Short Review #26: One by One by Ruth Ware (2020)

Rating: 3 out of 5 ⭐️
Title: One by One
Author: Ruth Ware
Published: 2020 (Scout Press, New York)
Pages: 372 (Hardcover)
Genres: Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Suspense, Contemporary, Crime
CW: assault, murder, crime, trauma, language, minor gore
Link Here

My borrowed copy of One by One in front of our Christmas decorations in front of the fireplace

Hi everyone, 2020 is almost over, Happy New Year! This is my last review of the year, and I thought it was only appropriate I picked a book that was released in 2020, and takes place in the snowy winter like many of us face in December/January… except me, since I live in central Arizona. This thriller/mystery new release One by One is by widely-known author, Ruth Ware. I have only read two books by Ware including The Woman in Cabin 10 and The Death of Mrs. Westaway. After seeing the hype and the long waiting list at the library, I finally got the chance to dive into this one. But after reading, I was not as impressed with this one as I was with the other two books I read.

They think that life can’t touch them–just like I used to do… Only now it has. Now life has them by the throat. And it won’t let go” – Ruth Ware, One by One

Taking place at a rustic ski chalet in the French Alps, a group of employees and their founders from a London-based tech startup called Snoop are staying for a week-long retreat to bond and ski together. The setting and scenery are beautiful, and the retreat is going well thanks to Erin, the chalet host, and Danny, the personal chef for the chalet. But then after a devastating avalanche cuts them off from the outside world, the guests start to disappear one by one… Who is after them and why, are the biggest questions the group and reader stand to decide.

I was not as intrigued by this book as I hoped to be. I really enjoyed The Woman in Cabin 10 and The Death of Mrs. Westaway a great deal, and Ware is a good writer, but One by One had a dry story and bland outcome for such an interesting scenario in theory. Ware does a great job diving into the backgrounds of her characters, and how it affects the present story. She does the same in this book as her others, and it is probably my favorite part. The only aspect that really bugged me was the lack of motive and explanation for the antagonist’s actions (I do not reveal spoilers so I won’t go into detail of what that is). Part of the character’s motive did not make sense, and I was not a fan of the way the story rounded out in the end. Maybe I missed something, but overall this book was not entirely my cup of tea. The writing was still fantastic, and the read was enjoyable and the setting is intriguing itself. I also liked how the entire narration of the book went back and forth between two very different perspectives at the chalet.

Why should you read this book? If you’re interested in easy-to-read, mystery thrillers taking place in the French Alps with a large cast of contemporary characters who have their own secrets and dramas, this is the book for you. I’m still a fan of Ruth Ware, but One by One is definitely my least favorite of the books I have read by her.

I give this a 3 out of 5!


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3 thoughts on “Short Review #26: One by One by Ruth Ware (2020)

  1. I haven’t read anything by this author yet but, unfortunately, this is the book I was going to start with.. Good thing she has so many to choose from!
    Great review, shame you didn’t enjoy it more!

    Liked by 1 person

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