Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Woman in Cabin 10 - Mystery Review

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Rating: Loved it!
Source: Library

Description:  In this tightly wound story, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…
With surprising twists and a setting that proves as uncomfortably claustrophobic as it is eerily beautiful, Ruth Ware offers up another intense read.

Genre: Mystery

Why I Picked This Book:  I loved Ware's previous book In a Dark Dark Wood and Imogen Church is one of my absolute favorite narrators so I just couldn't pass this up!

My Impression:  I started holding my breath in the first chapter when Lo opens her bedroom door to find an intruder standing in the hallway and I don't think I let it out until the very last page.  The image Ware paints of Lo opening her bedroom door holding her cat only to find herself confronted with a man in a hoodie and latex gloves was so ridiculously vivid that I won't be opening doors in the night with a pretty good bit of hesitation.  The bulk of the book takes place on a luxury cruise with luxury and beauty flowing out of every corner and in every detail.  Claustrophobia starts as an unsettling feeling but increases until it was almost unbearable as the plot unfolded.  I was completely spellbound.  I figured out a few things but only right before they happened and it was a delight to have my suspicions confirmed.

If you have to like the main character to enjoy a book than this isn't the book for you.  Lo isn't very likable.  She's emotional and at times irrational, always poised on the edge of shattering.  It's easy to see why she isn't taken seriously at times and there were times I wondered why her boyfriend put up with her.  There were times when she came off like a child - acting impulsively than regretting her actions but unaware of how to fix them.  I didn't find her too annoying but she is a difficult protagonist.  As well there is a slight confusion in the time line.  The majority of the book is told from Lo's perspective as events unfold on the ship but sprinkled in are a handful of emails and messages from the outside world that take place later than the actual plot is taken place.  I wasn't completely clear on the dates the main story was taken place so there was a little confusion as to what the concern was about.  Once I realized they were taking place later in the week I had no trouble getting it sorted out. Neither of these were things that detracted from the book for me but they may effect other's enjoyment of the story.

I absolutely loved this book.  I normally have to keep pretty busy to stay focused on an audio books but I can't begin to count the number of times I found myself standing completely still in the middle of a room just listening - waiting to find out what happens next. I found the story fast paced and once again am impressed by Ware's ability to make the atmosphere of the setting seep through pages.  I'll be anxiously awaiting her next book.

Audio Note: Imogen Church is an amazing narrator.  Her voice is compelling and hypnotic and ridiculously versatile as she voices a number of characters giving them distinct voices without sounding forced or overly theatrical.  I would listen to any book that she narrates on the strength of her voice alone.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Absolutely!  Ware really needs to write faster.  I'm anxiously waiting her next book

Would I Recommend this Book?: I would unless you have to like the main character.  For me if the plot is compelling enough it doesn't matter if I like the characters or not and this was definitely the case here but if that doesn't work for you than give this a pass.



  1. I had read one review of this book where they said they wanted to throw that main character off the ship! I get you about needing to like the main character though. Your review is so enthusiastic that I still have this in my to-read list, but I will move it up!

  2. YAY!! I really enjoyed this one too and love Imogen Church as a narrator. I agree with you on the dates of the other things - it confused me at first but I eventually got it. I can't wait for her next book now!! Great review!

  3. Yay glad you liked this one. I did too and I agree about the claustrophobic nature of it after a while. I agree about Lo- I mostly liked her but not all the time. lol

    I also like the end where it changed a bit setting- wise. Can't really say much because of spoilers but I thought that was effective too.

  4. I have a copy of this book sitting on my bookshelf and I cannot wait to read it. I do kind of wish that I had went with the audio since In a Dark Dark Wood was such an amazing audiobook. I am glad you enjoyed this one.

  5. I loved this book, too, and now can't wait for more from this author. But yes, Lo was definitely frustrating, and I wanted to shout at her to curb some of those impulses...LOL. But I don't mind an unlikable character if the rest of the story keeps me riveted.

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. I think I am in a minority as I only just thought it was okay, I found it a bit confusing at time and I listened to it too. The back and forth between mainland stuff got me confused.

  7. Oooh I still want to read this one! I am getting so irritated with myself lately. I don't read enough. There is always something else to do! I need to start prioritizing reading.

    Love your review and now this one is just at the top of the pile!

  8. A book you hold your breath all the way through must be quite a reading experience! I do want to read this one--when is the big question. I am glad you liked this one, Katherine.