Who Is “The Woman In Cabin 10”?


thThe Woman In Cabin 10 would have been a perfect book to read while on a cruise. Well, okay, maybe not since this was a psychological thriller where a woman disappeared while on a cruise. There was a sinister aura that hung over the protagonist Lo while she attempted to figure out whether the woman in cabin 10 had disappeared. Lo was a travel writer who scored an invitation on a cruise that sailed to the Northern Lights. The small vessel only held a handful of guests, so it was odd when Lo saw a woman in the cabin next to hers who was neither a passenger nor part of the crew. 

When the woman disappeared, the captain immediately questioned Lo’s mental stability rather than believing her. It is troubling that a plot where a women is thought to be crazy can still be so plausible. It is always hard for me to read about that sexist and archaic ways that men dismiss women, but I will admit that it worked really well here. I started to wonder if Lo was crazy too. Lo ran around the entire ship declaring that she heard a woman in cabin 10 fall overboard and saw blood, but no one believed her, until they did. And then the plot took a frightening turn.

Lo’s inquiry into the disappearance of her neighbor was the singular plot. And this was a very plot driven novel. There was just the barest discussion of her love life and work issues, but I would hardly consider those subplots. There were also a lot of conversations and interactions between guests, but none of those really provided enough information to make them actual suspects or to allow me to figure out whether any of them were behind the disappearance. There also wasn’t much in the way of Lo’s life, background, or her thought process.

One of the positives of this novel was that the author used great imagery and wording to make this a spooky story. Mist, dusk, and spiders created a gloomy atmosphere where something bad just had to happen. Overall, this was a good read with an intriguing premise that moved along very well. I liked this novel more than Ruth Ware’s prior novel, and am eager to read more from her.

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