Book Review: The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Publisher:  Gallery/Scout Press
Summary:   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…




There are a couple authors whose work I have a strange reading relationship with. Their summaries always draw me in and I'm eager to read their books and when I do, I end up disappointed or worse, nonplussed. I felt that way after reading Ware's A Dark Dark Wood and I find myself in that space again after reading The Woman in Cabin 10. Like Ware's first book, this one pulled out the Agatha Christie flame with a locked room type mystery and the bookerly moth I am, I flew right to it.

To be clear, this isn't a bad book but it's not great either. Lo, the main character is another unreliable narrator that I never quite took to (and I love an unreliable narrator). I didn't care about her and felt no concern about her drinking because she struck me as a flake without the drinking. She's no Rachel of TGOTT fame. Additionally, there's a severe lull in the middle which makes me think that had this had a tighter edit, it'd have been rendered a very decent novella. The set up was perfect. The murder was riveting. And then the story just plods along terminally like the drunk Lo is trying to be.

I'm sure I'll read another by Ware because I'm a sucker for a good set up & her books have that in spades but now that I've read two, I'll know not to expect a lot. Perhaps that will give me a happy surprise. Neutral on recommendation.


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