Book club questions for One by One by Ruth Ware looks at all the twists and turns in this mystery-thriller. There will be spoilers!
I’ve mentioned before that I’m pretty picky with thrillers. While I like that they are quick reads and a good “in between” of more serious stories—some are just so outrageous, it’s hard for me to get behind it. That said, One by One is a pretty good thriller. Solid writing and a great setting—it made me want to go skiing and also never go again at the same time, haha. I predicted some of the story but also was surprised by other elements.
However, I did think it was too long at 368 pages. The cat-and-mouse section on the mountain at the end felt like it dragged.
Let me know what you all thought about it!
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.
Book Club Questions for One by One
- What were your impressions of this Snoop app? If it was a real app, would you download it?
- What did you think about the setting in the French Alps? Why do you think so many thrillers take place in the mountains during the winter months?
- We know that four people will die on this trip before the story really begins. Why did the author reveal that number so early?
- We follow two perspectives: Liz, a former employee but still crucial part of Snoop and Erin, an employee at the chalet that the group is staying at. Why do you think the author decided just to focus on these two perspectives?
- Beyond those two, there are a lot of characters in this story. Did you like that it had so many or was it hard to follow?
- What did you think about the company? Have you ever worked for a start-up?
- Who did you initially suspect was behind Eva’s death?
- Elliot is the next to die, with his computer smashed to pieces. When this happened, did you start to think that maybe multiple people were involved?
- The group is snowed in at the resort and are pretty much helpless. Do you think Erin and Danny handled the situation as best as they could or would you have done anything differently?
- Ani is murdered, which causes the team to split up to try and find help. Erin and Liz stay behind. Did you know that was a mistake on Erin’s part or were you surprised when it was revealed that Liz is the killer?
- Erin has experienced tragedy before—losing her boyfriend and brother to the same mountain she works at. How did this experience help Erin to move on from her past?
- We learn more about Liz’s past, including the fact she killed a man who tried to assault her. And Eva filmed the entire encounter and used it as blackmail. Why do you think the author decided to include this backstory for Liz’s motivation?
- What did you think about the ending? What happens next for Erin?
- Have you read Ruth Ware’s books before? How did this one compare to her other stories?
Hope you enjoyed book club questions for One by One! Here are some more recommendations along with links to book club questions.
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
The bride – The plus one – The best man – The wedding planner – The bridesmaid – The body
On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.
But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.
And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?
The Night Swim by Megan Goldin
Ever since her true-crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall has become a household name―and the last hope for people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.
The new season of Rachel’s podcast has brought her to a small town being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. A local golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season 3 a success, Rachel throws herself into her investigation―but the mysterious letters keep coming. Someone is following her, and she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insist she was murdered―and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody in town wants to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases―and a revelation that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved.
Electrifying and propulsive, The Night Swim asks: What is the price of a reputation? Can a small town ever right the wrongs of its past? And what really happened to Jenny?