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Exotic refreshing cocktails next to book and straw hat by the pool on vacation._edited.jpg
  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

One By One

Narrator: Alyson Krawchuk

ISBN: 978-1728296197

Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press

Publication Date: 04/02/2024

Format: Audiobook 🎧 & e-book

My Rating: 5 Stars



A heart-pounding, twisting thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Housemaid and The Coworker!


One by one, they will get what they deserve...


Claire Matchett needs this trip. It will be a break from work and raising children. A chance to repair her damaged marriage. A week of hiking and hot tubbing with friends at a luxurious hotel in the woods, disconnected from the pressures of real life.


Then, on a lonely dirt road, Claire's minivan breaks down. With no cell reception, the group has no choice but to walk the rest of the way to their remote accommodation. But the forest is dark and difficult to navigate and, hours later, they are lost. Hopelessly lost.


As they venture deeper into the woods, the members of their party are struck down mysteriously, one by one. Are they being hunted? And by what―or who? As Claire's dream vacation descends into a nightmare, something becomes clear: only one of them will return home alive.


A taut story of betrayal and survival from New York Times bestselling author Freida McFadden that will leave you wondering if there's any way out of the woods…








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 years)

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 has an affair. She booked them two separate rooms. She is not looking to the four-and-a-half drive but looking forward to the trip for other reasons (which we will find out in the book).


But their well-laid plans go wrong. The van's battery dies, and they are stuck in the middle of the woods with 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 pass, 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 and some food in the refrigerator.


They do not see anyone in the cabin, so 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!


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.


Coming in paperback April 2, 2024!


Thanks to Poisoned Pen Press and NetGalley for an ARC for an honest review.


@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 5 Stars

Pub Date: April 2, 2024 Paperback edition




About the Author



#1 New York Times, Amazon Charts, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Sunday Times, and Publisher's Weekly bestselling author Freida McFadden is a practicing physician specializing in brain injury who has penned multiple bestselling psychological thrillers and medical humor novels. Freida’s work has been selected as one of Amazon Editors’ best books of the year, she is the winner of the International Thriller Writers Award for best paperback, and she is a Goodreads Choice Award winner. Her novels have been translated into over 30 languages.


Freida 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.


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