Publication: 12th November 2020 – Harvill Secker
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?
There is no doubt that Ruth Ware is one of my favourite authors and One By One is her latest gripping story. Set in the beautiful and snowy French Alps, it features a group of people gathering for a corporate retreat, the two staff members running the remote resort, dangerous secrets, a killer ready to do anything to protect those secrets, and weather conditions that keep the characters isolated from the rest of the world. And, because of all these elements, I spent an enjoyable Saturday completely engrossed in the story.
Based on the many thrillers I read, corporate retreats are a bad idea… they always end badly! In One By One, inspired by Agatha Christie, Ruth Ware creates a story in which the employees and shareholders of a successful app company reunite in a resort to discuss the future of the company and to ski. With millions of dollars at stake and secrets threatening to come to light, the tension is high. Things get worse when an avalanche isolates them with no cell reception and no way to call for help. When one of them disappears, it becomes clear that there is a killer on the loose and no one is safe. When everyone is a suspect, who can you trust?
The story is told from two points of views. Lily, a former employee of the app company, finds herself in the middle of the battle between the two founders of the company. Thanks to her perspective, we get a deep and interesting insight inside the company and its members. On the other hand, for Erin the chalet in Saint Antoine is her escape from her past. Even from the outside, it is clear that tempers are fraught between her new guests and things take a dark turn when one of them disappears.
Ruth Ware never disappoints. I loved the cold and immersive setting, the deceitful and suspicious characters, the clever, chilling, and addictive plot. I raced through One By One. How could I not? I needed to know who the murderer was and it took me by surprise. I don’t know if One By One is my favourite of Ruth Ware’s novels, because I love all of her books, but it is definitely a must-read! Highly recommended!