Book Review: The Woman in Cabin 10

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Thank you very much to Simon & Schuster Canada for throwing me this life-line by sending me an advanced reading copy of Ruth Ware’s The Woman in Cabin 10! I originally had The Woman in Cabin 10 on hold at the library, an action executed immediately after finishing Ware’s debut, In a dark, dark wood (so this would have been in the summer months). For some reason it was just sitting there, and sitting there, leaving me anxiously waiting in the queue. I would go in often and check on its status…why was this taking so long? Well, turns out, the Canadian release for The Woman in Cabin 10 wasn’t until January 2017! So I was tickled when I was asked if I wanted an advanced reading copy – um – yes please!! It curiously arrived with a tube of Maybelline mascara  requesting its return to “The woman in Cabin 10”. Alrighty! Let’s dive in straight away shall we?

After finishing The Woman in Cabin 10, it’s now obvious I’ve become a hard-core Ruth Ware devotee! Is she writing another anytime soon? I certainly hope so. (I’ve gone and done some snooping…yes! a third novel is coming in June 2017!) I’ve become so impressed with her skilled “locked room mysteries”, something the Queen, Agatha Christie is well-known for writing. While I may have felt more tension while reading In a dark, dark wood, The Woman in Cabin 10 had no shortage of disorientating and unsettling intrigue. For this one, my response to it ran similar to The Girl on the Train. There’s this sense of confusion and befuddlement going on like in GOTT, where I struggled to piece together what was happening (but this is in a good way, because that’s the intention I’m sure) and Lo Blacklock, like Rachel (GOTT) was an unreliable and unstable character, so you were always left feeling uneasy and unsure about Lo’s credibility.

Lo Blacklock is a journalist writing for a travel magazine, and has just been given the plum assignment of a liftetime. She is to set sail on a luxurious yacht containing only a few cabins to its destination in Iceland to view the Aurora Borealis. It is an assignment promising posh and opulent surroundings with only a small handful of people. Right before she is to leave however, Lo is burglarized. This follows a long night of drinking on Lo’s part. Disorientated, scared, hung over, and with tremendous lack of sleep, she boards the ship. Her cabin is spacious, beautiful and she wishes desperately to lay down and fall into a deep, deep sleep, but is afraid of missing the grand dinner party planned for just a few hours away. Forcing herself to stay awake, with more booze from the minibar, she begins dressing for the dinner. Lo realizes she is missing some of her makeup and knocks on the cabin’s door next to hers – Cabin 10. A half-dressed woman abruptly answers the door and after shoving a tube of mascara at Lo, slams the door shut. Mysteriously, this woman is not among the guests at the dinner party.

Later that night, and following a tremendous amount of drinking by most all dinner guests in attendance, Lo returns unsteadily to her cabin, drunk and exhausted. She is startled awake by the sound of a splash, like the sound of a body hitting the water, and Lo runs out to the sea-facing door to see if she can see anything. She thinks she also sees blood on the glass screen separating the two cabins – Cabin 9 (hers) and Cabin 10. Unable to sleep again, she calls for the cabin staff and begins demanding a search, answers, anything that will confirm what she saw and heard.

But, Cabin 10 is completely empty, much to Lo’s disbelief.

There is no sign of anyone ever having been in that cabin, and indeed there was no reservation for anyone to be in that cabin. There is no woman on board the ship that looks anything like the woman Lo saw, the woman that loaned her the mascara. Exhausted, hung over and still feeling very unsettled about the attack on her before leaving for the assignment, Lo sets out to piece together what she thinks, no what she believes she saw and heard. She is constantly redirected, confused, unsure of who to trust and there are those unsettling messages put on mirrors in her cabin, in the spa, etc., that say “STOP DIGGING”.

The Woman in Cabin 10 is filled with many delightful twists and turns leaving you persistently feeling confused and disconcerted. Who can Lo trust? Can we even trust what Lo is saying? What is going on? It’s wonderful fun that comes together in the end and a bit perilously for Lo.  I have to say its ending left me feeling very unsettled – a little creeped out too. It certainly left me thinking about its ending for sometime after finishing it! Like I mentioned before, The Woman in Cabin 10 has only solidified my admiration for Ruth Ware! I’m just as anxiously looking forward to her 3rd book, as I was for The Woman in Cabin 10, after finishing In a dark, dark wood. It was well worth the wait, and I’m certain the 3rd one will be as well! (Hope you can hook me up again Simon & Schuster Canada – this waiting game is the hardest part for me!) :-)

I highly recommend Ruth Ware’s novels if you are looking for good and thrilling mysterious adventures!

Thanks again to Simon & Schuster Canada, and for arranging the blog tour with my fellow fans: