Saturday, November 21, 2020

Review: One by One by Ruth Ware

by Ruth Ware
Release Date: September 8th 2020
2020 Scout Press
Softcover Edition: 372 Pages
ISBN: 978-1501188817
ASIN: B084G9Z5C3
Genre: Fiction / Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher

1.5 / 5 Stars

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?
My Thoughts
I went into One by One with higher expectations simply because I had enjoyed The Death of Mrs. Westaway, and was hoping this book was similar, in writing style, to that one. Unfortunately, this was not the case; I slugged through this one but really it should have been a DNF for me.
**Warning: Spoilers ahead**
First of all, on a positive note, I loved the location and the setting.  As an avid skier, put me in a cozy chalet surrounded by mountains and snow and you have me hooked.  However, this is where my first problem arises with this book.  As an avid skier who has been skiing for a long time, there is absolutely no way a beginner skier would be able to learn enough in one morning to be able to handle a blue hill in these conditions. This is skiing in the French Alps, where you need to take a lift to get to the chalet. This may work on someone who has never skied, or who has only skied small mountains, but when you have skied much bigger mountains and more difficult terrain, we DON'T BUY IT.  Second, when a hill closes, so does the lift.  Any avid skier would know this.  Unless they magically flew up the hill, one scenario would never happen.  They don't keep a lift running if the hill is closed; I have never seen that happen. Which now takes me to the 'gripping chase down the mountain'.  I actually chuckled at the descriptions of that chase.  Not at the death, but over the descriptions.  If you are a skier, when you read that scene, you will understand why.  

Problem #2: The characters. I knew pretty much from the first page who the killer was.  This wasn't a problem of too many characters, this was a problem of an author having too many characters and not using her skill to develop them wisely or not being able to keep track of them all.  There was even a couple of times when the names were wrong in the middle of a conversation and I had to backtrack to take a look and see if I| missed something.  I think if the narrative had been told from one perspective, it would have been a stronger book, but there was absolutely nothing going for one of the narrators and she brought the whole story down. Whiny, annoying as anything, and I couldn't for the life of me figure out why she was even there.  The reason the author gave was so lame it made me smirk.  

Problem #3: The plot. Boring, boring, boring.  Sorry, I hate writing so many negative things in a review, but other than the setting, there really wasn't a lot of positives in this book.  But the story line took forever to get going, there was so much talk about this app, and for the life of me, I couldn't figure out why anyone would even want to purchase this thing.  It had something to do with listening in on playlists of the rich and famous so you could listen to what they were listening to.  Seriously, who cares? It's not the app that was the problem, it was all the senseless info dump that was so unnecessary to the plot and was boring.  Even the ending dragged on and on, and I remember thinking, There are still 4 chapters left? Really? 

One by One was a huge disappointment. The murderer was obvious from the beginning, the plot was boring, the characters were not developed and we didn't really get to know any of them as the author was more focused on how many followers they had, and the ski scenes drove me nuts.  I feel really sad about this as there was huge potential in this book. Definitely not a book I would recommend. 



  1. oh no...i love books that deal with weather events. sorry it missed the mark. better luck with the next one
    sherry @ fundinmental