The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
Opening sentence: “In my dream, the girl was drifting, far, far below the crashing waves and the cries of the gulls, in the cold, sun-less depths of the North Sea.”
I actually listened to this as an audiobook, as I had listened to Ruth Ware’s previous book In a Dark, Dark Wood and liked Imogen Church, who was narrating this one too (although there is one character from New York and she can’t quite pull off that accent, which made it annoying every time he made an appearance.)
Thrillers / mysteries are the genres I enjoy listening to most on audiobook, as I find they translate best. I find you do sometimes loose something by listening to the story rather than reading it, especially if the plot is prose, rather than story driven; the intricacies of the writing don’t always come across.
Anyway, now to the book: The Woman in Cabin 10 is set on the maiden voyage of a luxury cruise liner, the Aurora Borealis, and our lead character, Laura Blackwood, or Lo as she likes to be called, is one of the lucky first guests on board – exclusively invited as she is a travel journalist. She hopes the trip will help calm her after a burglary in her flat leaves her feeling pretty shaken. On the first night of the cruise, she indulges in a boozy dinner and after, when she returns to her cabin for the night, she is convinced she hears the woman next to her – in cabin 10 – being attacked and, possibly, murdered. However, she soon discovers, there was no passenger staying in cabin 10, it was empty…
Who was the woman she saw? Can she prove she was murdered? Can she convince the other passengers and crew of what she thought she heard? Lo must answer all these questions, while keeping herself out of danger. After all, there is a potential killer on the ship and they know she is looking for them.
This was a satisfying little murder mystery eventually, but there were a good few hours of listening that felt repetitive to me, with Lo rushing around the not-very-large cruise ship trying to establish if all the other passengers had an alibi, and doubting herself, so it felt like she was going over the facts again and again, making the plot quite slow at this point in the story. The action did ramp up in the end, although it had a sense of tying up the loose ends a little too neatly and left one or two of the plot questions I had in my head unanswered. Overall though, this is good escapist book and very easy to get through. I would suggest it is one to pack in your suitcase for an effortless holiday read.