one by one by ruth ware

Reviewer rating

Format reviewed: Audio
Ready by Imogen Church
13 hours

One by One by Ruth Ware

One by One by Ruth Ware opens with Erin, who is a hostess at a ski chalet in the Alps, and her coworker Danny, who is the chef, prepare for the arrival of 10 employees of a hot tech startup who are coming for a company retreat and a few days of skiing. We are introduced to a number of characters right off, which is a bit confusing, but it quickly sorts out as we learn that the reason for the company retreat is to decide the fate of the company, Snoop. Snoop is in trouble financially and there is a buy out offer that many of the group want to accept. Not only will it save the company, but they stand to each receive millions if the sale goes through. However, others in the group want to hang on because they don’t want to lose control of the company they founded and there is a new update coming that might make the company even more valuable. The group takes a break for some skiing before bad weather closes the slopes, but as a big storm hits one member of the party doesn’t return to the chalet. Are they in trouble on the slopes, did they seek refuge in the small town a few miles down the mountain, or is something else going on because the shares from the missing person will tip the scales over receiving millions now versus holding onto the company?

The story is based on the book by Agatha Christie And Then There Were None where guests trapped together die one by one and it is discovered that many of them have a motive for murder. I had a good guess who the murderer was before it was revealed, but that didn’t ruin the story because I didn’t know how it would all play out. It has been a long time since I read a classic mystery and so I really enjoyed the this book.

The only part of the book that seemed unnecessary was that there was a rather long winddown at the end after things were solved. The story is told by serially switching to the point of view of the different characters. The reader of One by One did a good job creating enough differences between the voices that the reader could follow the changes. In these types of points of view swapping there is a lot of internal dialog that has the potential for making the story drag, but the author used this to create the scene and scenario in the beginning, and convey emotions as it became more suspenseful. This was a story that was enhanced by listening and I recommend the audio version.

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