Harvill Secker | June 2016 | 352 pgs
Source: Purchased

I am aware that many readers who have read Ruth Ware's In a Dark, Dark Wood are enamoured by her storytelling and the intense premise. I didn't jump on the bandwagon when the book was first released (though I wished I had now); I waited a while to buy the book after reading several rave reviews and by the time my mood called for it, her new release - The Woman in Cabin 10, is released. I decided to read her latest book and here it is.

Let me start off by saying the enclosed setting kinds of reminds me of Agatha Christie's work - And Then There Were None. Though both are classified as locked room mystery, what makes this book different is it comes with an unreliable character and instead of multiple murders, this one focus more on one mysterious missing woman. I don't know about you, but I am always drawn to locked room mystery; that claustrophobic feeling with nowhere-to-run plot never seems to get old to me and I always enjoy the thrill it gives me throughout my reading experience.

In a nutshell, this is a thriller about Laura "Lo" Blacklock, a travel journalist who travels on board an exclusive small cruise liner (with only 10 cabins) and one night she saw a body being thrown overboard from the next door cabin (witnessed through the verandas). Worried for her "neighbour's" safety, she reported what she saw but there isn't any record of anyone checked into Cabin 10. And the strange thing is, no passengers are missing from the boat. Most passengers and the staff crew think she is paranoid, especially she was burgled before her cruise trip and the fact that she takes medications for occasional panic attacks. Thus, she is not exactly the most reliable witness, is she? But Lo did speak to her neighbour before that frightful incident happened; she even borrowed a tube of mascara from her. What can she do to make someone believes her, and who could she trust with a killer on board?

Since I haven't read In a Dark, Dark Wood, I couldn't compare the two books but I have to say I was totally engrossed with this story. Fast paced, intense and filled with doubts, I raced through this book with great impatience (which is a good thing) as I was anxious to find out the mystery. I have to say it took me a while to warm up to Lo though, for she isn't likeable for a first impression. She got on my nerves most of the times yet at the same time I also felt sorry for her; what she had encountered through her life and a stagnant career are enough to frustrate her. The plot was good in my opinion but I suppose the ending may vary with each reader, depending how he/she sees it. Well the story did has a closure, but there are a few questions which left me pondering. All in all, a great 'whodunit' mystery which makes me all the more curious about Ruth Ware's first book. 

12 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Great review! I love claustrophobic settings in mysteries and having an unreliable narrator, even better. Now I can't wait to pick it up. Hope you read your copy of In a Dark Dark Wood soon. Even though I didn't like any of the characters and several TSTL moments, it was an awesome thriller.

  2. Melody Says:

    Rita - Yes, I've heard a lot of things about the unlikeable characters in IADDW. Can't wait to read it!

  3. Kay Says:

    Melody, so good to hear your reaction to this book. I love 'locked room' mysteries - love them. Such a puzzle because of limited or seemingly limited suspects, etc. I did read Ruth Ware's first book and enjoyed it a lot. That house of so much glass - creepy. Looking forward to this one soon.

  4. jenclair Says:

    I can't wait for this one! Ware's first book IaDDW was really good, but the conclusion there, too, was a little lacking in resolution.

  5. Melody Says:

    Kay - I hope you'll enjoy Woman in Cabin 10. Now I'm off to read In a Dark Dark Wood!

  6. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - Hmm... now I'm really, really curious about that book. Books with an open ending or lacking in resolution can be a real frustration isn't it, especially for a suspense.

  7. Lark Says:

    The plot reminds me a little of Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes...only that takes place on a train, not a boat.

  8. Locked room mysteries are always such fun, aren't they? Add in an unreliable narrator and it just makes it more interesting. This sounds great. I enjoyed In a Dark, Dark Wood and am looking forward to this one.

  9. Iliana Says:

    I hope you do get to read In A Dark, Dark Wood. I read that one last year and really enjoyed it. I have this one on my radar for sure!

  10. Melody Says:

    Lark - Ooh, I need to check that out as well! Sounds good too! :)

  11. Melody Says:

    Wendy - I'm enjoying IADDW and those characters are really interesting. I can see why many readers don't like most characters in there, lol.

  12. Melody Says:

    Iliana - I'm currently reading it and enjoying it, but I can't say for some characters, though. Hmph! LOL.

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