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One by One

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From Ruth Ware, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, The Lying Game, The Death of Mrs. Westaway, and The Turn of the Key, comes her highly anticipated sixth novel.

Getting snowed in at a luxurious, rustic ski chalet high in the French Alps doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world. Especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a full-service chef and housekeeper, a cozy fire to keep you warm, and others to keep you company. Unless that company happens to be eight coworkers…each with something to gain, something to lose, and something to hide.

When the cofounder of Snoop, a trendy London-based tech startup, organizes a weeklong trip for the team in the French Alps, it starts out as a corporate retreat like any other: PowerPoint presentations and strategy sessions broken up by mandatory bonding on the slopes. But as soon as one shareholder upends the agenda by pushing a lucrative but contentious buyout offer, tensions simmer and loyalties are tested. The storm brewing inside the chalet is no match for the one outside, however, and a devastating avalanche leaves the group cut off from all access to the outside world. Even worse, one Snooper hadn’t made it back from the slopes when the avalanche hit.

As each hour passes without any sign of rescue, panic mounts, the chalet grows colder, and the group dwindles further…one by one.

1. Liz LIZ
Snoop ID: ANON101

Listening to: James Blunt / You’re Beautiful

Snoopers: 0

Snoopscribers: 0

I keep my earbuds shoved into my ears on the minibus from Geneva Airport. I ignore Topher’s hopeful looks and Eva, glancing over her shoulder at me. It helps, somehow. It helps to shut out the voices in my head, their voices, pulling me this way and that, pummeling me with their loyalties and their arguments to and fro.

Instead, I let James Blunt drown them out, telling me I’m beautiful, over and over again. The irony of the statement makes me want to laugh, but I don’t. There’s something comforting in the lie.

It is 1:52 p.m. Outside the window the sky is iron gray, and the snowflakes swirl hypnotically past. It’s strange. Snow is so white on the ground, but when it’s falling, it looks gray against the sky. It might as well be ash.

We are starting to climb now. The snow gets thicker as we gain height, no longer melting into rain when it hits the window but sticking, sliding along the glass, the windscreen wipers swooshing it aside into rivulets of slush that run horizontally across the passenger window. I hope the bus has snow tires.

The driver changes gear; we are approaching yet another hairpin bend. As the bus swings around the narrow curve, the ground falls away, and I have a momentary feeling that we’re going to fall—a lurch of vertigo that makes my stomach heave and my head spin. I shut my eyes, blocking them all out, losing myself in the music.

And then the song stops.

And I am alone, with only one voice left in my head, and I can’t shut it out. It’s my own. And it’s whispering a question that I’ve been asking myself since the plane lifted off the runway at Gatwick.

Why did I come? Why?

But I know the answer.

I came because I couldn’t afford not to.
Author photograph © Gemma Day Photography

Ruth Ware worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language, and a press officer before settling down as a full-time writer. She now lives with her family in Sussex, on the south coast of England. She is the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail (Toronto) bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark WoodThe Woman in Cabin 10The Lying GameThe Death of Mrs. WestawayThe Turn of the Key; and One by One. Visit her at RuthWare.com or follow her on Twitter @RuthWareWriter.

“[Ware] sets the bar higher in One By One by burying her principal players in an Alpine chalet beneath an avalanche. . . . Readers will recognize the obvious homage to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, but with enough ingenious twists to make this whodunit another triumph for Ware.”
— The New York Times Book Review

“Not only do Ware’s novels wink at Christie in a saucy way, but Ware herself is turning out to be as ingenious and indefatigable as the Queen of Crime.”
— The Washington Post

“A claustrophobic spine-tingler.”
— People

“Ware manages to make a retreat in a chalet in the wide-open French Alps feel claustrophobic, nerve-wracking and deadly. . . . The author’s choice of telling the story in dueling narratives—Liz, a former Snoop employee who was invited to join in the retreat; and Erin, one of the chalet’s two staff members—enhances the steadily escalating pace of the book.”
— USA Today

“Breathtakingly suspenseful. . . . You won’t be able to read fast enough . . . Scary, but so good.”
— Winnipeg Free Press

“Especially timely, given that the terror of isolation is at its heart. . . . This is And Then There Were None rendered for the twenty-first century.”
— Booklist (starred)

“Tempestuous . . . [A] claustrophobic, adrenaline-fueled cat-and-mouse game.” 
— Publishers Weekly

“Ware’s gifts for characterization, plot, and pacing shine here. . . . Ware’s fans will devour this in a sitting.”
— Library Journal (starred)

“Hilarious, well plotted, and vintage Ware, this one is not to be missed.”
— CrimeReads

“Ware’s Hitchcockian thrillers have yet to disappoint.”
— PopSugar

“Ware does what she does best: Gives us a familiar locked-door mystery setup and lets the tension and suspicion marinate until they reach fever pitch. Another win for Ware. . . . Simply masterful.”
— Kirkus Reviews

“Ware is often described as the new Agatha Christie . . . [S]he is a revitalizer, bringing the genre to a new audience with her modern preoccupations and addictive style.”
— Air Mail

“Read this back to back with Christie’s And Then There Were None, and you will witness the evolution of a literary form over the space of eight decades as Ware proves she’s more than deserving of all those comparisons to the Queen of Crime.”
— BookPage

More books from this author: Ruth Ware