by Ruth Ware
To be published on July 19, 2016
by Gallery/Scout Press
Source: eARC from publisher for review
Summary from Goodreads: 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…
My take: I love psychological thrillers and really enjoyed this one. I think I liked it even more than In a Dark, Dark Wood, Ware's debut book.
The Woman in Cabin 10 has a lot of the elements that I like in a good psychological thriller. Lo is a travel writer who is asked by her boss to join the maiden voyage of a new luxury cruise ship. Claustrophobic setting? Check! This isn't a giant Princess cruise ship, but a small vessel with only a dozen cabins total. Slightly off-balance heroine? Check! Lo had a break-in at her flat right before she set sail and her nerves are a little jangled. Limited cast of characters? Yep, all the characters are trapped together on their voyage of DOOOM.....
There were a few things that weren't perfect. As with When Lo finds a very important clue (and knows it!) she doesn't hang onto this item, but leaves it sitting around in her cabin ... where it promptly disappears. And the killer writes threatening messages to Lo in fogged bathroom mirrors, which seems like something that belongs in a Lifetime TV movie.
But overall there was a lot here to like - I found Lo to be an appealing and sympathetic protagonist. While I don't always like the inclusion of emails and texts in a story, I loved the way that this book intensified the suspense by including the increasingly worried texts and social media postings of Lo's friends and significant other, who are back in the UK wondering why she isn't answering their messages. The story does a good job of setting up clues - I was close to figuring out what was going on...
Even though this takes place in the frigid waters of the North Sea, I recommend this as a great summer beach read - I got the chills a few times!