Book Review: The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Book Review: The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth WareThe Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
Published by Random House on June 30th 2016
Rating: five-stars
Genres: Fiction, Crime, Mystery & Detective, General
Pages: 352
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From the bestselling author of Richard and Judy pick In A Dark, Dark Wood comes Ruth Ware's new compulsive page-turner.
'Agatha Christie meets The Girl on the Train'The SunThis was meant to be the perfect trip. The Northern Lights. A luxury press launch on a boutique cruise ship.
A chance for travel journalist Lo Blacklock to recover from a traumatic break-in that has left her on the verge of collapse.
Except things don't go as planned.
Woken in the night by screams, Lo rushes to her window to see a body thrown overboard from the next door cabin. But the records show that no-one ever checked into that cabin, and no passengers are missing from the boat.
Exhausted and emotional, Lo has to face the fact that she may have made a mistake – either that, or she is now trapped on a boat with a murderer...
'Agatha Christie meets The Girl on the Train in this stupendously good read... Scary and unsettling, it’s' edge-of-your-seat stuff' The Sun
'A rollicking page-turner that reads like Agatha Christie got together with Paula Hawkins to crowdsource a really fun thriller' Stylist'A tense, moody drama set on a press trip that goes horribly wrong... Ware has produced a fantastic variation on the woman-in-peril theme, with a plucky protagonist and a brilliantly claustrophobic setting' Sunday Times

I read Ruth Ware’s debut novel In A Dark, Dark Wood last year and while it was a good thriller, it wasn’t my favourite that I read last year, but I was really looking forward to her new book The Woman In Cabin 10, regardless, because I do like a good thriller, and there are not many thrillers set at sea (in fact the only other one I can think of is Catherine Ryan Howard’s book Distress Signals). The Woman In Cabin 10 was the first book I’ve read in a while that I finished the same day, that hasn’t been happening for my recently, so this was a big bonus for me. I just couldn’t put it down and I had to know exactly what was going on with that woman in cabin 10.

The thing about this book is that Lo is not exactly a reliable narrator. There’s a break-in in her house at the start of the novel, and that kind of sets the tone for her. She’s anxious, she’s overthinking everything, every noise is frightening and every move she makes has to be done making sure she’s locked the door, checked and double checked. So you can kind of understand why barely anyone believes her when it comes to this mysterious woman in cabin 10 – a woman so mysterious that no one knows she’s there, and the cabin itself is spotless. But I actually believed Lo’s every word, because there was just something about her that I trusted, and you could hardly blame her for being hyper-aware of everything since the break-in.

The Woman In Cabin 10 was such a compulsive read. My heart was pounding in places, and it’s the kind of read that has you looking over your shoulder to make sure your stuff isn’t being moved, it really sets you on edge as the reader, and suffice to say if I’m offered the opportunity (highly unlikely) to go on a luxury cruise I will be saying no, thank you. I wouldn’t go anyway because I get sea-sick, but I most definitely wouldn’t go now, because who knows who you’re on board with?!?! That’s how this book made me feel, nervous and tense. Heart-racing, fingers itching to get to the end, because I just needed Lo to figure it all out. I didn’t figure it out, so I needed Lo to do that for me. I was genuinely oblivious.

The ending of this book is the best, though. I’m not encouraging readers to just skip to the end (because you’ll miss an awesome story, that’ll leave you on the edge of your seat), but the ending really was amazing. I had a wry smile there, at the end, because the way it all unfolds, and the events that occur… It was just brilliant, and completely true to the characters. This was such a great read. The tone was perfect from start to finish – I mean you are literally on edge the entire novel, from that break-in at the start, to all the stuff on board, there is just no let up, right until the very, very end. This is a top-notch thriller.


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