The Woman In Cabin 10 – Ruth Ware
I’ll start by saying that I did not receive this book for the specific purpose of reviewing. I actually purchased it at my favorite book store, a secondhand place called McKay’s. My preferred location is in Nashville, TN and I love nothing more than spending a day perusing its shelves for new and exciting reads. I’ll also say that I will try my best to avoid spoilers. However, this is my very first attempt at review writing, so go easy on me! I’ll gauge reviews and use those to work towards writing what my readers want to hear. Anyways, if you’re into catching a glimpse of the book before you read it, without the frustration of spoilers, read ahead my friends!
With a small preface, I’ll say that psychological thrillers are my favorite genre. I love to have my heartbroken as I sit back and try to understand the characters’ struggles and solve the mystery myself.
The Woman in Cabin 10 follows our somewhat unreliable narrator, one Miss Laura “Lo” Blacklock, a travel writer struggling to prove herself and move up the proverbial ladder in her workplace while navigating an unclear history and a relationship she’s afraid of allowing to move forward. The early story follows Lo through her internal (and external) struggles in regards to her job at Velocity magazine and her relationship with Judah. Lo finds herself in possession of the opportunity of a lifetime – a chance to represent Velocity on the publicity-filled maiden voyage of the Aurora, a luxury cruise liner setting sails for the gorgeous northern lights. Lo is filled with excitement over the arisen opportunity to potentially seal the deal on a better position within the company. But as we all know, a quiet few days before her trip and an ultimately safe and beautiful paid vacation wouldn’t make for a very compelling thriller, now would it?
The drama all starts when Lo suffers through a traumatic event in the first bit of the book, and this particular occurrence sets the tone for the entirety of the novel. Lo tumbles through sleepless nights, panic attacks, and paranoia over the near-death experience she survived. And just a few days later our poor heroine is expected to pick up her life like nothing happened and go schmooze a bunch of other travel writers alongside the insanely wealthy. Insert more stress and anxiety, but Lo ultimately makes it aboard. The luxury liner is small with only ten passenger rooms, but what it lacks in size it most certainly makes up in silk, velvet, and crystals. Everyone on board is blinded by their surroundings. That is, until disaster strikes…or doesn’t strike? No one is really sure
The sea is calm, the view is beautiful, and danger awaits! By part three, Lo feels kind of certain she has maybe witnessed a possible crime. But she’s only sort of confident that it happened. Confusing, right? Who would want to hurt any of the passengers? Did anyone actually die, or are Lo’s hinted issues and recent traumatic experience creeping in on her psyche? Will anyone believe what she thinks she saw happen? Why is there no evidence? If you’re anything like me, you’ll sit and wonder if Lo actually saw something, or if she’s overreacting. Actually, did she make it all up? Is she seeing things? This read is a real rollercoaster from the moment Lo sets foot aboard the Aurora!
It’s a small boat, so the list of suspects is pretty short…until you start to consider the number of waitstaff, housekeepers, and others who suddenly make the cruise ship seem as though it’s filled to the brim with potential criminals! Page after page is full of questions, doubt, and confusion that’s all tied up towards the end with a messy and heartbreaking bow. A bow made up of deceit, infidelity, and of course – money. I had so much trouble putting this one down as I progressed further and further into its pages. I found myself rooting for Lo despite all her character flaws and shortcomings, and I found myself asking “WHAT ON EARTH ACTUALLY HAPPENED?” so many times throughout this novel. I got such satisfaction from finally understanding what happened, including the “why” and “how” of it. Ware did a beautiful job of tying up such a cantankerous web of lies and misunderstanding!
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Page Count: 340
Publication Year: 2016