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. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. 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 dark and terrifying 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.
Like it because the setting is an unfamiliar one, a luxury yacht cruising Norwegian fjords. Perhaps, it was a bit of ambiguity that kept me reading till the end. Ultimately, it's a thriller wannabe, but the snooty characters make it a I really don't care.
FAST read. Enjoyed it.
Lo Blacklock is not very likable, even after the home invasion and everything that happens to her, but you somehow feel she is not the usual unreliable narrator. You know there is something wrong and you send she is in danger. I kept wanting to say stop, don't go there, don't ask that question. But she persisted.
A lot of twists and turns and a somewhat surprising ending. Good read.
Lo (Laura) is ripped right from Rachel, Girl on the Train's playbook. She drinks too much, whines too much, and may possible have a mental disorder which makes anything she says or does unreliable. Instead of enjoying her cruise, Lo who up until this point has been rude and generally unpleasant, decides that she must drop everything and help the girl she only met for five seconds and who everyone tells her does not exist. From there the book drags on as Lo attempts to discover what she is sure is a murder while everyone pretty much tells her to mind her own beeswax. Ultimately Lo finds what she is looking for which is a whole steaming plate of trouble. If it was me I would have just gone back to the bar and spa treatments. Crazy Lo is on a mission though and the reader is dragged along in anticipation of finally meeting the woman in cabin 10.
The book started okay and then it dragged in the middle until everything was revealed within the last five pages. Ruth Ware's books always look like they are going to be great but when I finish I am like eh, that wasn't as good as I thought it would be. You have to buy the completely implausible to take the ride. If however crazy girl narrators are your thing than this might be your port of call.
This author and this book have generated some buzz lately, and so although this book was very far down on my TBR list, I couldn’t wait that long to read it, so I let it cut to the front of the line.
Did the book live up to the hype? Well, let’s just say my Goodreads friends know a good thriller when they see one.
Laura, or “Lo”, as her friend call her, works for a travel magazine, and is preparing to embark on the maiden voyage of the “Aurora Borealis” luxury cruise ship. But, before leaving on her journey, her flat is burglarized, and she has a terrible argument with her boyfriend, which leaves her feeling a little jumpy and paranoid.
Once aboard the ship, she believes someone has gone overboard, but when she attempts to have the matter investigated, it seems all the passengers are accounted for, excepting the girl in the cabin adjacent to hers, cabin tent, a cabin everyone claims is unoccupied, with Lo being the one on-board who has seen her. Lo is made to feel as though she is losing her mind, and is accused of making the whole thing up. But, she is not about to give up, with or without help from the staff or crew, or her fellow passengers and colleagues.
Reading as often as I do, I often complain about recognizing plot lines or seeing the twists coming far in advance, having become a little too jaded over the years. So, when a book comes along that challenges me, has me working hard to figure out just what in blue blazes in going on, I can’t help but feel impressed.
This is a very well written mystery, intelligent, with pitch perfect pacing, which kept me in a state of apprehension from beginning to end. The suspense built in a sly way because my mind was so focused on the psychological aspects, I didn’t realize the rope was being pulled so tightly until I noticed I had my kindle in a death grip.
Suddenly the direction shifted and a new kind of mind game began to develop, which leads to an incredible and tense race against the clock, with twists and turns coming so fast, I was nearly breathless.
The author continued to play with me all the way until the very last paragraph, which left me feeling like I most definitely got my money’s worth.
Looking a psychological thriller ride? Look no further, because this book is just what you are looking for.
Great plot and little twist to ending was nice.
I enjoyed it but can't say it's one of my favorites- just a quick, easy, enjoyable read for me- not a "oh I can't put this down read."
A taut emotional story that will hold you to the end.
I was given a digital copy of this book by the publisher Random House Vintage Publishing via Netgalley in return for an honest unbiased review.
The luxurious, opulent setting offers a stark contrast to the dark mood and events of The Woman in Cabin 10. The boat also provides a claustrophobic atmosphere as Lo fights to get to the bottom of the mystery and prove the existence of a girl no one but she recalls seeing. Ware does a masterful job of casting doubt on all the characters, turning them from allies to suspects and back again throughout the course of the book. The twists start early and keep coming in this book. You are never sure who to trust, especially Lo herself.
Ware creates an interesting protagonist in Lo Blacklock. One who is strong and determined even as she is consumed by self-doubt and fear. She is the most unreliable of narrators which keeps you guessing not only what has happened, but if it has happened. The boat is populated with well-drawn characters who run the gamut from helpful to skeptical to suspicious. The atmosphere is tense throughout and you are left waiting for another twist until the very last page.
As admirable a character as Lo is, she isn’t terribly likable. Her treatment of both her current boyfriend Jude as well as her ex, Ben, don’t really endear her to the reader, even if some of that is necessary to fostering her sense of isolation. That characterization and a pace that is somewhat slow for the first two-thirds of the book are drawbacks in an otherwise tense thriller.
The audio version of this book is narrated by Imogen Church who does a wonderful job with the narration. She slips in and out of a variety of English and Norwegian accents leaving no doubt as to which character is speaking at any time. She conveys the mood of the story through both pace and tone which complements and enhances the experience.
This is a great book for fans of atmospheric mysteries and unreliable narrators. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of this audiobook.
The first book by Ruth Ware, In a dark dark wood is about a hen party being held in a cabin in the wood in the middle of nowhere. This book for me is a long the same line only this time the mystery is on a ship in the middle of the sea. Both books have that claustrophobic feel to them. A mixed bunch of characters thrown together in a confined environment. Very much like an Agatha Christie where a murder will happen but who dunnit. Nobody could get on the ship or off, so it has to be one of the passengers or crew.
The tension builds slowly and things unravel. Lo is against the clock to find the girl. The ending took me by surprise but all made sense in the end. The storyline reminded me of The Lady Vanishes.
I didnt enjoy this book as much as the hen party, but it was an ok thriller and at times I was turning the pages to see what was going to happen. I think for me it was very much like the first book just a different setting.
I would recommend this book and the authors first, both are good thrillers again if you like Gone Girl and Girl on the Train.
Expertly written by the author, this psychological thriller will captivate the reader from page one and will not let go until the last page ends with a very satisfying conclusion. Although the tension builds throughout, the author inserts a bit of humor, now and then, to ease its grasp. Imogen Church narrates the book so well that I felt I could hear each character speaking without any difficulty at all. Her interpretation of their personalities and speech patterns felt very authentic.
Laura Blacklock is a reporter for a travel magazine called Velocity. After ten years with the company and a rather stagnant career path, her future begins to look brighter when her boss suddenly gives her the opportunity to go on the maiden voyage of a luxury boutique cruise ship, called the Aurora Borealis. She won’t let anything stand in her way. This is her opportunity to make contacts and write a piece that will prove her talent to others and finally help her up the ladder at the magazine. Even though she is on edge from a recent terrifying burglary in her apartment, she insists on going.
When she boards the ship, she is struck by its opulence. This ship was not built to ferry ordinary people around. It is only for the very rich and the very famous. Looking around, she recognizes others in her profession. She sees an ex-beau who is a reporter and also engages in a conversation with a prominent photographer. She learns that both the ship’s owner and his wife are on board, which is unusual; generally, his wife does not accompany him because she has been ill and is undergoing cancer treatment.
As Laura dresses for dinner on the first evening, she realizes that her mascara is missing from her makeup bag. She remembers it had been in the handbag that was stolen from her apartment on that frightening night she had surprised a burglar in her flat. A bit brazenly, she goes next door to the cabin marked 10 Palmgren, and knocks, hoping someone in there will be kind enough to lend her a mascara tube. After waiting and getting no response, she gives one final bang to the door expecting to fail in her quest. Instead, she sees a pretty, young woman in a Pink Floyd t-shirt. She does not appear very happy to see Laura standing there, and a bit coldly, she agrees to give her a mascara, insisting that she does not want it returned.
Later that night, Laura is awakened by a loud sound that she thinks is a scream coming from the cabin next door, and she thinks she hears the very loud sound of a huge splash in the water. Rushing to the veranda window, she looks down and thinks she sees a body floating downward. Looking up again, she sees what could be a bloody handprint on the glass of the veranda. She begins to wonder, is she herself now in danger? Was anyone aware of her presence there on her veranda?
As she attempts to report what she thinks she heard and saw, she has little success. She is told and shown that the cabin next door is apparently empty and always has been. There was never a passenger in that room for he had canceled. As she watches pieces of evidence about the event disappear, her own antennae are raised higher. Although the man in charge of security seems to doubt her account of events, he shows her around the ship in search of anyone on the staff who might have known or seen the mystery woman. Having no luck there, she begins to wonder about the other passengers on the ship. Had any of them been involved? Could they have seen the woman? Might someone else have heard something? Why had she disappeared? If the room was unoccupied, why had she seen the girl’s clothes strewn around? As she continues to investigate on her own, the odd behavior of the passengers and their "alibis" begin to seem more suspicious to her. She suspects each one in turn. Surely someone knew or had seen the young girl in the Pink Floyd t-shirt in cabin 10!
Was someone really thrown overboard? Had anyone seen Laura as she witnessed this event? Would she be the next victim? Was there really even a victim? Had she been dreaming? Was she so drunk that she had a hallucination? Was it a paranoid delusion? Because the ship had been having problems with their technology, her phone had no service. She was unable to contact anyone on the outside to report what she believed she saw, or to make a report for the magazine that she so hoped would be the harbinger of her future success. She could also not reach anyone to ask for help! She was totally isolated from everyone. When Laura does not contact anyone, her friends and family begin to raise alarms about her whereabouts. A second narrative, behind the scenes, is interjected sporadically through the book. It keeps the reader on tenterhooks. Those outside the world of the ship have no idea what is going on inside it, and in the same way, Laura has no idea what is going on beyond the confines of this magnificent floating vessel.
I must admit I listened to this book almost straight through, stopping only to sleep for a few hours. I had to find out if there was indeed a diabolical murderer on board or if Laura was dreaming or imagining everything she thought had happened. There were twists and turns taking me in one direction or another, bouncing me about in my suspicions in much the same way that Laura was being tossed, suspecting one passenger than another, one staff member than another.
There seemed to be so many random clues, but they pointed in many different directions. It was hard to know which were real and which might be products of Laura’s own imagination due to her extreme emotional state. The suspense was palpable as Laura thought about each passenger in turn, as her conversations with them revealed secrets and further doubts to her. The misdirection was really effective.
This mystery novel, written by a British author is done very well. There are a few minor glitches but what made it so good was the actual absence of the foul language and unnecessary titillating sex which is so prevalent in the work of many American authors today, perhaps to seem cool or for shock value. It was simply a great mystery. Without cheap devices, the author has created a book that is gripping as it explores and exposes what is going on in the mind of Laura Blacklock as she attempts to solve a crime she thinks has been committed, although there is no proof. It places the reader right there on the ship with her. From start to finish, this is a really good, entertaining read for anyone who loves a good psychological thriller!
No one believes her. No passengers are missing according to the manifest. Lo is determined to find out what really happened in Cabin 10, and in so doing, puts herself in peril.
On the one hand, this book kept me up all night reading. On the other hand, I am dissatisfied with the book. There are glaring plot holes. After the first few chapters the other characters in the book fade into insignificance. The solution is trite and tried. The ending is contrived and not very believable. For all that, it's readable, and if you're not too picky about plot lines, it's quite enjoyable.
Meh, is where I'll leave this. I'll give it three stars for keeping me up at night reading, but no more than three for being an unsatisfying work.
Yet, even though there is a multitude of evidence to the contrary, one cannot help but trust Lo in her observations. There is no doubt she is terribly frightened by what she saw and heard and confused by the lack of satisfactory answers. At the same time, Lo has an earnestness about her that inclines one to believe her. She does not want to be frightened anymore. She wants to be healthy and happy. She does not want to feel like a victim . The fact that she keeps finding more evidence to prove her case even though she wants it all to go away is an indicator that perhaps Lo is not as unreliable as readers are initially lead to believe.
Ms. Ware takes this conundrum Lo presents, adds in the luxurious but claustrophobic confines of a cruise ship and sets the cruise ship atop a frigid sea, thereby shifting the tone to an ominous one in which you are just as anxious as Lo to get back to land. In this regard, the setting is vital. Had the story taken place in a luxury hotel, the feel of the novel would be different, and the urgency Lo feels considerably less. Ms. Ware knows how to use all the tools available to her to strike the right note within her story and does so effectively.
The Woman in Cabin 10 is a strong thriller that keeps you guessing until the very end. Lo is an excellent blend of fragile and fierce, and watching her overcome the fears instilled in her from her past experiences is rewarding. While the ending is a bit too neat, this in no way diminishes one’s enjoyment of it. Given its setting in the North Sea, it is an entertaining choice for cooling off on those hot summer days.
I enjoyed this book, which is a twist on the classic locked room mystery. As with a lot of these psychological thrillers, to make the story work the author sometimes has to compromise on plausibility but I was sufficiently interested in Lo's story to keep reading to the end. The cruise ship makes for an interesting and different setting and it's a clever story idea, even if it did sort of descend into a daft end. Lo is an unreliable narrator and is ever so slightly irritating but she's more likable than the rest of the characters.
An oppressive murder mystery, I found it very readable.
There are10 guest cabins on the Aurora and Lo is in cabin 9. She has already been a bit unnerved by a burglary at her flat just a couple of days before, nor is she a good sailor, so noises in the cabin next door in the middle of the night make her think the worst. What she imagines is that a body has gone overboard but then she finds out that the cabin was supposedly unoccupied.
She has a hard time getting the head of security on the boat to believe her, but then the owner of the boat seems to take her seriously, and then things go seriously wrong.
There are a couple of interesting twists to the tale, and the structure provides some red herrings. Mostly we see things from Lo's point of view, but then some of her friends back home in London become concerned when they haven't heard from her. Lo's narration is interposed with emails and chat room conversations among her friends. The reader knows that on the boat Lo is having trouble with Internet connection.
An enjoyable read.
This was an interesting and suspenseful thriller. I agree with the comparisons to an Agatha Christie novel: with the setting of the novel being a ship, you have a limited cast of characters (and suspects), which heightens some of the intrigue. Ware does an excellent job of setting the scene, and you can practically feel yourself trapped in this opulent yet slightly claustrophobic, endlessly rocking luxury cruise-liner. Lo is set up rather quickly as unreliable narrator: she's clearly anxious after her break-in, prone to drinking, and reeling from a lack of sleep. Therefore, from the outset, we're not sure if we can trust what we're reading or what seems to be unfolding on this ship. One of my favorite things about this novel is that it certainly keeps you guessing -- I was constantly coming up with (and discarding) various theories as I read, placing blame on a new character every few chapters. And, of course, always harboring that seed of doubt that Lo just made the entire thing up. While we hear entirely from Lo, Ware places a few newspaper stories at the end of each chapter, which just add to your doubt and confusion.
As for Lo, she's not the most enjoyable of main characters and due to our limited set of characters, we don't have many others, so most of the tale hinges on her. She's a bit annoying and whiny and prone to overthinking and bad decisions. She can get frustrating at times, to say the least. The story itself isn't really creepy or spooky, but it's definitely interesting and, as I said, keeps you guessing until nearly the very end. A few of the plot points seem a bit haphazard, as if things were just jammed together randomly into the story, but I suppose they all work together at the end.
Overall, this is certainly an engaging and suspenseful thriller. If you enjoy a fast-paced whodunnit, this one is for you. 3.5 stars.
Again we have 10 plus or minus suspects though we don't have a body, so our heroine Lo (hmmm - message?), short for Lauren - note she's not named Hyacinth - has a credibilty issue. Apparently only she saw the WC and now woman is gone. (Haven't I seen this movie before?) Gone from an ultra luxury small cruise vessel on it's maiden voyage - the passengers are generally travel journalists or financiers. Yet, despite the familiar story line, I thought the set-up was quite good, and I found myself trying to guess where this all was headed. I tried to imagine a plausible solution, but I failed. And I feel the author did too. Too much of the last half of the book hinged on a real stretch, and then was used twice more. And the twists weren't as well done as they should have been - the ending was too abrupt and somewhat flat. Disappointing.