One By One by Ruth Ware

One by One

This book was recommended by one of my local librarians.

Stats: Published in 2020, Audio – 11 CDs, Narrator – Imogen Church, Print – 372 pages

Blurb: 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?

What I liked: As people started getting picked off “One by One” in a situation where there is only so many people involved in a place where they can’t get away from each other (in a snowed in chalet), I definitely thought of Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians (which started out with a not socially acceptable – now – title). And Ruth reproduces the feeling of that great Christie story pretty well. You definitely feel like you’re in the chalet. You definitely get the feeling of the different characters (and Imogen Church helps this a lot too), and I didn’t know “who done it” until she tells you. I was listening so I couldn’t really go back and see if she “cheated” at all in how she used the different people’s voices (the different sections are told by different characters), but I trust that she’s a good enough author that she didn’t do that. I also like how the Ware does tell you who the murder is but there is still more of the book to go. The final ski down the mountain was a nasty. I’m not a skilled downhill skier, so it put me on edge for sure.

What I didn’t like: The end was a bit slow and I don’t remember learning with happened to some of the other characters when they split up. I would have liked to know why they didn’t come back in time.

Rating: 4/5

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Blurb:On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around. (From Goodreads)

Genre: Suspense/ Thriller

What I liked: The middle of the book was quite good. I was listening to it on audio and I kept wanting to drive somewhere so I could listen to it. It definitely is a psychological thriller, sometimes you’re rooting for the wife, then the next thing you know, you’re rooting for the husband. Some of the things the wife does, how seamlessly she sets things up seems a bit far fetched at times but it’s fairly easy to overlook that and just enjoy the ride. Overall, it’s well written with good dialogue. The Narrators Julia Whelan who plays the wife, and Kirby Heyborne, who plays the husband do a wonderful job as well.

What I didn’t like: The beginning – I wasn’t really interested in listen much until disc 5. I’m not sure how much that is in pages, but it’s quite a bit before it gets interesting. The other things I really didn’t like was the end.  After all the stuff that goes on that keeps you on the edge of your seat (most of the time – it drags a bit at points in the middle) to have the ending it does is a big disappointment. I’m not sure I’d say I wouldn’t read it because of that, but it sure put a damper on a relatively good story.

Rating: 3.5/5  (I’d give it a 4/5 if it wasn’t for the ending, and the cover is kind of boring too)