Friday, November 11, 2016

Review: The Woman in Cabin 10

The Woman in Cabin 10
Ruth Ware
Published June 30, 2016
From New York Times bestselling author of the “twisty-mystery” (Vulture) novel In a Dark, Dark Wood, comes The Woman in Cabin 10, an equally suspenseful novel from Ruth Ware—this time, set at sea.

In this tightly wound story, 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. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a 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… - from Goodreads
I've been looking forward to this book for a couple months.  The premise sounds so terrifying - a guest on a luxury yacht is the sole witness to a woman being thrown overboard in the middle of the night.  I mean, you're trapped on this boat in the middle of the sea and you know your suspect list is limited to the people on board with you - and if it were me, I'd also be seasick!

Lo Blacklock is a travel journalist assigned to cover a luxury cruise for a week.  In The Girl on the Train-style, Lo is somewhat of an unreliable narrator.  Just a couple days before she leaves on the trip, her home is burgled and she is injured by the intruder.  So when she gets on the yacht, she is already jumpy and anxious, plus from the start she admits that she drinks too much and too often, including to help her sleep.  And mixed with her anti-anxiety/anti-depressant pills?  Not a good combo.

Lo goes to the head of security, who casts doubt upon her story - no one is staying in the room where the alleged attack took place, and none of the guests or crew match the description of the woman Lo saw in the room earlier in the day.  Lo even starts to question what she actually saw.

It's hard to review a book like this without giving too much away.  I did enjoy the twist, although it maybe dragged on a bit too long.  Interspersed throughout the book are newspaper articles and emails from Lo's family and friends which indicate that Lo disappeared sometime during the cruise, so I was intrigued to see what would happen when those two points intersected.  A couple things I didn't care for her were that an ex-boyfriend of Lo's just happened to be another guest on the cruise (seemed a little too convenient) and though the boat is small, there is a rather large cast of secondary characters to keep track of.  The story did get a bit repetitive at times, as well.

3.5 stars: Overall, I liked this book!  It was a really quick read - I finished it in a day.  If you enjoy thrillers, give The Woman in Cabin 10 a try.


  1. I've been wanting to read this one for a while now. Actually a little bummed to hear that it's another unreliable narrator book though since that's a trend I've grown tired of lately. I'm sure I'll still give it a shot though because it's hard to resist a good thriller. Great review!

    1. I've been really into thrillers lately, too, and since this one was such a quick read, I'd say it's worth it to give it a try.

  2. I have to admit, I tried her other book and didn't get into it, so I've been wondering about this book. Great review!

  3. I thought this was good too, and I liked the setting and the claustrophobic feel, as well as the ambiguiity around Lo. I agree about the twist, thought the sequence in the middle dragged a bit for me too. But overall this was a fun thriller.


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