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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

One By One

Narrator: Alyson Krawchuk


Publisher: Hollywood Upstairs Press

Publication Date: 10/11/2022

Format: Audiobook 🎧 & e-book

My Rating: 5 Stars

A night spent sleeping on dirt and leaves is not how Claire Matchett expected to spend her vacation.

She thought this would be a break from the stresses of work and raising her young children. A chance to repair her damaged marriage. A week of hiking and hot tubs with two other couple friends. It sounded like heaven.

Then Claire’s minivan breaks down on a lonely dirt road. With no cell reception, the group has no choice but to hike the rest of the way to their hotel. But it turns out the woods aren’t as easy to navigate as they thought.

Hours later, they are lost. Hopelessly lost.

And as they navigate deeper into the woods, the members of their party are struck down mysteriously one by one. Has a wild animal been hunting them? Or is the hunter one of them?

But as more time passes, one thing becomes clear:

Only one of them will return home alive.

My Review

"Creepy and terrifying! McFadden is at her atmospheric best in this wickedly chilling story of a getaway gone BAD. There were six, in the beginning, then ONE BY ONE. . . ."

Told from Claire Matchett's POV with alternating POV:

Anonymous (very creepy)

and one chapter from Lindsay (BFF)

A luxury getaway

3 couples

6 people

6-person mini-van

6-day vacation

6 people have a secret.

666 is the number of the devil. The number six represents both man and the evil that weakens him. (per Anonymous)

On the trip:

Claire and her husband, Noah (married for 15 yrs)

Claire's best friend, the beautiful Lindsay. (single) she has known since college and

Warner, Lindsay's new doctor/plastic surgeon boyfriend.

Jack (BFF of Noah) and Claire since college, and his wife

Michelle (divorce lawyer)

Six adults are off in a mini-van for a much-needed vacation at an expensive luxury inn in Denver, North Colorado. Six days of hiking and hot tubs. Six days from civilization.

Will they make it there in one piece? Who will make it home alive?

Claire and Noah have two children, Emma and Aidan. Emma has a dream and does not want her mom to go on this trip. Her children are left in the care of her sister Penny and her children. Claire has a bad feeling about this trip. Little does she know it will be an absolute nightmare, and their lives will be in danger.

From flashes from the "Anonymous voice" from childhood, this person known as "I" led a highly dysfunctional childhood with an abusive, manipulative horrible mother, bullied at school, and a father who was away on business most of the time. Creepy. Eerie. Twisted. Funny.

Claire and her husband, Noah, are not getting along. Constant bickering with one another. Claire wants a divorce and secretly having an affair. In fact, she booked them two separate rooms. She is not looking to the four-and-a-half drive, but she is looking forward to the trip for other reasons (which we will find out in the book).

But their well-laid plans go wrong. The battery dies in the van, and they are stuck in the middle of the woods in nowhere and have no cell service.

They think they are about two miles from the inn, so they walk. They have a compass and map, but things go from bad to worse. They seem to go further into the forest, and no help in sight. Three hours later, they dare nowhere near the inn.

With hardly any snacks, food, or water, the days turn into nights and appear to be lost in the woods. Fear and panic, The worst is yet to come.

Is something more sinister going on? Is there a murderer among them?

The tensions are high, and no one is getting along. Then one eats blueberries (deadly nightshade) that are highly toxic and poisonous. Deadly.

Then, one by one, someone winds up dead.

Days and nights go by, and they are out of food and water and sleeping on the ground. Then they find a small deserted cabin. It looks like someone left a sandwich on the table, and there is running water with some food in the refrigerator.

But they do not see anyone in the cabin. But they decide to stay put until they figure out what to do.

A truck.

A man.

A phony map.

A compass compromised.

A carving on a tree.

A gun.

A swiss army knife.

Revenge. Infidelity. Obsession. Betrayal. A past. Secrets. Psychopaths. Two people can't keep a secret. Not unless one of them is dead. MURDER. Someone needs to be taught a lesson and get what they deserve.

Diabolically clever, a twisty game of cat and mouse with well-developed characters in this riveting and fun domestic suspense! McFadden does what she does best: Gives us a locked-door claustrophobic (forest) setup and lets the tension, fear, and suspicion simmer while she sits back and waits to drop the ball with her signature twists you do not see coming. I love the fun dark humor.

I purchased the e-book and the audiobook and listened in one sitting! Alyson Krawchuk exceptionally narrated the audiobook, and WOW, the voice of Anonymous was spine-chilling!

Recently discovered Freida and cannot get enough. Now I am going back through her backlist and grabbing audiobooks between reading my new releases. I look forward to The Housemaid's Secret coming Feb 20, 2023, (pre-ordered) and hope to snag an ARC!

If you have yet to read this author, why not? A top psychological thriller author. One by One is perfect for fans of Lisa Unger's Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six, and Ruth Ware's One by One.

The e-book also includes an excerpt from Do Not Disturb.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 5 Stars

Pub Date: Oct 11, 2022


NEVER LIE (2022) Narrator: Leslie Howard

ONE BY ONE (2022) Narrator: Alyson Krawchuk

THE HOUSEMAID (2022) Narrator: Lauryn Allman

THE INMATE (2022) Narrator: Leslie Howard


THE HOUSEMAID'S SECRET (2023) Pre-ordered

The Housemaid (2 of 2)

About the Author

​#1 Amazon and USA Today bestselling author Freida McFadden is a practicing physician specializing in brain injury who has penned multiple Kindle bestselling psychological thrillers and medical humor novels. She lives with her family and black cat in a centuries-old three-story home overlooking the ocean, with staircases that creak and moan with each step, and nobody could hear you if you scream. Unless you scream really loudly, maybe. WEBSITE

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