One by One

Ruth Ware's engrossing One by One opens with a BBC News story headlined "4 Britons Dead in Ski Resort Tragedy." The report states the victims were found after an avalanche in a "house of horror," which in its better days is an exclusive chalet high up in the French Alps.

The mystery cuts to five days earlier, when 10 guests arrive at the chalet, all part of a tech startup that created a popular music app called Snoop. On staff at the resort are Erin and Danny, with Erin handling guest relations and Danny the culinary duties. The guests are ostensibly there for a ski retreat, but the more important item on the agenda is deciding whether or not to accept a company buyout offer. Tensions mount as the players disagree, and when the chalet loses power after an avalanche, everyone is trapped together at the top of the mountain. And then, one by one, people start getting murdered. Will the killings continue until there are none?

One of Ware's (The Lying Game; In a Dark, Dark Wood; The Woman in Cabin 10) strengths is propelling the story in a way that keeps readers trapped inside its pages, and armchair travelers can enjoy being whisked away to a location that's both breathtaking and deadly. Anyone familiar with Agatha Christie's work--specifically And Then There Were None, to which this pays obvious homage--might find One by One predictable at times, but Ware gives it a modern twist and an exciting, literally chilling denouement. --Elyse Dinh-McCrillis, blogger at Pop Culture Nerd

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