*I received a free copy of The Woman in Cabin 10 from Gallery Books via Edelweiss. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
Published by Gallery Books on 19 July 2016
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, but as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the desk, 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 in The Woman in Cabin 10—one that will leave even the most sure-footed reader restlessly uneasy long after the last page is turned.
The Woman in Cabin 10 is a tightly written psychological thriller where part of the action happens on a small cruise boat… and it’s a chilling and sharp tale.
Lo is one of those very flawed characters whom it’s impossible not to love. The Woman in Cabin 10 is a complex tale, where, after waking up to a burglar in her home, Lo gets the possibility to go on a luxury cruise for her work. Writing about how the rich and famous do vacation in the ice-cold waters off the coast of Norway. There’s a bit of a mystery surrounding Lo, she seems to be holding back -both in the narration and with her boyfriend whom she’s been with for several years.
As soon as Lo arrives on the cruise boat, she is feeling a bit weird, and also slightly upset, as the internet connection isn’t all it’s supposed to be. After a strange run-in with the woman in the next cabin, Lo goes to the first meet and greet with the other journalists and the couple who own the boat. Mesmerized by all the glitz, a little uncomfortable, and drinking too much, Lo feels out of place. Running into a male journalist she used to work with – and with whom she possibly had a relationship outside of work doesn’t help, either. In the middle of the night, Lo hears a scream, and then a splash outside her cabin, and she realizes that the woman in the next-door cabin must have fallen overboard. Only, there is blood on the window off the balcony…
This is when the story turns from something that could have been a pleasant cruise turns into something deadly, as Lo can’t leave this alone and contacts the security person on board. She tries to get the boat to stop, but this is not an option, especially when it appears that nobody is missing, and the cabin next to Lo’s was unoccupied… As Lo continues to investigate this matter, there is no internet connection what soever on board, and the passengers all start to feel unsettled when they enter a storm with high waves and rain…
The danger becomes more and more present for Lo, and The Woman in Cabin 10 never lets up on the suspense. Written in different points of views, one from Lo’s perspective, in first person, past tense and also through e-mails sent to Lo from various people, and some news-paper articles. This way of telling the story was unique, and it made the suspense ramp up when it was clear that the outside world didn’t know at all what was going on aboard that boat. If you enjoy suspense stories where it’s impossible to figure out what will happen next, The Woman in Cabin 10 is a book you should get your hands on as soon as it’s released!
Its size, along with the perfection of its paintwork, gave it a curiously toylike quality, and as I stepped onto the narrow steel gangway I had a sudden disorienting image of the Aurora as a ship imprisoned in a bottle – tiny, perfect, isolated, and unreal – and of myself, shrinking down to match it with every step I took towards the boat.
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.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: