Book Title: The Woman In Cabin 10
Author: Ruth Ware
Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Psychological Thriller, Suspense
Date Read: 04/19/16
Pub Date: 07/19/16
In this tightly wound, enthralling story reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s works, 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: 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 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…
I should start by saying I ended up not reading the author’s first book, In a Dark, Dark Wood, because someone I know spoiled the whole “big twist” for me. I also should say I wasn’t very disappointed as I wouldn’t have enjoyed spending all the time invested reading it for another Gone Girl wannabe. I’m getting a little tired of everyone wanting to write the next big hit in the genre, but writing THE EXACT same story with differently named characters. I’ll also say that, while comparing the plots of her two books, this one was loads improved and I was interested to see what she wrote next, as I felt it would be more a show of her own work instead of trying to be the next big thing as she has already proven herself a success.
Because so few people have read this so far (back when I wrote this in April), I’m not going to hash out every problem I had with this book, but I’ll give some very vague generalizations as to not ruin the experience for someone else. I had big problems with the very beginning and the last 20% of this book. The middle 60% was honestly spot on, and if the entire book had been written with that sense of excellency it would have been a 5 star read.
THINGS I LIKED:
Another reviewer named Denise brought this up first, but I liked how she described the format of this book reading like a classic Agatha Christie novel. Group of people confined in a small area surrounding a murder. This is always a plus for me. I fangirl over any and all things reminiscent of Christie.
The pacing, after the first 25% was great! The suspense built, layer upon layer, until you just wanted to devour the rest to find out “whodunnit”. Unfortunately, you do find out who the culprit is a little earlier than expected, with a few minor twists nearing the end.
There was one big twist I 100% did not see coming. I always like being taken off my game so this was a positive for me; however, I can already see many people having a problem with not only this twist, but the whole dang book because everything was very unrealistic.
THINGS I DISLIKED:
Lo Blacklock. Dear God, I loathed this woman. I’ve never had to follow the story of such a peculiar, whiny, uncomfortable woman in all my reading. She did seem to find a backbone toward the end which I appreciated. I’m just not sure how to pity a woman who is defined by passages like this (paraphrasing by me):
“I don’t want to have sex with you Ben”-Lo
*Ben grabs Lo’s breast in attempt to have sex with her anyway*
*Lo knees Ben in crotch*
Immediately following, Lo is crying in her room with Ben’s arm around her and he is trying to make her feel less guilty for her kneeing him in the crotch. This, proceeded by the mascara incident (which I know was an important scene in the book), just grated on me.
So many random incidents happen in this book without being tied together or having any explanation. I think she threw certain plot points in to give us a better overall understanding of Lo and her bizarre actions, but it just didn’t work for me. I honestly am sitting here and am not entirely sure I even know how this book ended.
If you enjoyed her first book, you will very likely enjoy this one as well. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy this one, as it was a quick, compelling read, but I did expect much more from it. This felt jumbled, confusing, and like a debut that you expect to be a little rough. There is definitely talent here; I’m hoping book 3 will show stronger growth in the author’s writing, but I still think I would recommend to those who are looking for an easy, quick read to capture their attention. And I hope you all don’t hate me for not loving this book as much as you probably will; I foresee this book being uber successful just like her first was.
*I received my copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my opinion and all thoughts are mine alone.