One by One – Ruth Ware

four stars black
Genre: Mystery 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: September 8, 2020

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 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?

One by One is the latest from Ruth Ware. It follows a company up in the French mountains for ski retreat. One by One is told through two perspectives: Erin, an employee of the ski chalet, and Liz, an ex-employee. Both perspectives serve to give readers an inside and outside look of the company and the dynamics between the characters.

One by One starts with a cheat sheet of sorts explaining the characters. This information is helpful because there are a lot of characters to juggle as Ware navigates through her narrative. What makes referring back to this page a disappointment is the fact that almost all the characters are not fleshed out or memorable.

The beginning of the novel is slow as Ware takes her time introducing the characters, the dynamics between them, and the setting. It isn’t until about halfway through the novel that the pace picks up and is relentless until the end.

Ware’s writing makes the setting come to life. A rustic ski chalet surrounded by mountains, an avalanche, and the complications from said avalanche make One by One Ware’s most atmospheric novel yet.

The only other criticism I have of the novel is how transparent the identity of the killer is from the moment that person is introduced. The motives for the killer were what ultimately saved the novel from a three star rating.

Overall, One by One is another in a long line of Ware novels that prove Ware is at the top of the mystery genre. It is the perfect read to cozy up with by the fireplace this coming winter.

*** I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review.

Will you be reading One by One?

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