One by One by Freida McFadden – A Blairwitchesque Mystery

Let’s chat about ‘One by One by Freida McFadden’! Join me as I share my honest take on this suspenseful read. Discover the highs, the lows, and why it left me craving something more.

Synopsis of One by One by Freida McFadden

Claire Matchett’s trip did not include a night spent sleeping on a bed of mud and leaves.

She had hoped that this would provide her some time away from the pressures of her job and motherhood. An opportunity to mend her broken marriage. Hiking and relaxing in hot tubs for a week with two other couples. Heavenly music, if you will.

Then, on a remote dirt road, Claire’s minivan suddenly stops working. The gang is stuck hiking the remaining distance to their accommodation because there is no cell service. However, they quickly learned that the forest wasn’t as straightforward as they had anticipated.

Lost after hours of searching. Absolutely hopeless.

The members of their party are inexplicably killed off as they travel deeper into the woods. Is some sort of wild animal after them? Is the hunter actually one of the hyenas?

One thing, however, becomes crystal evident as more time passes:

Only one of them can make it back safely.

one by one by freida mcfadden
Photo by HAMZA-CHERIF Elias on Unsplash
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Review of One by One by Freida McFadden

If you’re a fan of suspense novels, you’ve probably come across the talented author Freida McFadden. I have to admit, I was absolutely hooked on her books for a while. The first one I picked up was such a thrilling ride that I couldn’t resist going on a bit of a reading spree.

But, like any good binge, it had its highs and lows. Some of McFadden’s works felt like indulging in suspenseful potato chips – enjoyable but not exactly gourmet. But hey, we all enjoy a bit of low-quality entertainment from time to time, don’t we? It’s like taking a ride in a vintage Yugo; it may not be the fanciest, but it gets the job done.

However, my enthusiasm did hit a roadblock with “One by One by Freida McFadden.” It’s not that I mind diving into the lives of a white, suburban, upper-middle-class crowd, but this time, it just didn’t quite do it for me. The characters seemed a bit sketchy, and the romantic pairings felt like they were borrowed straight from Lifetime movies.

Now, don’t get me wrong, McFadden knows how to craft a compelling plot twist, but that alone doesn’t earn a five-star review from me. I like my literary experiences to be tailored to my liking.

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In “One by One,” we follow the journey of three different couples as they embark on a weeklong trip to a remote inn. There’s the controlling jerk and the giggling, stereotypical beauty on one side, and on the other, a “frigid” businesswoman and her charming spouse, who happens to be having an affair with the wife of the first couple. Drama unfolds, tensions rise, and they find themselves lost in the woods with tragedy striking one of their own.

Claire, entangled in a web of infidelity, takes center stage as she narrates most of the story. Interspersed with her perspective are brief chapters from an unnamed character’s point of view, claiming that only one of these travelers will emerge unscathed. These chapters are intertwined with haunting memories of a traumatic childhood marked by maternal abuse.

Now, the premise of “only one of us will survive” is undeniably intriguing. However, the execution of this novel left much to be desired. The plot felt like it was wandering aimlessly through the woods, and the characters lacked depth. The dialogue was far from memorable, and the suspense didn’t quite deliver the thrill I was hoping for.

Let’s talk about Claire again; she’s our protagonist, but even as the story unfolds, it’s hard to root for her. Amidst all the chaos and tragedy, she still manages to find time to ogle her deceased friend’s boyfriend. It’s one of those moments that makes you scratch your head and wonder, “Really, Claire?”

Towards the end, there are a few surprises, but they’re more like trying to solve a complex puzzle than reveling in brilliant plot twists. By the time I closed the book, I couldn’t shake that grumpy feeling. It’s a bit like finishing off a bag of suspenseful potato chips; it was enjoyable while it lasted, but it left me craving something more substantial.

So, there you have it, a deep dive into “One by One by Freida McFadden.” It’s not my top pick from her repertoire, but it still offers a unique reading experience. Have you had a chance to read it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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one by one by freida mcfadden

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