SynopsisIn One by One, ten people who work for a startup travel to a ski lodge for a company retreat. It's a secluded luxury chalet, which is soon made even more isolated due to a snowstorm in the area, which soon leads to an avalanche that leaves them stranded. When the first fatality among the group happens, it's viewed as a tragic accident. But when the next occurs, it's clear that something much more sinister is going on. In this snowy mountain-top mystery-thriller, they know that the killer is one of them, but they'll need to figure out who it is, and soon, to avoid being picked off, one by one.
Detailed SummaryQuick Plot Summary
A group of ten people from a startup called Snoop arrive at a nine-room luxury ski chalet in France for a company retreat. Only accessible by funicular (a tunneled railroad), the ski lodge is secluded with the main town of St. Antoine far down the mountain. Erin (housekeeper) and Danny (cook) work at the chalet.
Snoop is a app that lets you listen in on music that other people are listening to. There is currently a buyout offer for Snoop. The only people with voting rights in the company are the four founders (Rik, Elliot, Eva, and Topher), and Liz. Liz is the quiet outcast of the group, a former assistant at Snoop. When they were in a financial bind, Liz had agreed to invest $10K of a recent inheritance in exchange for 2% voting shares. Now, Eva (30% voting power) and Rik (19%) want to sell. But Topher (30%) and Elliot (19%) do not. Liz's will be the deciding vote, and she is struggling with the decision. (The non-voting members of Snoop are Tiger, Miranda, Ani, Carl and Inigo.)
Liz feels indebted to Topher, who was the one who encouraged her to negotiate for voting rights and equity (as opposed to repayment). But Liz's shares are worth $12 million in a buyout, and Eva is pressuring her to sell. After tense discussions, the group goes skiing. However, Eva doesn't return. Erin and Danny try to go out to get help, but there is an avalanche, resulting in Erin spraining her ankle and poor reception in the area. Still, Inigo manages to call the police.
The power also goes down in the chalet, and the backup generator is inaccessible due to the avalanche. Elliot (tech guy) uses a charging brick he brought and the app's new geolocation feature to locate Eva's phone. However, it shows that Eva likely plunged off the side of a cliff. After the shock wears off, they realize an early shareholder agreement stipulates that in the event of Eva's death, Eva's shares must be sold to Topher, which means that her death gives Topher a total of 60% voting power.
Soon, however, Elliot is found dead, with traces of white powder in a cup near him, with his computer completely destroyed. They start to raise the possibility that Eva was murdered, too. Scared, they agree to stay in groups and implement other precautions. Then, Inigo disappears. He leaves a note saying that he's made a mistake, and he is going to fix it, though no one knows what he's referring to.
That night, they all pair off to sleep, except for Liz. Ani (who is paired with Tiger) goes over to invite her to join them, but Liz declines. Tiger awakes to find Ani smothered to death in her sleep. Tiger had taken a sleeping pill and didn't wake while Ani was being murdered, and Danny's key (to all the rooms) is missing. Meanwhile, it comes out that Erin is not what she seems. Her brother went to boarding school with Topher, Rik, and Elliot. Erin's brother and boyfriend died in an avalanche, and she was with them at the time.
Unwilling to stay and get picked off one by one, the group comes up with a plan for the experienced skiiers to try to ski down for help and for the rest go walk to the nearby chalet, three hours away, to get help. Liz falls and injures her knee and Erin's ankle is hurt, so they stay put. But after the others leave, Erin finds Danny's missing key in the place Liz had been sitting, and Erin realizes Liz is likely the killer. Liz picks up on this and gives Erin tea with sleeping pills in it.
Thinking that Erin is about to die, Liz admits that she is the killer, and that Eva had been blackmailing her to get her vote. Liz had been sexually assaulted by a potential investor and pushed him away from her, off of a balcony to his death. Eva helped her cover it up. Elliot had been on the verge of finding out that Liz was on the slope at the time of Eva's death, due to the new geolocation feature. And Ani had known that Liz wasn't where she said she was (on the lift) when Eva died.
Erin pretends to drink the tea and escapes on skis (since she can't walk/run). Liz follows. Erin travels down a difficult, hidden path, and Liz is killed trying to follow after her. Erin is soon rescued.
Two days later, Inigo tells Erin that the he mistakenly gave the police the wrong name of the chalet which is why they didn't show up sooner. That was the mistake he was trying to fix. Meanwhile, Topher has received a file of information from Eva's husband. Apparently, Eva had dirt on all sorts of people. It includes a video of Liz killing the potential investor. It shows that Liz pushed him away, but that she pushed him a second time (off the balcony) to purposely murder him. It's also clear that Eva had set up the situation (with Liz as the victim), in order to get dirt on the investor, not realizing what Liz's true nature was.
Soon, the chalet is closed down, and Snoop is shut down and goes into bankruptcy. The book ends with Danny telling Erin about a new app, called Choon (which is basically just like Snoop, but with a different name).
If this summary was useful to you, please consider supporting this site by leaving a tip ($1, $2, or $4) or joining the Patreon!