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One Perfect Couple

Ruth Ware delivers an edge of your seat survival thriller

Scientist and academic Lyla reluctantly agrees to appear on a reality TV show with her struggling actor boyfriend Nico, about five couples sent off to a deserted island to see who will win a cash prize. Instead, the contestants find themselves trapped after a storm hits the island, taking out communication and leaving food and water in short supply. Then, cast members mysteriously die one by one. 

Fast-paced, atmospheric, and sharply written, this pulled me in from the start. With a nod to Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, Ruth Ware turns paradise into an ominous, inescapable trap, with growing dread as the situation becomes increasingly dire. This isn't a mystery, though. It is a story about a fight for survival with lots of danger, drama, and power struggles. Told in the POV of Lyla, with another contestant's diary entries interspersed, there is a large but shrinking cast of characters. As tensions and suspicions escalated, I rooted for Lyla and a handful of characters as much as I disliked others. The setting was vivid, and the island conditions were brutal. I found this hard to put down. 

There was a fun easter egg in this too. The contestants attempted to signal a passing ship with a makeshift beacon by fueling it with pages of a book found in one of the huts. The book happened to be another of Ware's books, The Woman in Cabin 10, which I thought was a clever touch. This action-packed book is an entertaining summer read! 

Thank you to Gallery Books, Scout Press Books for the free book!

My steep was Coconut Cabana from The Tea Spot I love this milk oolong flavored with coconut, hot or iced!


Harkening to Agatha Christie’s classic And Then There Were None, this high-tension and ingenious thriller follows five couples trapped on a storm-swept island as a killer stalks among them—from Ruth Ware, the New York Times bestselling author who “is turning out to be as ingenious and indefatigable as the Queen of Crime” (The Washington Post).

Lyla is in a bit of a rut. Her post-doctoral research has fizzled out, she’s pretty sure they won’t extend her contract, and things with her boyfriend, Nico, an aspiring actor, aren’t going great. When the opportunity arises for Nico to join the cast of a new reality TV show, The Perfect Couple, she decides to try out with him. A whirlwind audition process later, Lyla find herself whisked off to a tropical paradise with Nico, boating through the Indian Ocean towards Ever After Island, where the two of them will compete against four other couples—Bayer and Angel, Dan and Santana, Joel and Romi, and Conor and Zana—in order to win a cash prize.

But not long after they arrive on the deserted island, things start to go wrong. After the first challenge leaves everyone rattled and angry, an overnight storm takes matters from bad to worse. Cut off from the mainland by miles of ocean, deprived of their phones, and unable to contact the crew that brought them there, the group must band together for survival. As tensions run high and fresh water runs low, Lyla finds that this game show is all too real—and the stakes are life or death.

A fast-paced, spellbinding thriller rife with intrigue and characters that feel so true to life, this novel proves yet again that Ruth Ware is the queen of psychological suspense.

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