Thursday 12 November 2020

One by One by Ruth Ware @RuthWareWriter #OneByOne @HarvillSecker @vintagebooks #BookReview


Snow is falling in the exclusive alpine ski resort of Saint Antoine, as the shareholders and directors of Snoop, the hottest new music app, gather for a make or break corporate retreat to decide the future of the company. At stake is a billion-dollar dot com buyout that could make them all millionaires, or leave some of them out in the cold.

The clock is ticking on the offer, and with the group irrevocably split, tensions are running high. When an avalanche cuts the chalet off from help, and one board member goes missing in the snow, the group is forced to ask - would someone resort to murder, to get what they want?

One By One by Ruth Ware is published today (12 November 2020), in hardback by Harvill Secker/Vintage Books. My thank to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

It's been a while since I've read anything by Ruth Ware, I still have her previous couple of books to catch up on. In One By One she's written a traditional locked-room mystery, set in a ski chalet in France. Sure, there are many of these types of books about, but for me, this was a story that totally entertained me, I read it in two sittings. It's the sort of book that screams 'just one more chapter'.

Narrated by two of the large cast of characters. Liz; one of the guests, but not like any of the other guests, and Erin the chalet maid, and more like the guests than they realise, or that she will admit. 

Snoop is the latest big thing in social media. It's an App that allows users to listen in to what music other people are listening to, in real time. It's a huge hit with many celebrity users. Ordinary people get a buzz out of listening to the same music as their heroes, at exactly the same time. Giving them a tiny bit in common with people who are usually so out of reach.

The Directors, share holders and some employees of Snoop have rented the chalet. They have some serious decision making to do. There's a buy-out offer on the table and the Directors are split. Erin and her supporters want to sell. Topher and his followers want to reject the offer; they are sure that their planned developments for Snoop will only increase the value and to sell at this moment would be wrong.
So, who is Liz?  Why is Liz there and why is she not like the others? Why is she awkward, and obviously not wealthy, in ill-fitting clothes and very little to say?
Liz was the original Snoop PA, back when they had no money. She was there from the beginning, and it's down to her and a small inheritance from her grandmother that Snoop survived. She's a two per cent shareholder and her decision is the one that matters the most.  How will she vote? And why?

There's a huge cast of, in the main, quite obnoxious characters here. Personally, I love a well-drawn awful character and Ruth Ware has certainly created a few of those at Snoop. 
The only characters who are really padded out though are the narrators; Erin and Liz, so the reader has to draw their conclusions about everyone else through the voice of these two women.

There's an avalanche and the party are snowed in, however one person is missing, presumed dead, buried under tons of snow. They are not the only victim though, and the bodies mount up as the weather conditions get worse; the electricity goes, there's no wi-fi or phone signal and the temperature is dropping. It's clear that at least one person in the chalet is a killer, but who and why?

Sit back and prepare yourself for an all-action, quick moving whodunnit thriller. The setting is excellent, the contrast between the closed-in conditions within the chalet and the miles and miles of open slopes, covered with snow is really well described. Don't expect to like many, or any of the characters, but don't be surprised if your loyalties alter as the story unfolds. 

Great fun, incredibly readable and extremely entertaining. One By One is great escapism, with snow and social media and hidden secrets that are revealed with a bang. 

Ruth Ware is an international number one bestseller. Her thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood, The
Woman in Cabin 10, The Lying Game, The Death of Mrs Westaway, The Turn of the Key and One by One have appeared on bestseller lists around the world, including the Sunday Times and New York Times, and she is published in more than 40 languages. 

Ruth lives near Brighton with her family.

Visit to find out more, or find her twitter as @RuthWareWriter

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