Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
One by One by Ruth Ware
Narrator: Imogen Church
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on September 8, 2020
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Length: 13 hours, 8 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
Getting snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a cozy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your coworkers…and you can’t trust any of them?
When an off-site company retreat meant to promote mindfulness and collaboration goes utterly wrong when an avalanche hits, the corporate food chain becomes irrelevant and survival trumps togetherness. Come Monday morning, how many members short will the team be?
So One by One is about a tech company and most of the characters are those who work there. Every chapter starts with a little Snoop info which I found distracting from the story. The company goes on a retreat at a French ski lodge. It’s small and staffed with a cook and housekeeper. There are 9 guest rooms and 10 guests who come for this trip.
Most of the story is told from the point of view of the housekeeper, Erin, and the only one who doesn’t still work there but is a minority shareholder, Liz. The first morning, they all head out skiing and by noon, the snowstorm worsens and then there is an avalanche. One of the majority shareholders goes missing, and people keep dropping after that.
One of the things to be discussed on the retreat is the buyout offer the company has received. Ava, one of the original partners think they should take it, and the other original partner, Topher is against it and wants to wait for an IPO because of some new things they are developing. But they don’t have the capital to keep things going until an IPO. The other two shareholders are split evenly between Ava and Topher so it is all down to the 2% Liz owns. She started as the admin to them both. She feels loyalty to Topher who hired her but there are other factors at work here.
I love the atmospheric details of a mystery like this one. I didn’t figure it out until Erin did because I just stayed with the story and didn’t really think about solving it myself. Everyone but Erin and Danny had a motive so it comes down to “alibis” and figuring out where everyone was when things happened but we don’t get that information completely. Obviously, there are a variety of characters and some of them are nicer people than others are.
I’ve enjoyed this narrator before so I was happy to have another title. I don’t know what different areas accents would be but the voices felt authentic. I thought the male and female voices felt authentic. Most of the story was told from female perspectives so that was comfortable as well. I listened at a bit slower 1.25x speed.
Listen to a clip:
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