Title: The Woman in Cabin 10
Author: Ruth Ware
Year Published: 2016
Obtained: Public Library
Synopsis: Lo Blacklock, a travel journalist, gets the assignment that will make or break her career: a week aboard a luxury cruise yacht through the Black Sea. The yacht is beautiful, and everything appears to be as if in a dream. But Lo observes a chilling scene: a woman’s scream, a splash into the ocean, and what appears to be a body floating away in the dead of night. So she begins to dig into the lives and movements of the handful of people who occupy the yacht with her. There’s a murderer among them, and she’s determined to discover who it is.
I was SO excited to get this book. It was available at the library and I was so eager to pick it up and start it. When I started, I kept thinking to myself, “When will this story get really good?” But the next thing I knew, I was halfway through the book and I just couldn’t stop. It was terrifying and thrilling, and the way the author made me feel as her main character roamed around the small, confined yacht made me cringe and thank God I was safe on dry and open land.
Lo Blacklock has a disturbing past, but not in the way you would expect. There was nothing in her upbringing to give her anxiety, but she experienced panic attacks and severe anxiety since her teen years. It was really quite nice not to have to read about some drab backstory for her, and I thought it just as interesting that she didn’t have a traumatic event in her youth that made her this way. Sometimes, people are just anxious and that’s just the way they are. Add to this and the fact that she is on medication and can be a heavy drinker at times and you have a recipe for an unreliable witness to a supposed murder. I must admit that I also questioned what Lo saw due to her shakiness, but even I couldn’t dispute the evidence she had in her possession.
Ware weaves a telling story, and uses her descriptive narrative to make me feel claustrophobic and distraught on this boat. When I finally reached nearer to the end and got to a discovery, there was no “AH-HA!” moment for me. I didn’t feel a sense of surprise or shock when I discovered whodunit, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but that’s honestly the best part of a suspenseful book for me. Oh well!
I really wanted to love this book and give it five stars. The writing was well done and the characters were well developed. I just felt that the story was a bit lacking in terms of thrillers. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t regret reading it and I didn’t have to struggle through the pages to finally get to the end. It just wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. All of the hype over this book didn’t live up. But it’s a fun little book and a decent introduction to Ruth Ware as a writer. I’m looking forward to reading a few of her other books!
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Storyline: 4 stars (Again, I wasn’t impressed with the ending, but the rest of the story went smoothly.)
Characters: 5 stars (Lo Blacklock made for a relatable main character for me.)
Setting: 5 stars (Ware really brought the small cruise liner to life!)
Reading Pace: 4.5 stars (It was a bit rough in the beginning, but it picked up.)
Memorable Quote: “…We all have demons inside us, voices that whisper we’re no good, that if we don’t make this promotion or ace that exam will reveal to the world exactly what kind of worthless sacks of skin and sinew we really are. Maybe that’s true. Maybe mine just have louder voices.”