I read Ruth Ware’s The Lying Game a few years ago and, while it wasn’t my favorite book, I liked it well enough that I wanted to read more by the author. One by One came out in May of 2021, and as soon as the ebook was available at my library I snapped it up. It did not disappoint, and made me eager to read one of her older books – The Woman in Cabin 10.
So here’s a two-fer Ruth Ware review for Thriller Thursday!
Mini Plot Summary: The staff of social media startup Snoop have all gathered at a ritzy ski chalet in the French Alps for a corporate retreat. Quickly, the festive mood grows tense as the cofounders disagree about a potential company buyout. To make matters worse, an avalanche cuts the boutique resort off from access to the outside world… and then the staff members begin to disappear, one by one…
What I Liked About This Book: This was an excellent locked-room mystery, where everyone’s a suspect and victims get picked off one by one. The setting – a beautiful, luxurious ski chalet with a two-person staff in a secluded part of the French Alps – and the avalanche added so much atmosphere and tension to the story. And I loved the characters – as is typical of a lot of thrillers these days, it seemed like everyone had a secret. While this wasn’t the most shocking reveal, the book was still so exciting that I was on the edge of my seat.
What I Didn’t Like About This Book: The one thing that sticks out when I think about “dislikes” was that there is a pretty gruesome description of… physical carnage. I did not care for that. It was brief, and I think there was only one, but I could have done without it. I also felt like the break-in from the beginning of the book was more prominent than it needed to be. It felt like it was supposed to figure into the story more than it did.
Should You Read This Book? Definitely! This book had plenty of atmosphere, it was properly thrilling, and even though I figured out who the killer was pretty early on, it still kept me guessing. If you want a gripping read and a really satisfying thriller, this book should do it!
Mini Plot Summary: Even though she hasn’t slept since she endured terrifying break-in at her home, Laura Blacklock climbs aboard the Aurora – a cruise ship setting sail for Norway – to cover the ship’s maiden voyage for her job as a journalist. Onboard, she meets a woman in the cabin next to hers… but the woman soon disappears, and Laura is certain she’s been murdered and thrown overboard.
What I Liked About This Book: This was a fast-paced thriller with some excellent surprises. Ruth Ware is a strong, plot-focused writer, but she doesn’t skimp on characterization of her protagonist. I really liked how confident Laura was in her own experience, despite being disbelieved by pretty much every man she goes to for help.
What I Didn’t Like About This Book: The burglary at the beginning seemed like it was more of a plot device than anything else. And I think there was a second break-in referenced later that was never fully explained – I felt like I was being led somewhere, but not in a satisfying way if that makes sense. I also felt the very ending – like, last few pages – was sort of out of the blue and unnecessary. It felt half plotted and I might have felt better if that particular thread had been left hanging.
Should You Read This Book? Yes! Ruth Ware is an excellent writer of thrillers and this book – coupled with One by One – has made her an auto-buy author for me!