One By One By Ruth Ware

Publication Date: September 8, 2020

Publisher: Scout Press

Pages: 372

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Rating: 3.5/5

This fast paced and engaging thriller features my all time favorite trope, a locked room mystery. A small British tech company has decided to have their company retreat at a beautiful French chalet and while they are there, a huge blizzard hits that leaves them completely cut off from the world. There is also an added element of intrigue because this small company is divided over whether they should accept a buy out offer and are planning to vote while they are on there. The people stranded are forced to face dwindling food, lowering indoor temperatures, and possible murder.

This book is cleverly formatted and I love how the choice of our two narrators, Erin and Liz, helped tell a complete story. Erin is one of the workers at the chalet so we get to see things that the guests aren’t privy too. Liz is an ex employee of the tech company so she knows a lot of the background and inner workings of the company and is there because she has a voting share. Can you talk about a Ruth Ware book without mentioning the atmosphere? She is the queen of setting a scene and firmly puts the reader right there with the characters. I also think Ware did a great job of fleshing out each character in the book and making them all seem like they could be up to no good. She also did an amazing job building up the suspense and the ending (more about that below) had me on the edge of my seat, flipping as fast as I could, to see what was going to happen next.

I was so in love with this book and flying through it and had reached an incredible ending but yet the book just kept going. I have no idea what Ware was hoping to accomplish by dragging the book on for so long but all it did was cause me to keep lowering my rating the more annoyed I got. Besides being unnecessarily longer, the ending also got preachy, which also left a bad taste in my mouth. If an author wants to convey a message, then I much prefer it when they make it a part of the plot (like The Night Swim by Megan Goldin) and not wait until the end to give us page after page of how they feel on something. Those last 30 pages are such a shame because the actual ending of the story was so well done that this book would have made it on my best of the year list. Now it is going to be on my most disappointing list.

~Cassie

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I'm a SAHM of three boys. I was lucky enough to marry my best friend who is totally ok with my book hoarding tendencies. I have been a lover of books my whole life and it has been such a blessing to be able to share that love with my kids.

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