One by One by Ruth Ware
First of all, apologies for missing my regular post on Friday, I was on a week's holiday from work and decided to extend this to the blog. It was a sad start to the week with the Queen's funeral, many tears were shed and I felt quite wrung out afterwards but I thought the whole event was respectful and dignified. I feel a medal should be awarded to the pall-bearers, and if not a medal than many drinks. Heaven they were a steady pair of hands under an immense amount of pressure.
On Tuesday we went to Edinburgh. It was brilliant and such an amazing city. We enjoyed learning about the history, we saw seals, and of course I visited a couple of bookshops, the most notable being Blackwells which is the oldest bookshop in the city and is on the site of a former morgue.Speaking to the staff there, it transpired they had a ghost, a woman in a blue dress who had been spotted a number of times on the top trading floor.
The best bit about this bookshop though was the range of stock. I don't know about you, but when I discover an author I enjoy reading their backlist and just recently I seem to be unable to find these older titles. There are, of course, a number of economic reasons why this happens, bookshops are expected to have a quick turnaround of books and can't afford to have money tied up in 'dead' stock, especially as retail is experiencing financial pressure unseen before. But it was a refreshing change to walk into a bookshop, go to a shelf and see a range of backlist and new titles by an author. And I purchased. As I was in Scotland I went for an Alexander McCall Smith novel 'The Sunday Philosophy Club' set in Edinburgh and which will henceforth be known as my Edinburgh holiday book.
But on with the review of One by One by Ruth Ware! This is a cracking page turner, perfect for snowy days.
Snow is falling in the exclusive alpine ski resort of Saint Antoine as the shareholders and Directors of Snoop, the hottest new music app, gather for a make or break corporate retreat to decide the future of the company. At stake is a billion dollar dot.com buyout that could make them all millionaires or leave some of them out in the cold.
The clock is ticking on the offer and with the group irrevocably split, tensions are running high. When an avalanche cuts the chalet off from help and one board member goes missing in the snow, the group is forced to ask - would someone resort to murder to get what they want?
If I'm honest this book has been on my kindle waiting to be read for quite some time. Heavens I am glad I finally read it!!
To me this is perfect for fans of Lucy Foley, Catherine Cooper and even the great Agatha Christie, yet it feels terribly modern. Told with alternating narrators, we quickly build up a picture of the toxic environment of Snoop, the hottest new music app. At the start of each narrator's chapter, we see their Snoop profile which builds into the story. Erin is a likeable and capable host who gave up a career as a Doctor, Liz is a nervy, dowdy ex-employee who is derided by former colleagues, but needed in the battle of the Board.
And then an avalanche occurs, killing one of their colleagues and leaving the party stranded in their remote ski lodge. One by one they start to be picked off, paranoia grows, the atmosphere becomes oppressive and slowly people unravel. I couldn't put it down and found myself thinking 'just one more chapter'.
The location and the food are amazing (before the avalanche obviously), the setting is stunning. All in all this was an extremely enjoyable read and a great page-turner.
I will be back on Friday with what is probably going to be this years' bestselling book.