One by One
Author: Ruth Ware
Narrator: Imogene Church
Published: September 8, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: October 18-30, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
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?
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?
One by One centers on a up and coming new social media app called Snoop, where you can do just that: Snoop on whomever you want and listen to the same music they are listening to at the exact same moment of time. (You can keep your information as private or public as you want). This app is supposed to be the ‘next big thing’ and has a possible high selling price, if the shareholders want to. And there are mixed feelings about selling the company.
A certain number of employees of the company attend a retreat at a chalet, but there is an avalanche and one of the members goes missing, and they presume this person is dead. There is also no power and things keep happening and well… others start dying and no one can really trust anyone. Everyone seems to have ulterior motives.
We have two POVs: Erin- the host at the chalet (and thus the one in charge of the people and her resort) and Liz- an employee attending the retreat. Through both of these perspectives we see the dynamics of this company and why everyone becomes a suspect.
Though the story is more of a mystery than a thriller, in fact it really is less than thrilling. When we find out who the killer is it wasn’t anything really earth shattering and I finished it to see what would happen. I think this was an instance of too many characters in one story. There was really no one to root and cheer for. It also became a story of who is going to die next and how? If you put all these people in one small place with no power, not much food, and nowhere to go of course paranoia will start running rampant.
Ruth Ware is an established author and I enjoy listening to her books. The narrator Imogene Church is wonderful as always. Ware and Church have become two names synonymous for me. (Such as Mary Kay Andrews and Kathleen McInerney- I also love that dynamic duo!) Some of Ware’s books have not been totally for me while I have really enjoyed others. This is an author I will keep reading!
The Safe Place
Author: Anna Downes
Published: July 14, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
Dates Read: July 5-July 20, 2020
Emily is a mess.
Emily Proudman just lost her acting agent, her job, and her apartment in one miserable day.
Emily is desperate.
Scott Denny, a successful and charismatic CEO, has a problem that neither his business acumen nor vast wealth can fix. Until he meets Emily.
Emily is perfect.
Scott offers Emily a summer job as a housekeeper on his remote, beautiful French estate. Enchanted by his lovely wife Nina, and his eccentric young daughter, Aurelia, Emily falls headlong into this oasis of wine-soaked days by the pool. But soon Emily realizes that Scott and Nina are hiding dangerous secrets, and if she doesn’t play along, the consequences could be deadly.
Superbly tense and oozing with atmosphere, Anna Downs’s debut is the perfect summer suspense, with the modern gothic feel of Ruth Ware and the morally complex family dynamics of Lisa Jewell.
Welcome to paradise…will you ever be able to leave?
This one was an average read for me. We had multiple points of view (both Emily and Scott with Nina thrown in from time to time) which I always enjoy.
From the beginning we see Emily have a really bad day which starts with losing her temporary job and agent. Then we have a chapter with Scott’s POV and we know from then that something is not right, we know he has something planned and that plan involves Emily.
Needing a job and now her former boss comes to’ her rescue’ with another job offer (The warning bells should have been going off right there Emily!) Emily takes it. She ends up in a secluded home with Scott’s wife Nina and their child Aurelia. But they are in the middle of nowhere with no phone reception or internet, and Nina will not let Emily into the family home. Emily is cut off from everything/everyone. Once Emily realizes things are amiss, it might already be too late.
I did not figure out the twist, but I should have as the signs were there. . It would be a bit of a predictable novel and the ending did not totally deliver. This is a first novel for Anna Downes and I would give her another try.
**Many thanks to the publisher Minotaur Books for sending me a copy to read and review**
Even If It Kills Her
Series: Bailey Weggins Mystery #7
Author: Kate White
Published: October 31, 2017
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Bailey Weggins’ great new friend in college, Jillian Lowe, had everything going for her. Pretty, popular, and whip-smart, she lit up any room that she walked into. All of that dramatically changed during her sophomore year, when a neighbor became unhinged and murdered her family. Jillian immediately left school, and ever since, Bailey has felt guilty for not staying in closer contact and being a greater support to her friend.
Now, sixteen years later, Bailey is shocked to see Jillian at her book event, and even more stunned when her still-gorgeous friend approaches her with a case. The man accused of murdering her family is on the brink of being cleared of the crime through new DNA evidence. With the real killer walking free, Jillian is desperate for Bailey’s help to identify him and allow her the closure she yearns for.
As the two women return to Jillian’s childhood town to investigate, it doesn’t take long for their sleuthing to cause shock waves. Someone starts watching their every move. As they uncover deeply-guarded secrets, so shocking that they make Jillian rethink her entire relationship to her family, Bailey and Jillian find themselves in great peril. They must decide just how much they’re willing to risk to finally discover the truth about the Lowe family’s murder.
This was a pick for my neighborhood book club. Thank goodness we seem to be on a roll with the good books! I was a little worried because it’s book seven in one of those long term character series, but White did a very good job of making it a stand alone. I didn’t feel like I was missing anything and for once, my gut was right! As soon as the murderer walked in, I got a bad and in my head said, “that’s the murderer!” But until the end, White kept me in suspense. There was some extra rambling that I wasn’t a huge fan of. Bailey’s personal life was definitely part of the series so it got long and monotonous pretty quick, but other than that, I like the characters. The police and DA were kind of annoying, especially with their little power trip. But the mystery had me going all the way to the end and I was very engaged while reading! I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes a good mystery! I enjoyed it!