I could put it off no further; I had to finish The Woman in Cabin 10. I was enjoying the suspense of the twisty, crazy story so much that I dragged it out as long as I could but then my urge to finally figure out what the hell this plot was about won over and I just binged it. I could probably describe this book as ‘every one of my worst fears realized’ and yet I liked it very much.
Lo Blacklock is a travel journalist in London, who gets a lucky assignment to write about the launch of a new exclusive luxury cruise line. The ship is brand new and extravagantly elegant, with only ten passenger cabins. On the first night of the voyage, Lo witnesses something terrifying, which I will not spoil here. The story launches from here into a maze of confusion – did she really see what she thinks she did? After all, Lo has arrived to the cruise completely off balanced due to an incident in her recent past. She is battling insomnia, a rough patch in her personal life, and possibly a bad mixture of alcohol and prescription drugs.
I completely love an unreliable narrator, and Lo is a great one. As she struggles with herself and then the boat crew and passengers, you never quite know if she might be crazy or if they are gaslighting her like terrible boyfriends. I experienced actual claustrophobia while reading this book, and that is a mean feat. Great job, Ruth Ware, you’re killing me.
The book is a quick read (unless you are into torturing yourself by dragging it out) which feels at times almost like a high stakes Agatha Christie novel (this is high praise from me). The mystery is original and I didn’t figure it out (more high praise) and it was fun to read.
Grade – B+