Wednesday, December 28, 2016

THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10 by Ruth Ware

Laura Blacklock, still reeling from a home invasion, embarks on a mega-opulent cruise.  She writes for Velocity, a travel magazine, and is filling in for her pregnant boss.  The ship has only 10 cabins, and cabin 10, next door to Laura, is not supposed to be occupied.  However, Laura borrows a mascara from a harrowed woman in that cabin and then hears something being thrown overboard. Laura sees blood on the glass door and a woman’s body sinking in the ocean.  She reports these events to the crew, but they don’t seem to take her seriously, especially since cabin 10 is now completely empty.  Everyone tries to convince her that she was drunk and imagined the whole thing.  There is no one she can trust, and the only person who purports to believe her is Ben, an ex-boyfriend who is also on board.  We readers, as well as Laura, have to guess whether Ben is on Laura’s side or in collusion with whoever committed the murder.  Laura is wary of all the other occupants and has no way to contact friends and family at home, as the ship’s wi-fi is mysteriously out of order.  Laura soldiers on, sticking to her guns about what she witnessed.  She may be sort of a bumbler, but who wouldn’t be in such scary circumstances?  The fact that she makes some serious mistakes further humanizes her as someone trying to do the right thing without the tools to do it.  The format of this novel adds to its suspense, since Laura’s narrative is interspersed with news bulletins that report her as missing.  I found this book to be quite entertaining—not as good as The Kind Worth Killing but a whole lot better than The Girl on the Train.  A friend suggested an interpretation of the ending that I hadn’t considered, and I think she’s spot-on.

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