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One by One

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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 b 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. 


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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 b 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. 

30 review for One by One

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    This story is my groove! I was completely enraptured with this book. I smoked less, and didn't even log onto Goodreads! When I first started this book I thought, huh, I know this house! My squat, hairy man and I once looked at a house like this. I wanted to buy, he thought I was nuts. There was even the bedroom with windows that looked out into a laundry room. Of course I was over the moon! Turns out, it was on the flood plains! This story was tense as heck for me. I do love that! I'm giving no This story is my groove! I was completely enraptured with this book. I smoked less, and didn't even log onto Goodreads! When I first started this book I thought, huh, I know this house! My squat, hairy man and I once looked at a house like this. I wanted to buy, he thought I was nuts. There was even the bedroom with windows that looked out into a laundry room. Of course I was over the moon! Turns out, it was on the flood plains! This story was tense as heck for me. I do love that! I'm giving no clues to how this one goes! I would suggest reading the book flap, and diving in! My thanks, once again to Flame Tree Press, the author, and Netgalley. I must say that Flame Tree is putting out some great stuff!

  2. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    **3.5-stars rounded up** When the Easton family moves into a decrepit old house they are divided as to whether it is a good thing. Alice, the youngest, and her father, Frank, are excited to learn the secrets of the old house, while older brother, Dean, and mother, Debra, are less than enthused. Frank insists the fixer-upper is exactly what the family needs, a project to draw them closer together. As they begin to settle in, Alice is startled to **3.5-stars rounded up** When the Easton family moves into a decrepit old house they are divided as to whether it is a good thing. Alice, the youngest, and her father, Frank, are excited to learn the secrets of the old house, while older brother, Dean, and mother, Debra, are less than enthused. Frank insists the fixer-upper is exactly what the family needs, a project to draw them closer together. As they begin to settle in, Alice is startled to discover a child's drawing under some tattered wallpaper. As the whole family gathers to explore the new discovery, the entirety of the drawing is revealed and it becomes clear it is a drawing of a family. A stick-figure family exactly like theirs. When the pet in the drawing is mysteriously drawn over with a giant black X and their aloof cat, Baxter, disappears, you are hit with the reality that something is very wrong within this house. However, as with any horror story, the Easton family doesn't initially react to this as you would expect them too. They each suspect that someone in the family has done it as a sort of misguided trick and brush it off as no big deal. However when the X appears over the older child, and Dean also goes missing, they start to take things a little more seriously. This story has a nice, eerie intensity running throughout, making it a perfect read for Spooktober. There is a found diary element to this that I also really enjoyed. You learn a bit about the mysterious family that lived in the house prior to the Eastons. As that is filled it, the horrific truth is finally revealed to the reader and it was pretty disturbing! The Epilogue really tied everything together and I loved that the author chose to include that portion of the story. It was a really satisfying conclusion. This was my first Gillespie book and I definitely look forward to reading more from him in the future. Thank you so much to the publisher, Flame Tree Press, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. If you are looking for a quick spine-chiller to round out your October TBR, you should definitely check this one out!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Luvtoread

    SPOOKY AND CHILLING! This book is an intense and very scary story with a presence of evil that horror fans should not miss reading! The story centers around a family of four who have just moved into a huge new home that was purchased from the bank at a wonderful price. From day one the ten year old daughter (Alice) hears strange noises and is having bad dreams. The only member of the family who is excited about the house is the father so he doesn't take any of Alice's claim SPOOKY AND CHILLING! This book is an intense and very scary story with a presence of evil that horror fans should not miss reading! The story centers around a family of four who have just moved into a huge new home that was purchased from the bank at a wonderful price. From day one the ten year old daughter (Alice) hears strange noises and is having bad dreams. The only member of the family who is excited about the house is the father so he doesn't take any of Alice's claims seriously. Alice discovers an old stick figure drawing of a family that looks like her family except the picture has a dog instead of their pet cat. Very strange and unnerving to everyone when they find an x painted over the dog the next day and then they find their cat missing. Is the house haunted? What happened to the family in the picture? Who used to own this house? Why is the house so dark and creepy? Why does the house seem to call only to Alice? Will the family survive the evil that lurks in their wake? I loved this gritty and dark story that was told from the child's perspective that will resonate with any parent or person remembering what it felt like when they were only ten years old. There are scares galore and some really nasty scenes that are not meant for the feint hearted. "One by One" should not be missed and not read right before sleeping. D.W. Gillespie has written a wonderful horror story and since Halloween is around the corner, this would be a perfect time to read this insidious book!I I want to thank the publisher Flame Tree Press and Netgalley for giving me an Advance Reading Copy and any opinions are mine alone! I highly recommend "One by One" to any horror fan because it contains true evil within it's pages! I have given a rating of 4 1/2 Insidious 🌟🌟🌟🌟✴ Stars!!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kate (KayvaJuice)

    This was a lot better than I thought it was going to be. I am usually pretty skeptical when it comes to reading horror but I’m glad I got the chance to read this. One thing I really liked about it is that you expect it to end a certain way and it’s totally different. I’m not too sure how I feel about the plot twist but I have to admit it caught me by surprise. Overall, it was interesting so check it out for yourself if you want.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    A family buys an old house that needs some love and repair. Their daughter Alice enjoys the new place at first. It's fun to explore and discover things about the old house. But when a child's drawing is found on a wall underneath old wallpaper, the sinister side of the house is revealed. OMG! This story creeped me the hell out! As mysterious X's started to appear on the drawing, Alice's family starts to disappear...one.....by......one. Such a creepy-cool atmospheric story! I loved it! Yes, that A family buys an old house that needs some love and repair. Their daughter Alice enjoys the new place at first. It's fun to explore and discover things about the old house. But when a child's drawing is found on a wall underneath old wallpaper, the sinister side of the house is revealed. OMG! This story creeped me the hell out! As mysterious X's started to appear on the drawing, Alice's family starts to disappear...one.....by......one. Such a creepy-cool atmospheric story! I loved it! Yes, that is a lot of exclamation points....but this was a binge read for me, so it earned a few !s. Any book that keeps me up until 3 am reading is a great story....IMHO. I'm a big fan of this sort of horror. Atmospheric.....a creepy old house with evil lurking. Innocent characters....a family who just wants a fixer-upper to turn into a happy home. And some slow burn suspense. Nicely done! This is the second book I've read by D.W. Gillespie. I enjoyed The Toy Thief as well. Definitely looking forward to more by this author! **I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Flame Tree Press via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bex (Beckie Bookworm)

    This was quite a creepy read and was well written but it did take me a while to get through as It was quite slow going initially and I just wasn't feeling it. Then about two thirds in things just exploded and this was what saved this for me the last third of the story without that input I was just not that invested. So this is told from the daughter ten-year-old Alices POV and she's a bit of strange duck. Her inner voices are particularly loud in her head almost like they are completely separate entities. Alice herself has an almost grown This was quite a creepy read and was well written but it did take me a while to get through as It was quite slow going initially and I just wasn't feeling it. Then about two thirds in things just exploded and this was what saved this for me the last third of the story without that input I was just not that invested. So this is told from the daughter ten-year-old Alices POV and she's a bit of strange duck. Her inner voices are particularly loud in her head almost like they are completely separate entities. Alice herself has an almost grown-up persona much older and wiser than her young years. So the whole family move into this quirky fixer-upper from there previous cookie-cutter home and after the discovery of the wall-pictures, the whole family start to spiral as the panic and sense of unease start's to set in and spread almost like a virus. This story rather than relying on shock scares instead sets the scene building an ambience that is both spooky and suspenseful. Where you're waiting for something or someone to jump out of the dark and scare you half to death. As I Said earlier slow-building but got there, in the end, I'm also not exactly sure why I had such trouble connecting with this I just did. I also wasn't a fan of the epilogue thought it was a tad long-winded. This one had both negatives and positives for me but the writing itself was spot on and fine this was more a case of it's me, not you. I voluntary reviewed a copy of One by One. Reviewed By Beckie Bookworm https://www.facebook.com/beckiebookworm/ www.beckiebookworm.com

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    ONE BY ONE is the second novel I have read from author D.W. Gillespie (both from Flame Tree Press). While the first had a good storyline, this second novel felt much "tighter" in execution. The pacing was more steady, and my interest for the storyline never waned. A family--Frank & Debra, the parents, and their two children, Alice (10) and Dean (15)--are forced to relocate from their home in the "city" to one in the country. A house that was "a STEAL" according to Frank. ". . . The woods . . . p/> ONE BY ONE is the second novel I have read from author D.W. Gillespie (both from Flame Tree Press). While the first had a good storyline, this second novel felt much "tighter" in execution. The pacing was more steady, and my interest for the storyline never waned. A family--Frank & Debra, the parents, and their two children, Alice (10) and Dean (15)--are forced to relocate from their home in the "city" to one in the country. A house that was "a STEAL" according to Frank. ". . . The woods . . . pressed in from all sides. There were secrets here . . . and to most people, that would be a bad thing." I really enjoyed this storyline, as a sense of impending dread steadily increased, yet never quite revealed all of its secrets at once. This gave me time to think about each revelation, and come to my own preliminary observations. ". . . It was just an explanation, the kind of thing you turned to when there wasn't a satisfying answer . . . people did that to stay sane because if you started looking for what-ifs, you'd go crazy . . . " There were a couple of things I never did get used to though. The children referring to their parents by first names alone was jarring for someone brought up to address their parents as "Mom and Dad". It was a bit confusing at first, trying to figure out who was who, and why there was no "familiar" connection. In the end, I had to chalk it up to simply the author's style, and my own personal experiences, not meshing. ". . . this was what being an adult was all about. Lying to yourself and those you love even when the truth was the only thing that seemed possible." The other thing that bothered me a great deal was Alice's personality. It was much too mature for a ten year old girl with an "ordinary", loving family, I felt. It often seemed to me that she spoke/thought more like an eighteen-year-old woman, instead of a child. This may be in part because I have my own children, and the differences really stood out. Other than these two issues, I found the story to be original, and well paced all throughout. ". . . I think a lot about what a smile is, especially when you don't mean it. It's a mask. Something that hides the truth . . . " Naturally, the house had a backstory, but this was written in such a way that the things currently happening were more important to me than the past . . . ". . . If any excitement about the house remained, it had faded . . . been replaced by something much closer to pure fear . . . " While I didn't particularly connect to the parents, the relationship between the siblings felt authentic, and helped carry the story forward tremendously. Despite my feelings on the level of maturity Alice showed, she was a fantastically complex character that I really enjoyed following. ". . . A few extra dollars on the electric bill was a small price to pay for her safety against the unnamable things that hid in the dark . . . " The psychological changes far outweighed the physical in the first three-quarters or so of this novel--something I feel helped insure my undivided attention. When there remains the questions of "if" or "what" in the face of some event--making it so you can not be one hundred percent sure of anything--the story becomes much more of a challenge and an "addiction" to me. I simply have to read more! ". . . everything I know is pointless in the face of what I feel . . ." Overall, this novel contained more than enough elements to keep me rapidly turning pages. I loved the plot, psychology, and mysterious episodes that began from the start. While I did have a few issues regarding the mental maturity of a ten-year-old girl, and relationship to her parents, in the end they were easy enough to overlook. A gripping tale from an author I will be eagerly watching for future books by! Recommended. **Available NOW: https://amzn.to/2nu2egC **

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This story is my groove! I was completely enraptured with this book. I smoked less, and didn't even log onto Goodreads! When I first started this book I thought, huh, I know this house! My squat, hairy man and I once looked at a house like this. I wanted to buy, he thought I was nuts. There was even the bedroom with windows that looked out into a laundry room. Of course I was over the moon! Turns out, it was on the flood plains! This story was tense as heck for me. I do love that! I'm giving no This story is my groove! I was completely enraptured with this book. I smoked less, and didn't even log onto Goodreads! When I first started this book I thought, huh, I know this house! My squat, hairy man and I once looked at a house like this. I wanted to buy, he thought I was nuts. There was even the bedroom with windows that looked out into a laundry room. Of course I was over the moon! Turns out, it was on the flood plains! This story was tense as heck for me. I do love that! I'm giving no clues to how this one goes! I would suggest reading the book flap, and diving in! My thanks, once again to Flame Tree Press, the author, and Netgalley. I must say that Flame Tree is putting out some great stuff!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror

    I'm excited to post a side-by-side review of this book on the Night Worms blog September 2nd, 2019 with John Lynch of Steelrain Reviews. I was hoping we would both come away with diverse reading experiences and we did! After the review is posted, I'll also share it here. This book is available for preorder at Flame Tree Press and officially releases in September.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    The four members of the Easton family have varied responses to their new sprawling manor home. Fallen into disrepair and seemingly following the plans of a madman architect, it is markedly different from their previous terraced and uniform abode. It also seems to hold many secrets in its shadowed alcoves and youngest member Alice isn't sure they should be uncovering them. This begun like many haunted house horrors of its like, but that was exactly what I was anticipating and never see The four members of the Easton family have varied responses to their new sprawling manor home. Fallen into disrepair and seemingly following the plans of a madman architect, it is markedly different from their previous terraced and uniform abode. It also seems to hold many secrets in its shadowed alcoves and youngest member Alice isn't sure they should be uncovering them. This begun like many haunted house horrors of its like, but that was exactly what I was anticipating and never seem able to get my fill of them! The house became almost the fifth member of their family and the other four responded to its altering moods as though fearing of unsettling it further. It was a tense and spooky read that hinted at mysteries that were both supernatural, familial, historical in nature. Whilst my intrigue and the suspense remained high, the spooky elements were lessened as the book progressed. This still had me eager to read through to the surprisingly twisted conclusion but the central portion was lighter on the horror than originally anticipated and thus lost some of my early admiration. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, D. W. Gillespie, and the publisher, Flame Tree Press, for this opportunity.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Danielle (The Blonde Likes Books)

    I love reading horror/spooky books in the fall, especially around Halloween, so when I read the description for One by One, I was excited to pick it up!  The book pretty quickly jumps into the creepy aspects - a family moves into a new house, albeit one that's run down, and has a violent past. When odd things start happening around Alice, and Alice's father starts acting out of character, I was excited for what was to come!  That said, the further the book progressed, the l I love reading horror/spooky books in the fall, especially around Halloween, so when I read the description for One by One, I was excited to pick it up!  The book pretty quickly jumps into the creepy aspects - a family moves into a new house, albeit one that's run down, and has a violent past. When odd things start happening around Alice, and Alice's father starts acting out of character, I was excited for what was to come!  That said, the further the book progressed, the less creepy it became, which admittedly dampened some of my excitement. I was hoping for a haunted house type of story, especially since this was positioned as a horror, not a thriller. I think had my expectations been more realistic, I would have landed at a solid 4 star rating, rather than a 3.5, which is what I'm rating this one.  Expectations aside, I did enjoy the writing of the book, and it was a great read for fall, especially if you want something lightly spooky, but not very graphic or  supernatural. I'd like to thank Netgalley for my copy of the book. It was my pleasure to provide an honest review. 

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bandit

    Not only am I the first to review this, it wasn’t even on GR site, I also had to create a listing for it. And I’m glad to do it, because this book is awesome and should be read, enjoyed and loved. I read Toy Thief, Gillespie’s previous book published by Flame Tree Press. It was the first book I’ve read by the author and by the publishers and it put both of them very prominently on my radar. SO much so that when I saw this book come up on Netgalley, I was sold immediately, no checking page count, Not only am I the first to review this, it wasn’t even on GR site, I also had to create a listing for it. And I’m glad to do it, because this book is awesome and should be read, enjoyed and loved. I read Toy Thief, Gillespie’s previous book published by Flame Tree Press. It was the first book I’ve read by the author and by the publishers and it put both of them very prominently on my radar. SO much so that when I saw this book come up on Netgalley, I was sold immediately, no checking page count, no reading summary or reviews. And sure enough…totally worth it. Flame Tree Press has been on and off since, quality wise, but Gillespie continues to shine like a blood splattered disco ball. This guy is good. And sure, this tale of a family looking to save some money by moving into an old creepy ramshackle place with sketchy past only to find out that it might be haunted doesn’t reinvent the wheel per se, but it does the wheel justice by taking it for a really quality spin. By creating realistic characters and situations, Gillespie completely immerses your attention…you can practically hear the floors creek, see the glimpses of faces in the windows that shouldn’t be there. It’s that good. In fact the only regret here might be not having read this at night for the perfect complete effect, but days are just too long now for that sort of luxury. If you can, do yourself a favor and read this when it’s dark out, the way scary stories are meant to be taken in. The novel is narrated by Alice, a bright ten year old prone to daydreaming, who makes for a surprisingly compelling narrator. She’s the first one to notice how off their new place is and in the end, she is the one to set things right. Great story, start to finish. Dynamic, atmospheric, exciting…all you’d want in a scary story. Even the epilogue is perfect, somber and serious and much more in line with literary genre writing as oppose to cheap guts and gore reliant thrills. Awesome book. This author reminds me of why I love this genre. Apparently our library has never heard of the author, which is so frustrating, because I want to read every book he’s written. If you can, you really should. Recommended. Thanks Netgalley.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I was given a copy of this novel from the publisher, Flame Tree Press, through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Flame Tree Press is really making a name for themselves among readers of dark fiction for publishing works that contain an artistry that transcends the genre and One by One is no exception. This is my first novel from D.W. Gillespie but I will be on the lookout for more after reading One by One. I remember reading an interview with Brian Keene when he described hi I was given a copy of this novel from the publisher, Flame Tree Press, through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Flame Tree Press is really making a name for themselves among readers of dark fiction for publishing works that contain an artistry that transcends the genre and One by One is no exception. This is my first novel from D.W. Gillespie but I will be on the lookout for more after reading One by One. I remember reading an interview with Brian Keene when he described his ground-breaking zombie novel “The Uprising” as a simple story about a man trying to find his son, and it is. That is when horror really works, I think. Sure, I enjoy a good two dimensional monster romp as much as anyone, but the best dark fiction is about so much more. Stephen King’s “IT” is more about the kids dealing with the bad things that happen in their lives than about Pennywise, and "Pet Semetary" is about dealing with loss. The real world connection makes the novel scarier because you understand and recognize the feelings are invested in the characters. On the surface, One by One is about a family moving into an old house with a dark history. They are thinking that the incredibly low price they paid and the change in circumstances will be that big break that they need to turn things around, which have been going pretty crappy recently. They are not alone in the house. Ok, so far that sounds like pretty much every haunted house story ever written. Let's keep going. Mom and dad are not on the best terms presently. Dad is more in favor of the move than mom. Brother and sister have sibling rivalry issues. They even bring along a pet cat. They find creepy drawings on the walls. It seems that they didn’t get the complete story on the house’s background and it is much worse than they thought. They find a diary that provides more details. Check all the cliché boxes. But One by One is a lot more about the family than the house; and while it looks like a traditional haunted house story, it isn’t. To me it turned out to be something completely different than expected and I was fooled by apparent clichés into thinking that I knew what was going to happen when I did not. The novel is more about how a family confronts internal conflict amongst themselves as well as from outside forces. It really grounds the story in reality and makes us feel for and recognize the characters as realistic. The danger is real, also. The story is dark—darker than you think going in. It is disturbing and escalates quickly but resolves itself both realistically and in a way that should satisfy the reader. 4 stars. Check it out—both the writer and Flame Tree Press deserve interest to seek out their other works.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Syeda Sumayya Tariq

    I went into the story thinking it was crime thriller, mid way through I was so sure it was supernatural horror, but what came at the end was so dark, unexpected and yet satisfying. Although, I felt like what happened at the end was a bit too unrealistic for a 10yo to take on but other than that the story and the character building was spot on. A bit slow in the begining but I could feel the tension building up and I practically raced through the last few chapters. All the characters w I went into the story thinking it was crime thriller, mid way through I was so sure it was supernatural horror, but what came at the end was so dark, unexpected and yet satisfying. Although, I felt like what happened at the end was a bit too unrealistic for a 10yo to take on but other than that the story and the character building was spot on. A bit slow in the begining but I could feel the tension building up and I practically raced through the last few chapters. All the characters were very likeable and honestly I fell in love with the character of Frank. All in all it was a very thrilling ride and I enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks to the author and @flametreepress for sending me the ARC of this book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shalini

    This was an unexpected read. The story gripped me from the blurb itself. It was a slow burn horror mystery where the author D. W. Gillespie had set up a great aura of horror and creepiness. Frank, Debra, Dean and Alice moved into a new house which was the beginning of their end. Soon family members started disappearing and it was left to the youngest daughter Alice to get to the truth. A diary found led her slowly and surely down a path of investigation. Wow. I enjoyed the entire feel This was an unexpected read. The story gripped me from the blurb itself. It was a slow burn horror mystery where the author D. W. Gillespie had set up a great aura of horror and creepiness. Frank, Debra, Dean and Alice moved into a new house which was the beginning of their end. Soon family members started disappearing and it was left to the youngest daughter Alice to get to the truth. A diary found led her slowly and surely down a path of investigation. Wow. I enjoyed the entire feel of the book. The twist at the end was expectedly unexpected. The author's writing had fear creeping into my veins as the pages turned. I read the book with all the lights switched on. I found myself so immersed in the horrific vibe of the book that it shocked me. Family dynamics were explored in such a setting. Alice was brilliant in her role. The book kept me at the edge wanting to know everything that was written in the diary. There was a desperation in me which forced me to read this book at one go. Fabulous!!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sheena ☆ Oh, the Sheenanigans!

    Well shit. That was creepy as fuck and that only amplified after having a Ghost Adventures marathon the night before. Go big or go home I say. Nevertheless, I was highly impressed by the authors writing style and how he was able to showcase Alice, the ten year old lead, POV and her journey in finding out what was happening in her family's new home. I will note that despite the fact that this story is supposed to be in a 10 year old POV, the lead character had an almost grown-up persona and Well shit. That was creepy as fuck and that only amplified after having a Ghost Adventures marathon the night before. Go big or go home I say. Nevertheless, I was highly impressed by the authors writing style and how he was able to showcase Alice, the ten year old lead, POV and her journey in finding out what was happening in her family's new home. I will note that despite the fact that this story is supposed to be in a 10 year old POV, the lead character had an almost grown-up persona and it didn’t make me feel like I was reading the story from the child’s perspective. Besides that flaw and lackluster epilogue in which case I didn’t think concluded the story in the way I envision, I wasn’t able to put this down. It was a non-stop suspense thriller creepfest surrounding a family who decided to move into a fix-upper while unbeknownst to them, something or someone lingers in the dark ready to strike. Needless to say, this would be perfect for readers looking for a little scare this upcoming holiday and would recommended that everyone keeps this author on their must watch list.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rod | rodsreads

    I want to thank D.W. Gillespie, Flame Tree Press, and NetGalley for the advance copy. Let me start by saying that this was my first time reading D.W. Gillespie. You know the thrill that comes with reading an author that is new to you: Will I like the writing style? Will I DNF it? Will the author become a new favorite? Well, I can certainly tell you that I loved Gillespie's writing. And I'm looking forward to reading more of his works. Now let's get dow I want to thank D.W. Gillespie, Flame Tree Press, and NetGalley for the advance copy. Let me start by saying that this was my first time reading D.W. Gillespie. You know the thrill that comes with reading an author that is new to you: Will I like the writing style? Will I DNF it? Will the author become a new favorite? Well, I can certainly tell you that I loved Gillespie's writing. And I'm looking forward to reading more of his works. Now let's get down to business. Here's the Synopsys: "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." "One by One" is the kind of book that is hard to review without spoiling the fun. For that reason, I won't go into much of the details. A family moves to an old house and strange things start happening? Yes, please! The minute I saw it on NetGalley, I knew I needed to read it. The story had me hooked from the get-go. And the fact that it reads like a movie helped to keep me furiously turning pages. We follow Frank, Debra, Dean, and Alice. As they "try" to settle in their new home. But unfortunately—for them, not us—things start to go south after Alice discovers an old painting behind the wallpaper in her room. The book starts off as your typical haunted house story. The descriptions of the house are very well done. I could feel the atmosphere growing tense as the story progressed. But not everything is at it seems. Alice finds herself more and more invested in the mystery that surrounds her family, and the old house. What happened to the previous owners? Is there a dark past attached to the house? And this is where I'll stop. The only thing that prevented a 5-star rating was the lack of character development. We get just enough to make it work. Don't get me wrong, it does work! Although I was able to maintain a connection with our protagonist, I can't say the same about other characters. Overall, I feel like "One by One" was a nice read!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)

    3.5 stars An old house with a sordid history that you can get as the best deal EVER? NO THANK YOU. Why do people continue to move into these houses that are in the middle of nowhere, especially knowing about all the death and despair that surrounds it? Ok, ok.. I know people sometimes LIVE for these kinds of things. And there's a certain appeal to living away from the swarms of people in the city. But when strange things start to happen... um, GTFO! Haha. What st 3.5 stars An old house with a sordid history that you can get as the best deal EVER? NO THANK YOU. Why do people continue to move into these houses that are in the middle of nowhere, especially knowing about all the death and despair that surrounds it? Ok, ok.. I know people sometimes LIVE for these kinds of things. And there's a certain appeal to living away from the swarms of people in the city. But when strange things start to happen... um, GTFO! Haha. What starts out as a standard creepy haunted house type of read, turns into a twisty family conclusion. While very intrigued with the storyline and spooky feel, it lost some of the spook during the last half of the story. I'm not quite sure what I think about the ending and how it all came together but I am sure that I was enjoying the feel. The voices of the characters tended to get lost a little bit through the pages in my opinion and Alice felt much older than her age. (But I know some kids actually are like this). I think I expected more creep factor from this, which waned from beginning to end. However, it definitely gives you that tingly gothic vibe and certainly is keeping me a city girl.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Irene

    Frank Easton is thrilled to leave his ordinary house and move his family into a huge fixer upper that he got on the cheap. He seems to be the only one who is excited. His wife Debra is used to his butterfly chasing as she calls it. Frank is always ready to follow one whim after another but this latest dream is putting more than the usual strain on their marriage. Their son Dean would rather be in their old neighborhood, and daughter Alice tries to see it as an adventure but it isn't long before Frank Easton is thrilled to leave his ordinary house and move his family into a huge fixer upper that he got on the cheap. He seems to be the only one who is excited. His wife Debra is used to his butterfly chasing as she calls it. Frank is always ready to follow one whim after another but this latest dream is putting more than the usual strain on their marriage. Their son Dean would rather be in their old neighborhood, and daughter Alice tries to see it as an adventure but it isn't long before she realizes something is not right in their creepy new home. This was a highly atmospheric novel with a perfect setting. There was not only the sinister feeling house to contend with but also the woods and a snowstorm added heft and weight to the suspense. I received an advance copy for review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Don Gillette

    This book absolutely blew me away. If you could take Scout, from To Kill A Mockingbird, put her in a perfect family, move that family into a strange, older home you just know has got to be haunted, and watch the family unravel into dysfunction slowly but surely then you'd have only part of what makes One by One a great tale. Almost anything I say about this book will be a spoiler because the characters are so vivid and the setting so perfect that it's honestly all I can do to keep myself from gushing out th This book absolutely blew me away. If you could take Scout, from To Kill A Mockingbird, put her in a perfect family, move that family into a strange, older home you just know has got to be haunted, and watch the family unravel into dysfunction slowly but surely then you'd have only part of what makes One by One a great tale. Almost anything I say about this book will be a spoiler because the characters are so vivid and the setting so perfect that it's honestly all I can do to keep myself from gushing out the story line and spoiling it for everyone. Take my word on this one: read it. You will not be disappointed. The insanely perfect part about One by One is that it makes you think you know where the book is going--and it never goes there! Instead of taking the easy way out, instead of the same, old, tired, hackneyed haunted house stuff we're all so accustomed to, D.W. Gillespie throws a proverbial monkeywrench into the tale at every juncture. I don't think I've ever said, "Wow... I didn't see that coming," so many times while reading a book. Something I didn't realize until just now is that my mental picture of the characters was formed without having them described to me... and that is neat. Frank and Debra and Dean and Alice all look the way I want them to look with just minimal details tossed in. But they are all drawn so well, so brilliantly, that I feel I know them. Horrifyingly original, excellently-paced, and thoroughly satisfying.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Octavia (ReadsWithDogs)

    This book surprised me! I was expecting a run-of-the-mill haunted house/creepy kid story and One by One definitely features a creepy kid, but the haunting is not typical. The suspense built up slowly and the atmosphere got wicked tense the last 75% of the book. So tense that I stayed up later than I intended because I couldn't stop reading an had to know what would happen to Alice. Alice is the main character of the book, also a ten-year girl who loves reading and references Pet This book surprised me! I was expecting a run-of-the-mill haunted house/creepy kid story and One by One definitely features a creepy kid, but the haunting is not typical. The suspense built up slowly and the atmosphere got wicked tense the last 75% of the book. So tense that I stayed up later than I intended because I couldn't stop reading an had to know what would happen to Alice. Alice is the main character of the book, also a ten-year girl who loves reading and references Pet Sematary in the story--which I loved. I love when characters in books read and talk about books they read because it makes them seem more real. Alice definitely felt real to me and her relationship with her brother also seemed real. I don't want to give anything away, but there's a CreepyPasta twist to this story that creeped me the heck out! And a certain "dinner" scene near the end had me repulsed and shuddering. Takes a lot to get a physical reaction from me and this book did it. This was my first book by this author and I'm going to keep my eye out for more work by them in the future. 4.5 stars! Another great read from Flame Tree Press

  22. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    I was sent a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book gave me chills from the first chapter and gripped me from the first few pages. A chilling and disturbing read that will make your hairs stand on end but find you cannot put the book down. The family in this book (the Easton's) buy a run down, unusual house to fix up and as soon as they move in strange things begin to happen then the family begin one by one to disappear. This book is I was sent a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book gave me chills from the first chapter and gripped me from the first few pages. A chilling and disturbing read that will make your hairs stand on end but find you cannot put the book down. The family in this book (the Easton's) buy a run down, unusual house to fix up and as soon as they move in strange things begin to happen then the family begin one by one to disappear. This book is a fantastic halloween read!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elke

    After reading the author's previous book 'Toy Chief' I had him on my radar and was thrilled to see a new title was out, and found that I like 'One by One' even better. The story is told from the POV of young girl Alice, who moves with her family into a decrepit house that "they bought at a steal", as her father doesn't tire to tell them. However, the other family members can't share his enthusiasm over this slightly creepy, labyrinthine building. Soon, Alice notices odd things to happ After reading the author's previous book 'Toy Chief' I had him on my radar and was thrilled to see a new title was out, and found that I like 'One by One' even better. The story is told from the POV of young girl Alice, who moves with her family into a decrepit house that "they bought at a steal", as her father doesn't tire to tell them. However, the other family members can't share his enthusiasm over this slightly creepy, labyrinthine building. Soon, Alice notices odd things to happen after she discovers a child's drawing on the floor wall: a family of stick figures, complete with pet Alice's father grows an aggressive streak Alice never would have thought this usually easy-going man to be capable of. Even her mother is more irritated than usual. Then, a diary appears in Alice's room which belonged to a girl that previously lived in the house, telling her tragic story. Also, Alice thinks she glimpsed a strange person lurking about the house. But things really start to get scary when the drawn pet on the wall is crossed out with a thick black X and the family's cat is found dead soon after. While her parents believe Alice or her sulking brother might be behind that cruel joke and the cat simply drowned by accident, Alice is sure something unnatural, maybe even supernatural, is haunting their new home. From there on, events come thick and fast. Only Alice recognizes what is behind all this, and it is up to her to face whatever is threatening to destroy her family. Compared to 'Toy Thief', I found that the plot of 'One by One' appears more of a piece, leading you down a spiralling path into the depth of insanity. For a long time you are not sure what causes the mysterious events. Every now and then, the path changes directions, washing overboard previously nurtured suspicions, only to come up with a new possibility after the next turn. Alice was a believable and likeable character. It was impressive to see how she outgrew her old shy, pensive self and became the strong and determined fighter it took to stand up for her family. The author put a lot of thought into the details, which fit together like puzzle pieces, but missing the original pattern, so that only at the end, when everything is put together neatly, you are able to recognize the scary overall picture. (Thanks to Netgalley, the author, and the publisher for a copy of the book, all opinions are my own)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Well Read Beard

    Once again - I love the Flame Tree lineup of authors. The books all have great cover art and I REALLY like the matching red spines. I don't know if I will feel the need to say that every single time I read one of them, but for now - red spines in a row = awesome. Ok, on to the book. This was my first Gillespie read. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. A family of 4 move into a a sprawling manor in a remote setting. Been there before? yeah I get it. This one does a good job of setting up th Once again - I love the Flame Tree lineup of authors. The books all have great cover art and I REALLY like the matching red spines. I don't know if I will feel the need to say that every single time I read one of them, but for now - red spines in a row = awesome. Ok, on to the book. This was my first Gillespie read. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. A family of 4 move into a a sprawling manor in a remote setting. Been there before? yeah I get it. This one does a good job of setting up the premise - building a haunting environment in which the story starts to unfold. The introduction sets the stage and the incorporation of child drawn stick figure art seemed to make the idea a bit more creepy. I enjoyed the horror elements and how the climax neatly tied those up. The ending was harrowing and for some reason the setting seemed to pull me in physically. The cold of the snow, the heat of the flames seemed to find a way to affect me as the reader. The madness of our villain, the insanity of the identity built by our big bad was unique and terrifying.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Renee

    The Easton family(Frank, Debra, Dean, Alice, and their cat)is moving into a new house. Sure, it has some serious DIY issues, but by doing a lot of the work themselves, they will not only save money but also be the proud owners of a unique home. Of course, I choose One by One as one of my spooky October reads, so there is a lot more going on in this house than just your average fixer-upper a/k/a money pit. The story is told by Alice, who is ten going on thirty. A girl prone to daydreaming wh The Easton family(Frank, Debra, Dean, Alice, and their cat)is moving into a new house. Sure, it has some serious DIY issues, but by doing a lot of the work themselves, they will not only save money but also be the proud owners of a unique home. Of course, I choose One by One as one of my spooky October reads, so there is a lot more going on in this house than just your average fixer-upper a/k/a money pit. The story is told by Alice, who is ten going on thirty. A girl prone to daydreaming who is wise beyond her years. When Alice discovers a picture underneath a section of old wallpaper, she is surprised to see a child's drawing of a family that is eerily similar to her own. What happened to these people and will Alice and her family fall victim to the same fate? A lot is going on here and without veering into spoiler territory, it is hard to say more about the plot. The story is atmospheric, scary, and honestly, a very engaging read. There is a twist that I didn't see coming and this one checked many of my boxes for being a good, creepy tale. I read the author's book, The Toy Thief and enjoyed it, but I found One by One to be even better. 4 stars – A really solid read that made me glad I read the book. It didn't keep me up all night or make me abandon my plans, but I would recommend it without hesitation. I received a DRC from Flame Tree Press through NetGalley.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Van Damme

    This book. I don’t even know where to begin. It took me places I wasn’t expected to be taken. It looked like one thing but it turned out to be another, and I’m not sure, I’m very unsure really, what I can tell you, how I can explain to you what it was that made me love this book, without ruining the experience. So let’s start at the beginning, which is a bit of dilapidated house in a remote area, it’s very large and it has the weirdest lay-out, because various owners have been buildin This book. I don’t even know where to begin. It took me places I wasn’t expected to be taken. It looked like one thing but it turned out to be another, and I’m not sure, I’m very unsure really, what I can tell you, how I can explain to you what it was that made me love this book, without ruining the experience. So let’s start at the beginning, which is a bit of dilapidated house in a remote area, it’s very large and it has the weirdest lay-out, because various owners have been building onto it throughout the years. There’s a bedroom with windows that look into another room instead of outside, there are hallways that double-back on themselves, it’s a very eerie place. The author says that the house is based on an actual house where he used to live as a teenager and that had such windows and hallways. Rumour had it that the place was haunted, but Mr Gillespie never spotted any ghosts, only felt the eeriness of it. With that knowledge the story came alive even more, even though everything else is fiction (or I sincerely hope so, anyway) Moving into this house is a family of four and their cat. We see what happens through the eyes of Alice. It was Alice’s dad who fell in love with the house, finding it unique, in contrast to all the little tickytacky boxes on the hillside that all look just the same (oh come on, you did watch Weeds, right?!). Alice can see its charm, but her mother and older brother are less than enthusiastic. But then things start coming apart at the seams (of course they do, what did you expect?!) and this loving family starts falling apart. There is so much creepy stuff going on. There’s a child’s drawing of a family and their dog on the wall and suddenly the little dog figure is crossed out and everyone denies having done it. Alice is afraid that the family on the wall represents her own, and when she goes searching frantically for her cat, she can’t find him… The situation deteriorates rapidly. Alice’s dad is less the goofy good-spirited man she’s always know and much more of a snarling bully and I had visions of The Shining, hoping there wouldn’t be any “here’s Johnny” moments because I loved Alice and if something had to happen to her, I didn’t want it to be done to her by her dad! When the snow starts to fall, the family is effectively cut off from the rest of the world and Alice becomes more and more obsessed with the diary she’s found that belongs to Mary, the girl who lived in the house before. Something happened to Mary and Alice is desperate to find out what because she just knows that what happened to Mary in the past is having an impact on Alice’s own family in the present. One By One starts out as an eerie, atmospheric ghost story. Even when I was reading it in broad daylight, it still gave me goose bumps: although my body was sitting in the sun, my mind was dwelling in a dark and spooky house in the middle of nowhere. The author has a way with words, you’re carried into the story and you feel like you’re a character, a very useless and highly voyeuristic one at that, I admit, but still, it feels like you’re there. Towards the ending, it lost some of its spooky atmosphere and gained a more horroresque feel when the story took a turn I wasn’t expecting at all and I got a glimpse of a very disturbed mind. The ending is calm and understated and got to me in an entirely different manner. This was my first Gillespie novel, but it will most definitely not be my last! Recommended for #Spooktober and any other month of the year!

  27. 5 out of 5

    November Is Nyarlathotep The Haunted Reading Room

    I foresee nightmares. I really shouldn't have read this at night. It seemed so simple: a big old isolated house in the woods, selling at a ridiculously low price. Sure, the house was an architectural oddity, a little unsettling. Reminiscent in a mild fashion of Lovecraftian non-Euclidean geometry. But not haunted. Just....odd. Until ten-year-old Alice uncovers the stick-figure painting in the hall. Family members change. Then the cat--. But it's also subtle unti I foresee nightmares. I really shouldn't have read this at night. It seemed so simple: a big old isolated house in the woods, selling at a ridiculously low price. Sure, the house was an architectural oddity, a little unsettling. Reminiscent in a mild fashion of Lovecraftian non-Euclidean geometry. But not haunted. Just....odd. Until ten-year-old Alice uncovers the stick-figure painting in the hall. Family members change. Then the cat--. But it's also subtle until about two-thirds of the way in: then my hair stood on end, my eyes bugged out, goosebumps covered me from head to.toe, nightmares entrenched themselves...no, no longer subtle at all.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    3 and 1/2 stars I enjoyed this haunted house story. Clear narrative, sympathetic characters, not too fleshed out. The central one, the little girl, was the most interesting one. Love the relationship she has with her older brother. The story overall reminded me of a TV movie of the week à la Amityville Horror which is not bad, per se, but I would have loved to see more originality put into it. The concept of the drawn picture on the wall was a good idea, though. Scary? Not really but 3 and 1/2 stars I enjoyed this haunted house story. Clear narrative, sympathetic characters, not too fleshed out. The central one, the little girl, was the most interesting one. Love the relationship she has with her older brother. The story overall reminded me of a TV movie of the week à la Amityville Horror which is not bad, per se, but I would have loved to see more originality put into it. The concept of the drawn picture on the wall was a good idea, though. Scary? Not really but there were some good scenes. All in all I would recommend if you want a well made quick read. Thanks to Net Galley and the publishers for this ARC.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Toni | Dark Reads

    Visit my Blog for all of my reviews and more :) http://darkreads.blog 4.5 Rounded up to 5 Wow I enjoyed this one, what a perfect start to the Horror season! The story begins with Alice our protagonist and her family moving into their new home, an old property in the woods. Alice’s father Frank managed to get the house at a ridiculously good price (doesn’t bode well in this genre does it?!) The house needs lots of work but Frank is really excited about the prospect, Alice shares her fath Visit my Blog for all of my reviews and more :) http://darkreads.blog 4.5 Rounded up to 5 Wow I enjoyed this one, what a perfect start to the Horror season! The story begins with Alice our protagonist and her family moving into their new home, an old property in the woods. Alice’s father Frank managed to get the house at a ridiculously good price (doesn’t bode well in this genre does it?!) The house needs lots of work but Frank is really excited about the prospect, Alice shares her father’s excitement while her mother Debra and her older brother Dean didn’t have the same enthusiasm! I think the house sounded great with its little quirks and mystery, I was definitely team Frank and Alice! I think One By One is beautifully written, the detail made the imagery so vivid, as I was reading I felt like I was watching the book rather than reading it, I felt as if I was there. There was an ominous undertone right from the beginning that gradually grew into a feeling of dread as more strange and sinister things began to happen. I really enjoyed how Gillespie created a real sense of isolation, often with this type of story I get frustrated that the characters don’t talk to each other about what is happening, in this case Alice was open about her fears and her suspicions but is dismissed by her family every time, that for me is ultimate isolation. The Characters were great, especially Alice. Alice is a daydreamer with an overactive imagination, Gillespie gives a brilliant insight into her character via her inner monologue. She grows from a fairly timid 10 year old to a fierce 10 year old who knows her own mind. I did have to keep reminding myself that Alice was 10 years old, for me her thought processes are from someone older by maybe two or three years. I also really liked Dean’s character and the relationship between the two siblings. One by One had me engrossed from the first page right up to the last, the more Alice discovered about the house and what had happened there the more I needed to know what would happen next! There were some awesome twists and turns towards the end, just as I thought I knew where the story was going there was a twist, and a good one too I was not expecting that! If you enjoy a dark and creeping suspense story, full of mystery with supernatural connotations this is definitely one for you. I loved it and would pick up another D.W. Gillespie book in a heartbeat!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Andy Angel

    I do like a good haunted house story and thankfully this, from Flame Tree Press, certainly falls into that bracket. Our protaganists are The Eastons (dad, mum, and two kids, Alice and Dean), a family down on their luck. Dad finds a fixer-upper for them to live in while he...well, fixes it up. Right from the off the house seems to give off bad vibes to everyone but dad (Frank). It's no real spoiler (it's on the back cover!) that Alice discovers a hidden painting that relates to the Eas I do like a good haunted house story and thankfully this, from Flame Tree Press, certainly falls into that bracket. Our protaganists are The Eastons (dad, mum, and two kids, Alice and Dean), a family down on their luck. Dad finds a fixer-upper for them to live in while he...well, fixes it up. Right from the off the house seems to give off bad vibes to everyone but dad (Frank). It's no real spoiler (it's on the back cover!) that Alice discovers a hidden painting that relates to the Eastons and not long after that, one by one, they start to disappear 😱 I have to say, I really enjoyed this book. The house was creepy, the family (apart from Alice thankfully) were quite annoying, especially the brother, Dean. Everything I would want from a ghost/horror story. There's just something quite satisfying about unlikable characters 'getting there's. Thankfully the character we spend most time with is Alice and as she is a 10 year old child it makes for an interesting angle to the story telling. So, how creepy/scary is it as a story? I read this on holiday in 30+ degree heat and it still gave me chills so that's a pretty good testament to how good Gillespie's writing is (and I got through it in two afternoons. Very much recommended.

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