Review: One Perfect Couple - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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, One 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.

Book Type:

Psychological Thriller

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Review: One Perfect Couple
By Ruth Ware

Review: One Perfect Couple

Stranded on a storm-swept island, five couples battle the elements—and each other—as they struggle to survive in this paradise-turned-nightmare thriller.

Lyla and Nico’s relationship seems to be going nowhere. But out-of-work actor Nico pleads with Lyla, a virologist, to join him on a reality TV show. For Nico, this is the opportunity of a lifetime, and for Lyla, this is the chance to see if their relationship has a future.

From the beginning, however, the show feels thrown together, falling short of the professional expectations of such a production. Lyla and Nico join four other couples—Angel and Bayer, Santana and Dan, Romi and Joel, Zana and Conor—and venture to a remote Indonesian island to take their shot at the grand prize. After their first challenge, the aggressive and ever-shady director departs with the crew and first cast-out contestant, leaving the group for the night. A massive storm hits the island however, and they awake to a terrifying nightmare—most of their huts are destroyed, bodies are found, food and water supply are minimal with only a battery-powered radio remaining.

Distress calls through the radio go unanswered, however, as days turn into weeks. Worse yet, someone on the island forcefully takes over, willing to kill if they don’t fall in line. Division sows, alliances are forged and broken, and more bodies get buried beneath the sand, as hunger and dehydration take root in the sweltering tropical heat.

As their numbers and resources dwindle, and matters of life and death beckon action, it’s unclear whether anyone will make it out alive.

Love Island turns Survivor in this taut, immersive psychological suspense. The narrative—a fresh take on the locked-room mysteries Ware is known for—plays like a movie. Lyla’s pragmatic perspective unfurls the story with clarity, and I felt captive to sheer insanity of everything these people went through. I particularly loved seeing women band together fiercely and problem solve their way through their many situations. While the story touted propulsive pacing overall, my only minor callout is that the ending wrap-up felt a bit like a fizzle down from the high of the well-executed climax. Nonetheless, I loved this book. I couldn’t put it down.

This is the summer thriller you’ve been waiting for.

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