The Woman in Cabin 10
Ruth Ware     

Genre: Mystery

From New York Times bestselling author of the “twisty-mystery” (Vulture) novel In a Dark, Dark Wood, comes The Woman in Cabin 10, an equally suspenseful and haunting novel from Ruth Ware—this time, set at sea.

In this tightly wound, enthralling story reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s works, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…

With surprising twists, spine-tingling turns, and a setting that proves as uncomfortably claustrophobic as it is eerily beautiful, Ruth Ware offers up another taut and intense read inThe Woman in Cabin 10—one that will leave even the most sure-footed reader restlessly uneasy long after the last page is turned.

Lo Blacklock has been given the chance of a lifetime. Since her boss can’t go, Lo receives a free trip on a luxury cruise to cover the ship’s maiden voyage. A scary break-in at her flat right before the trip leaves Lo shaken, but she is determined to make the most of this trip, which could be just what her journalism career needs. Making the right contacts and proving herself as a competent professional, while enjoying all the luxuries on a cruise she could never afford on her own, is something she can’t pass up. The cruise has its ups and downs for Lo, but then a chance encounter with the “woman in cabin 10” changes the course of Lo’s trip and may even cost Lo her life!

The Woman in Cabin 10 is a fast-paced, exciting thriller. I love the determination of the main character, Lo. Even when others on the cruise don’t believe her story of seeing a woman in the neighboring cabin being thrown overboard, Lo will not give up. She will not stop investigating the woman’s identity and who is responsible for her death, even when others start to doubt her sanity. Lo is not perfect and doesn’t always make the best decisions, which makes her a more complex, believable character. She gets drunk at the welcoming cocktail dinner, which hurts her credibility when trying to convince her fellow passengers that a murder has occurred. The reader can’t help but sympathize and root for Lo to succeed in her investigation and outsmart a murderer. Some of the events seem a little unrealistic, but I was able to suspend disbelief for the sake of a well-told story.

Lo doesn’t know who on the ship she can trust, which adds to the suspense of the book. The story takes a few different unexpected and thrilling twists. Some exciting thrillers end up fading out with a weak ending, but author Ruth Ware doesn’t disappoint with this one! The conclusion is just as strong and satisfying as the rest of the book. I highly recommend the book for fans of The Woman on the Train or The Bones of You. Readers who enjoyed Ruth Ware’s debut thriller In a Dark, Dark Wood will also want to read her second stand-alone thriller.

~ Christine