The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware


The summer is a time for lazy days, reading days and Burgundy wines. At least it is for me.

So I always keep my best books for the summer. For the trips to warm places, sunny beaches and cold drinks. So this year, two books were at the top of the heap. Ruth Ware’s The Woman in Cabin 10 and Franck Thilliez’s Rever (The title is actually a bit deformed).

My usual modus operandi of a book in English and one in français. The Woman in Cabin 10 is the story of tipsy travel writer Lo Blacklock. Another heroine who over-indulges a la Girl on the Train, though Ware’s Lo is not has unhinged as Paula Hawkins’s Rachel Watson.

There seems to be a trend the past few years, of down-on-the-dumps female protagonists anchoring thrillers far and wide. Personally I like this trend, having suffered through decades of frumpy, unwashed P.I.s who suffered from PTSD-induced flashes.

I think it’s about time for the ladies (I meant women), to join the parade and throw up at the most inopportune times, while waking up in three-day-old clothes in the middle of a drug den surrounded by five corpses.

The Woman in Cabin 10 has Blacklock on the maiden voyage of the luxury cruise ship Aurora. The small ship, containing a mere 10 cabins, has a claustrophobic feel to it. The ship sets out and Blacklock, who just went through a traumatic home invasion episode, hits the sauce immediately.

She has a rocky relationship back home, an uncertain job and frayed nerves, the perfect cocktail. So when she accidently meets The Woman in Cabin 10. Blacklock’s grip on reality is pretty tenuous. Ware sets this up quite well, and there are a few unexpected twists to savour. Unfortunately where Hawkins’s Girl on the Train soars, Ware’s book is good but no chef-d’oeuvre.

She gets the claustrophobic part right, but some of the guests on the maiden cruise are stereotypes. Overall, a decent effort, but no classic.


The Woman in Cabin 10

By Ruth Ware

340 pages, Simon & Schuster, $24.99

Classement : 2.5 stars (out of five)


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