One by One By Ruth Ware

Ruth Ware Ü 8 Summary

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. Fiction, Mystery, Thriller 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.

See also, my thoughts on:
The Woman in Cabin 10
The Death of Mrs. Westaway
The Turn of the Key

Fiction, Mystery, Thriller 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. Fiction, Mystery, Thriller 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. Fiction, Mystery, Thriller 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! Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

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. Fiction, Mystery, Thriller 4.3 nerwy w strzępach miałam przy tej książce 😅 Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

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. Fiction, Mystery, Thriller Meg's Ruth Ware Ratings:

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. Fiction, Mystery, Thriller Bored to Tears!

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. Fiction, Mystery, Thriller


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. One by One