! The perfect atmospheric and suspenseful read to escape into!
An isolated ski lodge. A corporate retreat. A devastating and destructive avalanche. A missing person. Secretive and suspicious characters. Thick underlying tension. Hidden secrets and motives. All of these aspects combine to create an easy, engrossing and entertaining story that had me guessing from start to finish.
I really enjoyed the enveloping atmosphere throughout this novel. I truly felt alone and isolated in the snowy mountainside along with these characters. The mystery and suspense was consistent and engaging throughout. I questioned every characters’ intention at one point or another.
I enjoyed the dual perspectives — a ski lodge employee and one of the guests staying at the lodge. They were intriguing characters that provided perfect insight into all sides of the story. I really enjoyed the short chapters and the way the perspectives flowed, however, there was some overlap that felt repetitive and slightly dragged the story out.
In the beginning, I did find myself confused with keeping up with “who was who”. I would have liked more substance with the supporting characters near the start. My confusion subsided as the story progressed and I was able to decipher between the multiple secondary characters.
Overall, this was the perfect book to escape into without having to “think” too much. A pure entertainment read full of atmosphere, mystery and tension.
One of my favorite murder mystery subgenres is the ‘locked room mystery’. Featuring a cast of creepy characters, locked away from the outside world, while a serial killer hunting them, one by one. The thrill of seeking the killer hiding in plain sight is simply unparalleled. Agatha Christie has done it before and with One by One, Ruth Ware has tried to give us a modern version of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None.
Set in a perfect atmospheric & isolated location in the beautiful snowy mountains, a tech startup has organized a weeklong trip for their team. What starts out as a corporate retreat takes a disastrous turn when an avalanche leaves the group isolated from the outside world. As hours start passing without any sign of rescue, panic mounts as the group members start getting killed off in a mysterious fashion.
The basic premise of the locked room mystery has been done many times before but what makes the book immensely readable is Ware's ability to build a creepy atmosphere with some excellent storytelling skills.
The book can be roughly divided into 3 parts, the first 25% which I found slow due to the vast no of characters. The story picks up from there and is totally intense till the climax. We have an avalanche and a killer killing randomly. This part of the book was the most fun with many suspects and clues. The last 25% of the novel played out like a thriller and was equally strong for me. The best things about the book were the excellent storytelling which kept the readers hooked at all times.
Having said that I had some issues with the book. Firstly, a large number of characters. The book begins by introducing a vast no of characters that we have to keep track of. Among the dozen, so characters, there are hardly memorable ones, barring a couple and I had to keep going back to the first chapter that introduces the characters, just to remind myself of who is who exactly. The story revolves around ‘Snoop’ a music streaming software and the book goes into great detail explaining how Snoop works. Having done that, Snoop hardly adds anything to the plot. In fact, even a basic GPS tracker would have been enough to move the story ahead, without too much diverting the plot. The book continues to drag on after the ending, tying all ends when it doesn’t really matter. I felt the killer's revelation was a bit obvious and the ending felt a bit abrupt.
Overall, One by One latest is an exciting and entertaining thriller. Despite its flaws, I still thought One by One was immensely readable. It starts slowly but once it gets going, you will enjoy the story immensely. It could have much simpler and more focused on the mystery but Ware's writing still makes it a really good read. 4.0 out of 5 stars
Many thanks to the publishers Simon & Schuster and Edelweiss for the ARC.
Elimination The concept of One by One is really appealing in an Agatha Christie way, where a remote location gets cut-off from the outside world and one by one the stranded characters are murdered, with the killer being one of them.
Erin and Danny operate a ski chalet in France and are hosting a company retreat for Snoop, a social media company that enables subscribers to tune into each other’s music playlists in real-time. With celebrity users, fans can listen to exactly what their favourite person is listening to – a bit like two people sharing earphones by putting an earpiece in each other’s ear.
Topher and Eva are the two major shareholders in the company and control equal equity positions except for a minority shareholder, Liz. Liz is socially awkward, not quite fitting in with the rest of the company which is made difficult as she is not an employee. With a company buyout offer on the table and Topher and Eva entrenched into opposite positions, Liz has the deciding vote to take the sale deal or not and has reason to support both Topher and Eva. When an avalanche cuts contact and access to the outside world, the isolated group mysteriously start dying and we have a traditional whodunit on our hands. The narrative is delivered from the voices of Erin and Liz, probably the two most interesting characters and yet they still left me in consternation at times.
The ingredients are there for an engrossing murder mystery, the setting in a snow-covered landscape with the biting cold playing its part, and the backdrop and motive with a company and its shareholders making a life-changing decision on how their futures will be secured. Even guessing the killer early is not off-putting as the puzzle maintains red herrings and multiple choices. Having read several books from Ruth Ware there are common issues that repeat – the secondary characters lack development and there are always noticeable plot holes. This novel is no exception and a story that promises so much doesn't quite deliver. Ruth Ware has an unfortunate capacity of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
Ruth Ware fans will enjoy this one and I would rate it 3.5 stars. I would like to thank Gallery Books and NetGalley for providing me with a free ARC in return for an honest review.
This is a Thriller/Mystery. I was up in the air about reading this book, and I decided to just read to see what I feel about this book. I can see why people love this book, but I can see why people hate this book. This book was worried for me because it kept me wanting to read, but it did not give me everything I want from a thriller. That only thriller stuff was in the last 20%, but even the thriller reveal did not really thrill me or shock me. This book to me this was more of a mystery not a thriller. This book does not have twists and turns like thrillers normally has. The mystery parts was good, and I did not guess who did it. I was not big into the snow lock in parts, but that is just because it is not my thing. I think if you go into this book think it is a mystery not a thriller then you will like it more.
I know there are mixed reviews... but I loved it!!!! ❤️❤️❤️ Ruth Ware you did it again! Now I have officially read all of her books. Turn of the Key being my favorite but this is a close second.
A company getaway to a ski chalet...yes please, sign me up! That is until the avalanche snowed them in, knocked their power out and left them to be sitting ducks. I say this because apparently one of our guests...or employees are a cold blooded killer...
This book was brilliant on so many levels. First off the title...I love it! It is absolutely perfect for the storyline. The idea of Snoop- the company that these guests worked at and created....again brilliant! I mean does a app like this exist or did Ware just come up with that? I love it! I would totally use Snoop!
I know many people have said there are too many characters. I usually have a problem with that, however this time I did not. I was so immersed in each character and I felt a connection with them, that I did not have any problem at all keeping them straight.
I honestly just felt like I was kicked back on the couch in the chalet, sipping cocoa and watching this play out. I felt the chill of the chalet, the creepy on edge feeling when they figured out that there was a killer among them.
As you can tell this was a winner for me! The short chapters that alternated between the two POV's were just what I wanted! Something about a Ruth Ware book, just makes me feel like I am right at home, every time I delve into them.
Thanks Susan for reading this one with me! It was a fun buddy read...even though I liked it more than you!
oooh, goodreads choice awards finalist for best mystery & thriller 2020! what will happen?
this is my third ruth ware novel and, enjoyment-wise, it's riiiiight in the middle. i read In a Dark, Dark Wood way back when i was a reader for bn's discover program, and i disliked it, and then i didn't read her again until i (very favorably) reviewed The Turn of the Key for l.a. review of books.
early reviews of this book were not encouraging, and while it didn’t blow my mind, i really don't ask for much these days—if a book can hold my attention and keep my mind off whatever fresh hell is making the news or infecting my commute, i am grateful and thank it for its service.
the setup is classic locked room mystery: twelve people with secrets and loyalties and varying degrees of unpleasantness, trapped by avalanche in an isolated ski chalet in the french alps, in a situation where, potentially, there's a great deal of money at stake, and then murrrrrderrrrrrrr! and then murrrrrderrrrrrrr again! and again. and—well, you've read the book's title, so there you have it.
is the whodunnit too obvious? i dunno—mysteries are tricksy beasts; sometimes a character will look soooo suspicious, all neon arrows pointed their way, and then BUT WAIT happens and those arrows were all red herrings designed to throw you off-course. and then other times the neon arrows are meant to make you, a savvy mystery fan, THINK they're disingenuous red herrings when in fact they were legit warnings all along. and still other times you're told right from the start who did what to whom in the where with the what, so at the end of the day, there's more to the genre than its reveal, and even if you've correctly guessed the killer, you might not suspect the how or who of the victim list, nor the fate of the murderer themselves.
i enjoyed the atmosphere and the sheer page-turnery thrust of it—the short chapters and alternating voice made it very bingeable, which is a quality i appreciate very much these days.
i do have a gripe with the way the book ends, and it's the same gripe i had with how The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is shaped; where the murdery mystery part resolves but then there's a million pages wrapping up the financial mystery that no one even remembered was a thing.
this one's action sequence ends, and instead of an epilogue where, typically, there'd be some sort of brief desultory wrap-up, instead there's another thirty pages to go, so you’re braced for some kind of twist, but nope. just some character work no one asked for in a book whose large cast of folks we knew from the start were mostly gonna die meant that we hadn't invested much in them as individuals—they were stock characters intended to be fodder.
and there's nothing wrong with that, there's no judgment here; the function of characters in this kind of mystery are different then in other kinds of genres or even other kinds of mysteries; the readers' expectations are less tied to the characters' hopes and dreams and more to how they're gonna croak.
so my note would be "know thy genre"—no one’s ever looking for emotional resolution or the facing of personal demons for a survivor of an agatha christie style locked room multi-corpse mystery.
agatha christie was a fantastic mystery writer but she didn’t spend a lot of time fleshing out the backstories of her partygoer-victims. she gave 'em basic attributes and 2-3 details designed to to provoke or or misdirect suspicion; they were very broadly drawn representatives of class or gender, and that was enough. no one needed closure on what lady fancyaccent did after returning from that unfortunate countryside weekend with all the corpses and the deplorable claret.
here, we get that, and it adds nothing to the experience; a coda that just kind of flops around and dulls the thrill of the whole WHO WILL SURVIVE journey.
so, not a game-changer, but a perfectly enjoyable diversion from all the real-world chaos, so tack a .5 onto these three stars.
awww, the "publishing plan" on my ARC copy makes me sad with all its pre-covid optimism: the 10-city book tour, san diego comic con, targeted outreach to ski lodges, and most alarmingly: the multi-touch email campaign.
Lock Room Mysteries are one of my favourite types of stories for an entertaining read. I love the intense, isolating and claustrophobic feel of them. Ruth Ware knows how to bring one by creating one tense setting here after an avalanche at a ski lodge in the French Alps snows in the characters. Erin and Danny host employees of a social media company (sounds like a nightmare already, right) who are there to promote "mindfulness and collaboration," but they might have other motivations to being there.
While Ruth Ware does a great job creating that tense setting I love, there were a couple of things that nagged at me. Like how are there, only two staff members snowed in with them? I am not a skier, but I think it takes a few employees to run ski hill. Did I miss something? Anyways I guess that is a small nagging point. The other was the characters. There were many characters to keep track of, and none really had anything interesting to them to stand out. While I don't find anything interesting about social media, I do with tech startups. A team of tech startups should lead to some diverse, interesting characters. Nothing was exciting here with these characters, just shallow, unlikable characters. There wasn't enough tension and suspense created with the characters and I didn't feel any sense of danger from them even though they were being killed one by one.
It was all about the setting here for me and the tension with the danger the weather put them under and their escape from it. I enjoyed the showdown even though it was a bit unrealistic. Overall this was an enjoyable, fun and entertaining read for me.
I received a copy from the publisher one NetGalley
Ten guests arrive at Chalet Perce-Neige in France for a combined skiing and work break. The chalet is off the beaten track and access is principally by funicular. All ten guests are connected to Snoop music app in some way which allows you to snoop and listen to what other people are listening too at that moment. The guests are looked after for the duration by Erin who is the host and Danny, the chef. The story is told in alternating perspectives by Erin and Liz who used to be PA at Snoop and now owns some shares.
I really like the snowy chalet setting in the French Alps as it provides a winter wonderland atmosphere to some chilly exchanges between the characters. Initially, Erin’s views of the guests is the most interesting as her perceptive observations give an insight into strained relations and divisions among the Snoop group and at this stage there is plenty of tension. There is a lot of clique intrigue too and a puzzle as to why dowdy Liz is there. Once things start to go ‘wrong’ it has the feel of an Agatha Christie novel although sadly not one of the queen of crimes best.
The problems in the book in my opinion, lie in the fact that there are SO many characters. The author has to keep repeating who is who especially via Erin so the reader can follow events and work them all out. Due to the over abundance of characters some of them feel like stereotypes or somewhat wooden as we don’t get sufficient sense of them. Most of them are not especially likeable in particular Topher and Eva, the CEO’s. The pace is uneven, it starts really well and then it slows down which is the pattern of the book. The early tension and feeling of suspense is lost as the characters ‘vanish’ and it just feels underwhelming rather than shock horror. I also have doubts about the ‘real time’ narrative which doesn’t work too well when there’s a murderer on the loose.
Overall, it’s a piece of escapism and a quick read but it’s just missing that essential something, if the early pace had continued this would have been a five star read. However, I have no doubt this will be a best seller and many people will love it.
With thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK, Vintage Publishing, Harvill Secker for the ARC.
One by One by Ruth Ware is a 2020 Scout Press publication.
Snoop- a startup app that… well… ‘snoops’ on one’s musical listening habits. Want to listen to the same song your favorite artist is listening to at the exact same time? Then this app is for you.
The app is so popular the startup group that founded it are considering a buyout offer. The group is divided on the decision, but has gathered at French Ski Chalet to discuss Snoop’s future and of course to indulge in a little fun on the slopes.
The hosts, Erin and Danny, can’t help but catch wind of the wary dynamic of their guests, sensing the various personality types, and the tensions within the group. But the egos and jockeying for position becomes the least of their worries when a skiing accident, and an avalanche, sets an entirely different tone. While they wait for help to arrive, though, things go from bad to worse as the members of the team begin to die-
One by One…
Obviously, Ware has patterned this novel after the famed "And Then There Were None” by the grand dame of mystery writers- Agatha Christie. It was effective back with Christie introduced such a premise- but one would think that after all this time, as jaded as we have all become, that such a setup would fail to quicken the veteran reader of mysteries and suspense.
Yet, it has done for decades. Therefore, it is no surprise that despite the familiar premise, Ware’s updated version once more lures readers into the ultimate game of cat and mouse. There is the usual frustration of a locked door mystery, with squirm in your seat suspense, and of course the fun of trying to figure out why are all these people dying.
There are two main characters that are going to tell this story- one is Liz, who stands to make a fortune if the buyout offer is accepted, though she no longer works for the startup, and Erin, a host at the Chalet, who is trying to find a way to accept a horrible tragedy she blames herself for. The chapters alternate between the staff and the guest as they take us through the events that have led up to this incredibly tense showdown.
Ware doesn’t tinker with the formula or format, relying on the simple traditions that made this type of mystery so popular in the first place. And just like Christie, Ware kept me entertained- though not guessing- because I got that part immediately, but by building the most exquisite anticipation, and rewarding me with a fine and satisfying conclusion.
Overall, this is a good, solid thriller, a homage to locked room mysteries and to Agatha Christie. It’s not always perfect, but Ware did an admirable job with the mystery elements, and proved that tradition can still be sexy.
I had put off reading this book for so long… and truly now that I’ve finished all I can ask myself is why did I wait so long!💁🏻♀️
A work retreat for the founders and staff of the app known as snoop. This app allows you to listen in real time to whoever you want to snoop on. Perhaps a loved one or maybe your favorite celebrity or athlete. Personally the concept of this app didn’t interest me…but that’s just me!
After an avalanche leaves one member of the party missing, panic start to take hold as the group finds themselves isolated in the chalet on top of the mountain. Was it an accident? Did someone want her gone? Could somebody else be next in line?
This was a great 'who done it' in classic Ruth Ware mode. She was able to weave a tale that left me guessing to the end. (Though Susanne had it figured out right away).
My only issue was that there was a large cast of characters and not all were developed equally. This did lead to some difficulty keeping everyone straight. But, it never took away from the hold this book had on me.
If you’ve enjoyed Ruth Ware’s books in the past… don’t miss out on this latest!
Ruth Ware fans seem generally disappointed by this one. I haven’t read enough of her books to say if it pales in comparison, but I had a good time. We’re in classic mystery territory, with a group of snowbound twenty-somethings stuck at a skiing chalet. They’re murdered one by one, leaving a dwindling number of suspects and heightened stakes.
Outside of introducing a new social media tech company, there’s not much innovation to a tried and true Agatha Christie formula. The structure of the novel, using the company’s “Snoop” platform to switch between points of view, adds a fresh modern twist, however. And the internal workplace drama is effective at providing motives for everyone.
It’s unfortunate that today’s publishing trends seem to demand 300+ page tomes, even when writing in this genre. I suppose customers feel if they’re going to shell out $20 for a hardcover, it better be thick! Personally, I miss the slim novella mysteries, like there were during the golden age of Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle.
That said, Ware does keep things suspenseful almost the entire time. The backstory becomes as interesting as the front story, so we’re still intrigued even after the killer is revealed. In the concluding pages, loose threads fall into place cleanly, without feeling like an afterthought.
Overall: Though it’s possible to read three superior Agatha Christie novels in the time it takes to get through one Ruth Ware, you could find much worse than this cozy, snowy mystery. I’m not bothered by authors who are “inspired” by classics and do little else than slap on a fresh coat of paint. If it works, it works. Eventually I’ll get to what I’ve heard are Ware’s greatest achievements, such as In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10. Other than this one, I’ve only read The Lying Game.
Always taking recommendations for which to read next. Feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments.
"Our guests are disappearing one by one, like some bad horror movie."
Eight coworkers of a tech company named Snoop and two staff members are now trapped due to an avalanche in a chalet high up in this snowy mountain. Electricity has been cut off. No signal for their phones to call for help. Food is running out. Everyone is close in losing their minds in this holiday gone wrong scenario. What's the worst thing that could happen next? Two things. Dead bodies and a killer in their midst.
One by One is told in two perspectives. One in Erin, the chalet girl with her buddy Danny. Another is from Liz, one of the coworkers from Snoop. As readers, we get to see what is happening between the two groups. Apparently, the colleagues are not here purely on vacation and Liz is caught in the middle. After reading Turn of the Key last year, I realize that Ruth Ware is one of those authors I will look out for every year. Her books are just waaaaay too atmospheric. Based on the two books I have read, her stories are not these full blown horror but at the same time the chilling effect is there.
Originality is not the strongest attribute of this novel. Reading the blurb you could probably know how some or not most things would happen. Thankfully I don't really mind book tropes as long it was written well. I got invested in this the moment I finally get to know these bunch of characters. I could just feel the panic and tension. What a great time!
I don't know for the others but personally I enjoyed these characters. I didn't like them but I have to give it to them for being not bland. Normally these are the type of people I wouldn't really mingle in real life but reading them here, with their own agendas, was surely entertaining as hell.
The thing I didn't like would be the 'plot twist'. Like, everyone is expecting that right? Funny thing was that I stayed up until 4 am earlier because I told myself I'm not sleeping until I get to know the killer's identity. Then I read that. I really wished it was different though. It felt like the story went downhill for me from that point.
Overall, I had a good time reading this as a whole. Lock room/who-done-it mysteries are becoming a thing to me. I was a little bit unsure or iffy with regards to that ending but I'll take it.
3.0 stars —- I decided to read Ruth Ware’s “One by One” after I was so pleasantly surprised by her last novel “The Turn of the Key”. I wasn’t sure what the plot of the story was, but I immediately noticed how similar the novel’s premise was to one of my favorite Shari Lapena’s novel, “An Unwanted Guest.” Unfortunately, Ware’s book pales in comparison to the far superior Lapena novel. In my opinion “One by One” started off incredibly slow because of the fact that the book has the unenviable task of having to introduce twelve characters that are either staying or working at a ski chalet. Ten of the occupants are there to discuss the possible sale/buyout of the company,Snoop, they either work for or own shares in. There is a lot of acrimony between the participants about whether to accept the buyout offer. When one of their party goes missing in the middle of a snowstorm and avalanche, the remainder of the group is trapped in the chalet with no power or phone service. This is when the mystery begins as Snoop members start coming up missing or dead. With so many characters, the author makes the wise decision to have only two narrators who each individually describe what is happening from her own perspective. The fact that there were so many main characters and side plots really slowed the pace of the book for the first three quarters of the novel. I also felt that one of the characters thoughts and actions described in detail in the novel weren’t consistent with what she would have really been thinking and doing at the time her actions come to light later in the book. This is a big problem that greatly affected my enjoyment of this book. The nice, very well written climax and resolution of the book saved what would have been a clunker of a book. Ware is a very talented writer, and the ability to keep all of the characters straight and the plot moving forward is amazing. But in the end there were just too many people, too much happening and a bogged down plot that kept me from rating this book any higher.