Nine good looking young friends spend a weekend in a cabin in the woods. They obviously have a death wish.
Ten years ago, siblings Keenan and Rae witnessed the torture and murder of their parents by strangers while vacationing in their cabin in the woods. Now history seems to be repeating as the young adults and seven of their friends are trapped in the same vacation home and slowly picked off one by one.
There is so much to like about this book. Hosby always writes great characters, and I liked the complex dynamic between the group of friends. They were believable and easy to visualize, and I liked how the loyalties changed once people started dying.
The setup is well worn territory, but Hosby is aware of that and plays the scenario to good effect. I particularly enjoyed the characters discussing the order of deaths in horror movies while enjoying themselves by the lake. Rae and Keenan’s traumatic past, coupled with almost half the book spent acquainting us with the characters provides much needed emotional resonance for when things go pear shaped.
Probably my favorite part of the book was the reason behind the killings. Other reviewers seem to have been taken by surprise over the identity of the perpetrator, but I gathered the proffered crumbs and was satisfied by the denouement.
Unfortunately, the pacing of the novel detracted from my enjoyment. While I appreciated the long build up to the first death, too much time was spent between body one and body two, and then the killings felt rushed into the last twenty percent of the book.
I was confused by the timeline as well, and some more detail into the surroundings would have been nice. At one stage a character is encouraged to sun bathe, even though it is nighttime in the next scene. Hiking out of the remote cabin is supposed to take days, yet several characters travel back and forth to a location that we are told is twenty miles away in only a matter of hours.
Despite this, it’s an enjoyable read. I award One by One…
One by One is available for $2.70 ebook and $9.99 print book on Amazon.
Click on the names below to read my reviews of other books by Yawatta Hosby: