How Do You Stop A Killer, When No-One Believes They Exist?

“This was meant to be the perfect trip.

The Northern Lights. A luxury press launch on a boutique cruise ship.

A chance for travel journalist Lo Blacklock to recover from a traumatic break-in that has left her on the verge of collapse, and to work out what she wants from her relationship.

Except things don’t go as planned.

Woken in the night by screams, Lo rushes to her window to see a body thrown overboard from the next door cabin. But the records show that no-one ever checked into that cabin, and no passengers are missing from the boat.

Exhausted, emotional and increasingly desperate, Lo has to face the fact that she may have made a terrible mistake. Or she is trapped on a boat with a murderer – and she is the sole witness…”

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Earlier this year I read and enjoyed the debut novel from London-based author Ruth Ware, the psychological crime thriller “In A Dark, Dark Wood”. “The Woman In Cabin 10” is Ware’s second book.

The book, told from the perspective of Lo (short for Laura) Blacklock, a travel journalist, and begins with her flat being burgled while she is trapped in her bedroom after a heavy night out.

A few days later, following an unresolved argument with her boyfriend Judah, Lo is off on the maiden trip of an exclusive cruise ship leaving England and then travelling off the coast of Norway while Judah himself is off to Moscow on business.

Ruth Ware
Ruth Ware

On the first night, having again drunk too much, Lo hears a scream and a huge splash and is convinced that someone has thrown the passenger staying in the adjoining cabin overboard. The problem is that Lo seems to be the only person to have even seen the woman in cabin 10 which, when entered by staff minutes after she raises the alarm, is spotlessly clean and empty and the man due to have been that cabin’s passenger didn’t make the trip!

Unable to prove the woman was ever there, Lo becomes increasingly suspicious of everyone around her. With elements of a locked room mystery – after all it’s tricky to get on and off a moving ship at sea unnoticed – every character Lo comes into contact with is a potential killer, or did she just imagine the whole thing?

There’s plenty to keep the reader intrigued here, and a few red herrings too that meant that even when I thought I’d figured something out there was often a twist to prove me wrong!

A solid second outing and a definite page-turner, I would certainly recommend this book to lovers of crime mysteries…9781846558900

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