The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
I’ve wanted to read this new thriller from Ruth Ware since it was first announced. The idea of a murder being committed on a cruise ship is so interesting, and even more so because the main character, Lo, witnesses it. We’re left to question everything she says, and everything everyone else says, not sure who or what to believe. Was there actually a murder, or was this a hallucination from an unreliable narrator who’s had a little too much to drink and not enough sleep? These questions persist right up through the end, and I really enjoyed trying to get to the bottom of what was true and what actually happened.
Thrillers are frequently a little disappointing to me, especially if they’re targeted at people who liked other books (this one wasn’t). Luckily, I didn’t have anything to be disappointed with here. It wasn’t particularly fast-paced, but that didn’t matter. There were enough questions to keep me reading. I didn’t figure out on my own what happened, and there were enough possible answers to speculate on theories. None of my theories turned out to be right, but that’s almost what you hope for when reading a thriller (or, at least, I do).
Lo isn’t a particularly compelling character, and as more comes out through the book, it’s not easy to trust her perception of things. There were some things that she did that struck me as being unnecessary (her treatment of Judah, for one) and some things about her that seemed a little like they were thrown in just to make her seem even less trustworthy. I won’t mention what those are because it could spoil the book.
The other characters (and there are several) all seemed fairly decent and like they could all potentially be guilty of the murder Lo claims happened, but we don’t learn a ton about them. This isn’t a huge problem because of the style of the book, though it was a little weird that so many people with strong personalities and motives for murder might be on the same luxury cruise.
I think Ware did a good job of creating suspense and red herrings throughout the book, and I think I enjoyed it more than In a Dark, Dark Wood (though I did like that, too). I’m not sure I’d list her as a favorite author, but I definitely look forward to reading more from her in the future (and according to Goodreads, she’s got a new book coming this summer).
I’d recommend this if you enjoy thrillers and/or unreliable narrators. It’s quick and it’s good, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I gave it four stars.