Ten guests arrive at a ski chalet in the Alps for a corporate retreat. One doesn’t come back from a ski trip. The rest may not survive the avalanche that nearly buries the chalet soon after, or the murderer residing among them.
Ruth Ware is a bit hit or miss for me, but this one was more on the hit side. The premise is classic claustrophobic murder mystery, and reminded me very strongly of another snowed-in guests-dying-off-one-by-one thriller I read a few years ago (An Unwanted Guest). Ware tells the story from two points of view: one, a chalet employee, and the other, a guest who is there for this corporate retreat though she no longer works for the company. Tensions start high, as the employees are split in how they want the company’s future to go, and of course the disappearance, avalanche, and murders do not help things. (Ha!)
As far as mysteries go, this was all right. For quite a bit of time, I equally suspected all the guests, including the one who goes missing. From the way they were written, they could all be guilty or innocent. However, not long past the halfway point of the book, it becomes painfully obvious who the culprit is. So obvious that you have to wonder if it’s going to be a decoy. That didn’t bother me so much, because I was interested in watching the situation unfold. I would have preferred if the book hadn’t “split the party” as they say, leaving the two narrators in one room trying to figure things out, or if there had been more than two narrators so that we could spread the viewpoint around if they had to all split up. But that’s a minor complaint. The story was interesting outside of the mystery aspect, and I never felt my attention flag even after the truth is revealed so early in the book.