The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware (2016)

The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth WareTravel journalist Laura Blacklock gets a great assignment that could give her the career push she needs – an inaugural cruise aboard a luxury ship – more of a yacht, really, with just 10 cabins. Just before she sets sail, a burglar breaks into her apartment, leaving Laura feeling rattled and deeply anxious. She embarks on the trip anyway, and spends the first night drinking too much. So when she hears a scream and a splash in the middle of the night, no one believes her, especially since the cabin is supposed to be empty. But Laura knows that’s not the case, having borrowed mascara from a woman in the cabin. Determined to prove her story, she persists in asking questions, though it means risking attracting the killer’s attention. If there is one. This is Ruth Ware’s second mystery. I did not like her first mystery, In a Dark, Dark Wood, but in that I review I noted some great writing and characters, and hoped she would continue, with a stronger editor. I don’t know if that was the difference, but this one worked much better. Drawing on the Agatha Christie tradition of a locked room mystery, the focus is on the characters and their motivations. It’s not hard to guess the killer’s identity, but there was a nice twist I did not see coming. Laura’s character is the best developed, and offers readers a view into a complex young woman who wavers between the right thing and the easy thing. Don’t we all? A lightweight mystery, it’s a much better novel than her first one, and a good choice for a lazy Saturday or a holiday read. Maybe not for a cruise, though.
My thanks to publisher Gallery/Scout Press for the advance reading copy provided through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.
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