18 September 2020

Review: One by One by Ruth Ware

One by One by Ruth Ware book cover
* Copy courtesy of Penguin Random House Australia *

One by One by Ruth Ware is one of my most anticipated titles of 2020, after The Turn of the Key was a five star read last year and instantly made it onto my Top 5 Books of 2019 list. I was surprised to see her back with a new release so quickly, however I've since learned Ruth Ware is a prolific writer and has released one book a year since 2015. (Clearly I have some catching up to do and I'll probably start with The Death of Mrs Westaway published in 2018).

Set in a French ski resort in the Alps, work colleagues from a British tech company arrive at a chalet for a corporate getaway. As well as skiing, they need to make an important decision regarding the future of their popular music streaming app Snoop.

The reader is immediately introduced to quite a large cast of 10 Snoop characters and two chalet staff, however Ware cleverly reinforces who's who multiple times, so eventually the characters 'stick'.

It's not long before an avalanche interrupts their plans and what transpires from there is a locked-room mystery of sorts. I haven't read any Agatha Christie (shame on me?) however I do know that Ruth Ware's writing has been favourably compared to Christie's several times.

While I can't comment on that, I did notice a subtle reference to Christie's And Then There Were None by one of the characters in One by One, and note the nod to Christie's novel in the very title of this book.

Enjoying One by One on its own merit and relishing the tension as guests were slowly picked off, I contemplated drawing a diagram on a whiteboard to establish the whereabouts of each person in order to confirm their alibi. Deciding to stay in bed and keep reading instead - thereby forfeiting this ability to methodically refine my list of suspects - I surrendered to the ride.

I'm pleased to report there were some great action scenes at the end and the big 'reveal' was well done.

One by One was completely different to the creepy and gothic feel of The Turn of the Key and I love that Ruth Ware is able to construct such different plots and circumstances with very different characters.

One by One by Ruth Ware is a stand-alone mystery crime thriller that feels very modern, and I think it's going to be popular with fans.

Carpe Librum!

My Rating:


Available from Booktopia

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