Book Review: The Woman in Cabin 10

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*warning: lots of spoilers below*

I mentioned last week that I was reading The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. I knew little about the book other than it is a popular novel of suspense. I was looking for something good to read over the long Thanksgiving weekend, and with this book I struck gold. I started it on a Wednesday morning and read about fifty or so pages, and spent the entire following day (Thanksgiving) reading the rest of the book. It was a quick read but with an eloquent and thoughtful writing style.

I read a few reviews on Goodreads prior to starting the book and they mentioned that it was scary. I am here to report that this is not the case. If any, the “scariest” part of the book is the very beginning when Lo Blacklock’s apartment is burgled. Anyone who has lived alone will relate to the paralyzing fear Lo felt afterward, as well as her jumpiness and inability to sleep comfortably.

I have never been on a cruise ship or large boat of any kind, but I have been on enough small boats and ferries to know that the description of being out at sea was quite realistic. Lo’s first few hours on the Aurora Borealis were shaky both literally as the boat rocked out to sea and figuratively as she dealt with: her sort-of break up with Judah, the pressure of wanting to do a good job reporting her time on the ship, and dealing with her hangover (s).

The beginning of the book sets the scene for why Lo is the way she is, the middle third of the book brings us to the plot at hand (was there really a woman in cabin ten and where is she now?) and the last two thirds was like a whirlwind of finding answers. I will admit that I had no idea what the outcome of the story would be. The mysterious happenings on board the cruise ship not to mention the messages Lo received were made even more creepy due to the confined quarters she was in. With the help of her colleague, Ben, Lo was able to narrow down from the passenger list who had alibis for different times of day and who didn’t, but was Ben even someone she could trust?

I read the ending chapters of the book so quickly that I am in fact still processing them. I’m so glad it was a relatively happy ending for both Lo and Carrie, because for a while there I was starting to think the chances of that were growing slimmer by the second, even after Lo’s escape (how about that hotel porter calling Bullmer right away when Lo told him her story? the. worst.)

This book was excellent and I’d highly recommend it. It was my first read by Ruth Ware and I definitely plan to read more of her work in the coming year.

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