The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
Adult – Thriller
Published July 19th 2016 by Gallery/Scout Press
I think this is the book that finally made me enjoy Ruth Ware. I liked In a Dark, Dark Wood just fine and all, but it was nothing special in my mind. It never had me thinking about who-did-it because even though it was a mystery I just never cared. This book was different. I was continually guessing at who did it and felt much more invested in the story and the ending.
Once again Ruth Ware’s narrative tells the story of a woman afraid of living her life. Lo Backlock is a mid-level journalist at a stand-still in her career when she is given the assignment of a lifetime taking the maiden voyage on a very exclusive and small luxury cruise ship. At first Lo seems to be doing okay, she still has insomnia after a recent robbery but at least she is comfortable in her plush cabin that’s nicer than her apartment with dinner parties and no end to to the champagne. As the week wears on and her surroundings begin to reflect the Scandinavian scenery, she witnesses a woman being thrown overboard. Once security does a roll call and realizes everyone is accounted for the ship floats on as if nothing happened. As Lo gets more desperate to make someone believe her, she doesn’t realize that getting closer to the truth will only be terrible for her.
I loved this way more than In a Dark, Dark Wood. The red herrings felt more natural and led to true tension that was extremely exciting to read. This was a fun book that actually had me guess wrong at first which was great. I think what drew me to this book the most is that it really reminded me of Agatha Christie. A group of people is confined in small area (cruise ship) with a murderer and no escape. There was a little to much background of Lo for my liking, really everything before the cruise ship was “meh” for me. However, I think it really helped me to understand and empathize with Lo which was essential for the story so I get it even if it wasn’t my favorite. While the murderer was revealed a little early and by the time it was, it was easy to see coming, there was one twist that kind of came out of the blue for me and I loved that. (This is why I hate reviewing mysteries/ thrillers…I feel like I’m avoiding any and all spoilers because that’s the point of a mystery so all that’s left is me going “very nice” and “shocking”. The big twist was so-so but there was one little twisty-turn that I did not see coming at the time and loved that. The twists weren’t exactly the most realistic but they at least didn’t contradict earlier behaviors and I can appreciate that.
I related to Lo’s dismissal of her life but good lord she was obnoxious to read. She was incredibly realistic in the most frustrating way and I’m still obviously not over it. She had absolutely zero backbone when it came to decisions with her life but would get stubborn about the most random things. All of these random things give us a better picture of Lo, but at points it felt like information overload.
If you enjoyed her first book then you will probably like this one, I think it’s better. It was a quick and compelling read that I finished in an afternoon floating in the pool. At points it was a little confusing and I had to reread certain parts of the big reveal but all-in-all I would recommend this book to people looking for a quick mystery that doesn’t leave you wanting to throw the book against a wall.
“There was a little spritz of sequined leaves across the right shoulder because you didn’t seem to be able to get away with none. Apparently the majority of ball gowns were designed by five-year-old girls armed with glitter guns, but at least this one didn’t look entirely like an explosion in a Barbie factory.”
“It didn’t help that, unlike a ferry, there were no floor plans or maps, and minimal signage – supposed to help the impression that this was a private home that you just happened to share with a load of rich people.”
Probably not, but at this pace I’m pretty sure I will love Ruth Ware’s 3rd book because they do at least continue to get better and better for me.