2018 Reading List: The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware, was much more of typical murder mystery than my last murder mystery. This book was very much a “there’s a murder, I saw it, we have to find out who did it, oh it’s not who we think” type of mystery.

I enjoyed reading this book a lot. Murder mysteries hook me, keep me reading, and fly by quickly. This was no exception. 

Lauren “Lo” is a journalist who gets to go on an inaugural press tour on a brand new luxury cruise ship. But right from the beginning I didn’t like her very much. As I’ve said in previous blog posts, I love strong female leads. Lo was not it. She experienced a break-in at her apartment a few days before she leaves for the trip and she does not handle it well. Not only did she freeze in the moment, she becomes panicky and paranoid afterward, practically unable to function. She doesn’t sleep for about three straight days and then she gets in an almost-breaking-up fight with her boyfriend as she’s walking out the door to get on the ship. She is so unprepared for this work trip that I’m cringing inside. As someone who would have taken a work function like this very seriously, I’m actually pissed at her. I feel like she is blowing a huge opportunity because she’s a little scared of the dark and her boyfriend has a job that causes him to be away a lot. Boo hoo.

So she gets on this cruise and her only job is to experience all the cool stuff that the ship has to offer. She gets a spa treatment, she gets to try delicious food, she can take a dip in the hot tub as they view the northern lights – you get the picture. She also has to network, which apparently she’s terrified of, but there are only about 15 people on this trip. That’s hardly networking, that’s more like making friends. And yet, she’s blowing it. She’s half asleep, she’s drinking too much, she’s freaked out because one of the passengers is an old boyfriend, and she’s spooked by all the money and influential people she feels that she has to impress.

Then to top it all off, she thinks she may have heard a murder taking place, and she makes it her mission to figure out who it was.

When she states the actual facts of what happened and what she thinks happened, it is clear that she has no evidence and no proof that anything at all took place that first night. She sounds downright crazy, and the captain of security all but tells her that.

She thinks there’s reason to believe that any of the passengers could have been the murderer, but let me remind you, she has been screwing up this trip from the first moment she stepped aboard. She hasn’t done her research and she barely got to know anyone yet.

She is on a wild goose chase for a person who may or may not exist who may or may not have been murdered.

I won’t give anything else away. The weirdest part is at the end, and to be honest, I think the author took the whole thing a little too far.

The premise of this book was good, but there were definitely pieces of it that I think either didn’t need to be there, or were over exaggerated.

This book just put another tally in the column of reasons why I never want to go on a cruise.


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