One By One: D.W. Gillespie
Reviewed By Yolanda Sfetsos
- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: FLAME TREE PRESS; US paperback edition (September 26, 2019)
ONE BY ONE by D.W. Gillespie
The Easton family has just moved into their new fixer-upper, a beautiful old house that they bought at a steal, and Alice, the youngest of the family, is excited to explore the strange, new place. Her excitement turns to growing dread as she discovers a picture hidden under the old wallpaper, a child’s drawing of a family just like hers.
Soon after, members of the family begin to disappear, each victim marked on the child’s drawing with a dark black X. It’s up to her to unlock the grim mystery of the house before she becomes the next victim.
I really enjoyed this author’s first book, so I was really excited when I won an ARC of this book from Flame Tree Press.
Alice and her family have moved into a new house, but this isn’t an ordinary house. It needs a lot of work, some corridors lead to nowhere, there are windows between rooms, and there’s a weird feeling about the place. The longer the family spends in this fixer-upper, the more Alice gets the sensation they’re being watched.
As soon as she notices the creepy childish stick figures drawn on the wall, everyone suspects she’s responsible. And when someone starts painting an X over the family members, her parents are convinced it’s all a morbid joke. But she didn’t do it and neither did her brother, so who did?
Maybe the diary she finds in her room could hold all the answers, or just make everything worse…
Okay. Let me start by saying that I love the cover for this book. Not only is it cute and creepy at the same time, but it also fits the story very well. As far as the story goes, I enjoyed it. My favourite thing about it was the tension. The spookiness starts from the very beginning and keeps building with every page until I expected the worst.
It’s also a good length and the pacing keeps things moving pretty well, so it’s a fast read.
Although I enjoyed Alice’s voice, at times she thinks like someone much older and I had to keep reminding myself how old she was. I much preferred when her mind wandered off in all sorts of childish directions. Her brother and parents were too unsteady for me to feel much for them. Their personalities fluctuated too often, which fit the narrative but kept me at a distance.
Asides from Alice, the only other characters I found interesting were the dead girl Mary and the family cat Baxter. I wanted to know more about Mary and felt really bad for how little the whole family cared about the cat. They kept mentioning what an awful cat he was, but they were so cold towards their animal I started to wonder why they even kept him around. No wonder he wasn’t friendly. 😒
One by One is an atmospheric spooky story full of secrets. Not only are the parents keeping things from their kids, but the house is concealing a lot from them. It’s well written and the pacing moves the story right along. I was hanging on the edge of my seat for most of it, but as things headed towards the conclusion, I started to lose interest.
I liked this story, but didn’t love it. The ending didn’t work for me. The misdirection was cool, but I felt like there was something missing. Yet, I’m not sure what.
One By One
The Easton family has just moved into their new fixer-upper, a beautiful old house that they bought at a steal, and Alice, the youngest of the family, is excited to explore the strange, new place. Her excitement turns to growing dread as she discovers a picture hidden under the old wallpaper, a child s drawing of a family just like hers.
Soon after, members of the family begin to disappear, each victim marked on the child s drawing with a dark black X. It s up to her to unlock the grim mystery of the house before she becomes the next victim.
Yolanda Sfetsos lives in Sydney, Australia with her awesome, supportive gamer husband and neurotic, photogenic kitty.
When she’s not writing or reading up a storm, she’s either out walking, watching a movie or TV show, checking thrift stores for bargain books, or thinking about the new dark ideas fighting for attention.
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All Isla wanted to do was enjoy her honeymoon.
She was looking forward to relaxing on the beach and enjoying cocktails with the love of her life.
Instead, she ends up in the middle of the woods in a cosy cabin, where the past she’s worked so hard to bury can find her.
Turning what should be the best night of her life, into a bloody fight to stay alive.