BOOK REVIEW: The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Book Review!


Title: The Woman In Cabin 10
Author: Ruth Ware
Publication: June 16th 2016
Pages: 340

In this tightly wound story, 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. 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 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…

With surprising twists and a setting that proves as uncomfortably claustrophobic as it is eerily beautiful, Ruth Ware offers up another intense read.


I was given a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I want to start off this review with a few warnings. First, I normally do not review mystery thriller stories because it’s not my go-to genre. Which is fair. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy mystery thrillers. I just need to be in the mood for them and I’ve been keeping my eye out on The Woman In Cabin 10 for the longest time ever ever since I read The Girl on the Train & Before I Go to Sleep. Second, this book took me absolutely forever to finish by my standards and probably by the publisher. I think it must have taken me three weeks at least to finish and this DOES NOT mean that I didn’t enjoy the story or it was bad, it just proves that I am a mood reader.

I have to be in the mood or I’m not going to read it. With that being said, I was trying to be a decent human being and actually write a review for the book the publisher sent so I forced myself to read thirty pages every day kind of thing. Needless to say, my reading experience with this one was not very good.


Okay, let’s talk more about the book (we’ll talk about me later).

Let’s start with that this whole book is written in first person perspective in the eyes of Lo Blacklock. A key rule as a reader is that we’re supposed to trust that the perspective we’re reading from is the only true one and we’re on their side from page one to the last page. Ruth Ware makes The Woman In Cabin 10 an intricate tale by making Lo Blacklock, our heroine we’re cheering for from page one, an unreliable narrator.

Pretty much, we can’t trust Lo from chapter one. She suffers a traumatic event that forces her to have anxiety attacks and the ongoing pressures from her career and her private life makes her unstable. It’s not even just us who kind of takes whatever Lo says with a grain of salt. It’s everyone around her. They cause doubt and worry by questioning her, making her question herself. Could she have remembered it wrong? Was everything just her imagination? Did the woman she bumped into on the first night on the boat actually exist?

This can be quite frustrating for a lot of readers because we typically don’t like to see flaws in characters we’re rooting for. Ruth Ware makes Lo’s flaws very announced. She drinks too much so she can’t remember what she did last night or it clouds her versions of events. She trusts too many people, telling everyone everything and then regretting it later. She’s weak in terms that she can’t do much about anything except for cry for wolf until someone hears her. Other than that, Lo was a solid damaged character. She was created to serve the purpose of creating the mystery aspect of the story and she did a good job at doing it.

Now, let’s move onto plot. Basically, if you read the synopsis, it’s about a woman disappearing and Lo trying to figure out where the heck she went and nobody helping her. The reason why this story wasn’t perfect for me was because it was such a slow build up. The entire middle chunk of the book didn’t add much suspense to the story nor did it add any elements of surprise or mystery to it. To be fair, it had little fair bits that were strange but it’s definitely nothing that will keep you up at night or keep you on the edge of your seats. Things went missing. A mysterious message appears. Someone else becomes unreliable and suspicious.

Like…that’s it?

And then as the story went closer and closer towards the end, like all good mysteries, the ending comes with fast intense scenes. Character motives are delivered and announced. The solution to the problems are slowly unraveling, leaving only the one possible answer to it all. And it’s that “Aha!” moment that we’ve all been waiting for.

The Woman In Cabin 10 had a similar fashion to mysteries I’ve read in the past. It had an element of shock factor that was plausible and not too far fetched which I enjoyed. I also liked the human aspects of the villain in this story and sympathized with them  a lot more than I expected to.

The ending was slightly confusing but it was a relieving ending once I got it. I could feel the corners of my mouth twitch, almost spreading upwards to form a crescent moon shape and actually smile.

In addition, I would just like to say that Ruth Ware’s writing style is fantastic. She describes things so clearly you feel like you’re there with Lo. And the way she writes, it’s so smooth and it’s easy to slip into.


I know it’s a mystery and there’s also romance??? Yes. I’m happy that Lo has a healthy relationship filled with problems but you can just tell that they love each other so much they’re going to fight through it so they can last.


This one is definitely for fans of mystery suspense enthusiasts. Ruth Ware recently wrote a new book and if it’s anything like The Woman in Cabin 10 then I suggest you should read this and pick that one up to.


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