The Woman in Cabin 10
By Ruth Ware
Journalist ‘Lo’ Laura Blacklock lives a turbulent, boozy existence and is seeking something to put her life back on track again. She is a 32-year-old Londoner who needs ‘something’; either a man or promotion but she isn’t quite sure which.
Before she can come to any kind of decision, she wakes up one morning with a severe hangover and comes face-to-face with a masked home invader who locks her in her bedroom after snatching her purse. The experience puts Lo in a tailspin. She has been commissioned to sail on the maiden voyage of a luxury liner called The Northern Lights and to write a story for a magazine and was due to have a meeting with her editor, but she cries off. The editor offers to take Lo off the job, but she insists on going, thinking to herself what the article might mean for her career. She leaves, but before doing so breaks up with her boyfriend, Judah.
The Woman in Cabin 10 is a thoroughly enjoyable pacy, page-turner, with twists and turns in which ‘Lo’ is the often-confused narrator, very often due to her intake of gin.
The luxury liner is the perfect claustrophobic space for ‘Lo’ to confront herself. She is put in one of 10 numbered suites. Here she comes face to face with her neighbour. When ‘Lo’ knocks on cabin 10 looking to borrow some mascara, the woman, described as pretty and young and wearing a Pink Floyd t-shirt, gifts her the beauty product while being curt and aloof.
‘Lo’ soon after witnesses the woman going overboard in the middle of the night and designates herself the amateur sleuth who will figure out the mystery. The crew claim the cabin was never occupied, but Lo knows otherwise and is determined to find out.
The Woman in Cabin 10 is a great thriller about a woman piecing a mystery and herself together. It is not a new formula and one used by Agatha Christie – someone, ‘Lo’ in this case, claims a murder has occurred while everyone else denies or ignores it. I was not massively happy with the ending but that might just be me!