A friend recently asked me if I have read The Woman in Cabin 10, and I have. This was originally published in the Times Union on September 15, 2016. I told him I recall not liking it very much, but I guess I was wrong. I didn't like the main character, but it seems everything else hit the spot! Take a read before the movie comes out!
The story behind The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware is in my top five nightmares of all time. When I was in high-school I wrote my senior thesis on the Titanic and what I learned from all of the research is that I don’t do big boats. For all of my traveling, the closest I’ve come are a few island ferries and one catamaran day trip. I have no interest in being lost at sea, capsized, stuck on a bottom floor, trapped with psychotic people, and perhaps worse than all of those combined is the lack of proper Wi-Fi. I am kidding. I would give anything to not need an internet connection at times.
The publisher writes:
"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…"
I was intrigued by the premise and setting of the book – it’s set in the North Sea off the coast of England, it’s an all-expenses paid vacation on the maiden voyage of a ship traveling to see the Northern Lights, and it’s a woman who needs to get away from circumstances at home. It sounds like my kind of situation.
Ms. Ware does a great job of building suspense, paranoia, and the ever-so-fun claustrophobia while taking us on a roller-coaster of emotions. One moment I was a bit bored with the story, but the next couple of minutes had my heart beating faster and I couldn’t get to the next page soon enough.
Because this is a mystery, there aren’t a lot of details I can share without giving away the plot and plot twists, but there are a lot of folks who compare this book with the works of Agatha Christie. I used to read Christie when I very young and I have to agree. Yes, it does tend to be the same type of story line in many mystery and suspense novels only with different characters and locations, but if it’s done well – it’s done well.
I also have to admit that I wasn’t a big fan of the main character, Lo, by the time I was finished. While I found it easy to imagine myself in her situation (the author paints a great picture of the environment with lots of detail) I found myself not really liking her very much at times. I did try to take into account everything that had happened to her before she went on the cruise, but it was still a bit difficult. It didn’t detract from the story itself and the more I think about it, it probably helped and may have been the author's intention. Everyone on the boat thinks Lo is a bit crazy, so why shouldn’t the reader?
I recommend this one. I’m not sure everyone will like it, but it did shoot to the New York Times best seller list almost immediately.
As always, let me know what you think!