One by One by Ruth Ware

1. First lines. 2. Published 2020 Harvill Secker, imprint of Penguin Random House. 3. Ski poles [Public Domain] Image by Gerhard G. via Pixabay 4. Cable car [Public Domain] via Pickpik

An exclusive resort in the French Alps is staffed by Danny and Erin. The guests are the shareholders and directors of Snoop, a very popular music app. An imminent buyout of the company has split the group in two – for and against. They are gathered at the chalet to make a decision about the future of the company. One of the group goes missing, and after an avalanche cuts off all communications, tensions rise. There’s a murder or two, and it seems the group is diminishing one by one.


“She knows something. She suspects something. I just don’t know what.”

“I turn to look out of the window. I see what looks like a wall of snow coming down the valley towards us. But not a wall – that implies something solid. This is something else. A boiling mass that is air and ice and earth all rolled together.”

“Our guests are disappearing one by one, like some bad horror movie.”

My opinion:

I found it hard to keep track of all the characters, and I gave up trying to work out who was who among the employee/ shareholder characters. In my mind, they melded into one, so I focused on the main characters, who were portrayed realistically. The story moved along quickly. This, and the foreboding atmosphere kept me engaged. I really enjoyed this book.

The opinion of others:
  • Kirkus: “Another win for Ware and her adaptations of classic mystery traditions. The solution is maddeningly simple but the construction, simply masterful.”
  • Washington Post: “Like Christie, Ware prefers to have her killings transpire “offstage,” making “One by One” that increasingly rare literary achievement: a non-grisly thriller. The final section, where the last intended victim is locked in a ghastly battle of wits and endurance with the unmasked killer, has to be one of the most ingeniously extended plot climaxes in the suspense canon.”
  • Publishers Weekly: “A somewhat contrived denouement does little to diminish the thrill of this claustrophobic, adrenaline-fueled cat-and-mouse game. Agatha Christie fans take note.”

Ruth Ware

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