Hello, everyone! Today I’m coming at you with a good old fashioned book review. Because I read and loved Ruth Ware’s last novel, The Turn of the Key, I knew I was going to instantly pick up her newest release. It was pitched to me as Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None meets avalanche-survival story, so I was definitely intrigued.
One by One is set in a luxury ski chalet and there is a group of young business (an app actually) owners and the two people who live/work at the resort. The app founders and employees are there to discuss finances and the potential buyout of their company, and during this retreat there is a massive avalanche that results in them being trapped in the resort. I ended up giving the book 3.5 out of 5 stars.
I don’t want to spoil anything because honestly it’s best to go into this one knowing as little as possible. I think compared to The Turn of the Key, this one didn’t quite live up to the expectations I had for it. I was anticipating a really captivating thriller, and while I was interested for this story, it seemed to unravel a bit for me at the end.
One of the things that Ruth Ware does well is the actual writing. She’s really good at creating an atmosphere and getting you involved in the story. While everyone was panicking about the potential murderer, I felt that panic. The story felt very immersive, and at times I was feeling that isolation and anxiety along with the characters.
I also liked the diversity of the characters. Every one of them felt real and different, and it was nice to have so many characters without feeling overwhelmed or confused as to who was who the whole time. I liked learning Erin’s backstory as well – I kind of hoped for a little more Danny and Erin interactions because I really loved their friendship.
The biggest flaw for me with this book was the big reveal. The “twist” was a bit disappointing because I wanted it to be something that knocked me off my feet. Going into the story, you’re thrown into two different perspectives: Erin, the chalet worker, and Liz, a former employee of the app company. Liz seems like she’d rather be anywhere else than on this retreat, and the whole time I thought to myself, “Man, how cliche would it be for Liz to be behind it all?” And guess what? It was cliche. I was sad when the reveal went down because I thought how easy it was for it to be Liz. It felt a little like a cop-out, and because of that, I rated it a bit lower.
*Spoilers are finished!*
Aside from the one real spoiler-y disappointment I had, I think another reason I rated it averagely was the lack of real grit. It sounds kind of stupid, but I wanted the murders and the turmoil to be a bit more. They seemed to happen off-screen a lot, and nine times out of ten, the deaths weren’t very gory or even frightening. If this story were a movie, it’d definitely be rated PG-13, and that would purely for the content/language. I wanted a bit more R rated shit.
Overall, I’d still recommend someone this book. I thoroughly enjoyed the setting and feeling the book gave me as I read it, so for that alone, I think reader’s would like it. Would I recommend The Turn of the Key instead? Probably.
Until next time,