Tuesday, May 7, 2024

One Perfect Couple

One Perfect Couple by Ruth Ware
5/21/24; 400 pages
Gallery/Scout Press

One Perfect Couple by Ruth Ware is a very highly recommended closed circle thriller that follows five couples, the cast of a new reality TV show, who are trapped on a remote island in the Indian Ocean.

Virologist Lyla Santiago is frustrated that her postdoc research is not providing the expected results, so when Nico Reese, her actor boyfriend, wants them to join the cast of a reality TV show called "One Perfect Couple" she reluctantly agrees. She can take off a couple weeks from work and assumes she can write up the disappointing results while on the island. Hopefully this opportunity will be the break that Nico needs and help their relationship. 

Their audition leads to a quick approval and Lyla and Nico quickly find themselves on a boat in the Indian Ocean heading toward Ever After Island with the four other couples: Bayer and Angel, Dan and Santana, Joel and Romi, and Conor and Zana. After the first challenge, things go wrong very quickly. This is followed by a powerful storm which slams the island, leaving the contestants isolated, without any support from the show's crew and assistants and with limited resources. Since they had to turn in all electronics, their hope is in reaching someone via the two-way radio. These are strangers who must band together for survival.

One Perfect Couple has strong And Then There Were None merges with Survivor and reads Lord of the Flies vibes and the plot held my complete attention throughout. Once they reach the island, the tension rises quickly and, after the storm hits, stays high as the stakes are life or death and their expectations for survival lower with each passing day. There are new issues occurring daily that will challenge each individual.

The writing is excellent. The narrative unfolds through Lyla's point-of-view, with brief pleas for help on the radio and later diary entries between the chapters. Lyla is an exceptional character and an appealing character to experience the drama through her observations. The characters are all written as unique individuals with their own strengths and weaknesses and it is easy to follow who's who while reading.

Ruth Ware is a writer who always seems to deliver an excellent novel. This one would make a heart-pounding movie. Thanks to Gallery/Scout Press for providing me with an advance reader's copy via NetGalley. My review is voluntary and expresses my honest opinion.

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