Title: The Woman in Cabin 10
Author: Ruth Ware
E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 51
(see below for breakdown)
This 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 Blackwood to recover from a traumatic break-in that has left her on the verge of collapse, and to work out what she wants from her relationship.
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, emotional and increasingly desperate, Lo has to face the fact that her sleep problems might be driving her mad or she is trapped on a boat with a murderer – and she is the sole witness… *
I have to admit this was an impulse purchase bought on a whim while browsing on my kindle and I am SO glad I picked it up. I had placed it as part of a twitter poll to pick what I should read next and it won by a landslide. I have to admit Twitter was right on this occasion. I think I have definitely found a new beloved author, if her other works are half as interesting, creepy and mysterious I will be a very happy reader.
This was such a well paced and thought through mystery. It has consistent and exciting pacing all the way to the end, with plenty of reveals and gasp moments, intermingling lines of the investigation resolving and twisting all in a very satisfying way that kept the pages turning. I read this within a 36 hour period and only because I had to sleep at some point.
The characters were also great. We follow Lo a 30 something travel writer, she is the narrator and we follow her thinking throughout the mystery. Lo was such a believable person, we got real insight into her, her flaws and how she overcame some aspects while she succumbed to others. We also get some real fun characters that all have there own suspicious aspects that really hark back to the classic who-dun-its like Christie’s work, where anyone of them could be guilty and we as the reader don’t know who to trust. They really keep you guessing, coming up with you own theories and building on Lo’s theories too.
There are some moments of gas-lighting that have you questioning Lo as a reliable narrator, then siding with her, then feeling guilty for not trusting what she observed. It all mingles into such an atmospheric tale. The locked room, isolated setting with the chill of the North sea all combine to makes this such a fantastically immersive book.
The use of time-skips is also very effective at building the tension. The time skips move us away from Lo’s perspective and are vague enough to have the reader worried about what is to come. It just such a well crafted story, right the way to the last page.
I really enjoyed this book. I am going to be picking up more Ruth Ware for sure. It was just such a fun and satisfying read.