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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.

Chapter 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 10, The Lying Game, The Death of Mrs. Westaway, and The Turn of the Key. Visit her at RuthWare.com or follow her on Twitter @RuthWareWriter.

Praise for?The Turn of the Key

“Irresistible from first page to final line.”?
—?The Globe and the Mail

“[Ware] has delivered an old-fashioned horror story, peopled by children with ‘eyes full of malice,’ a dour housekeeper straight out of?Rebecca?and an inscrutable handyman.”?
—?The New York Times Book Review?

“A ghost story for the twenty-first century, a propulsive gothic thriller with characters you’ll really care about. With this book, Ruth Ware proves she’s the true heir to Wilkie Collins. Creepy, engrossing, and oh-so-hard to put down.”?
—?J.P. DELANEY,?New York Times?bestselling author of?The Girl Before

“Ruth Ware has been called the Agatha Christie of our generation. . . .?The Turn of the Key?is a great read. You’re going to enjoy it very much.”?
—?DAVID BALDACCI, #1?New York Times?bestselling author of?Redemption?and?One Good Deed

Praise for?The Death of Mrs. Westaway

“Ruth Ware is a magician. Her novels—suspenseful, sophisticated, relentlessly compelling—blow the dust off half a dozen crime genres, from Golden Age whodunits to psychological suspense. And?The Death of Mrs. Westaway, her latest, is also her best: a dark and dramatic thriller, part murder mystery, part family drama, altogether riveting. More, please, and soon.”?
—?A.J. FINN, #1?New York Times?bestselling author of?The Woman in the Window

“This British writer knows how to hook crime-novel/psychological suspense fans.”
—?USA Today

Praise for?The Lying Game

“This is the sort of territory where Ruth Ware is most at home. She’s strongest when she’s writing about embattled women, best when characters have a slight sense of privilege about themselves, most effective when events creep along the edges of disaster. Ware’s new book has all of this plus an air of foreboding that won’t go away.”?
—?Toronto Star

Praise for?The Woman in Cabin 10

“A fantastic read. A fog-enshrouded cruise ship, a twisty puzzle of a murder mystery reminiscent of Agatha Christie, and unrelenting suspense. Batten down the hatches and prepare to read it in one sitting!”?
—?SHARI LAPENA, bestselling author of?The Couple Next Door?and?A Stranger in the House

“Ware plunges the reader headlong into this action-packed, vivid tale, rendering one unable to come up for air until the very last page is turned.”
—?Toronto Star

Praise for?In a Dark, Dark Wood

“Prepare to be scared . . . Really scared! When I read this page-turning book about a bachelorette party gone wrong, I almost bit all my fingernails off!”?
—?REESE WITHERSPOON

More books from this author: Ruth Ware

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