From New York Times best-selling author of the "twisty-mystery" (Vulture) novel In a Dark, Dark Wood comes The Woman in Cabin 10, an equally suspenseful and haunting novel from Ruth Ware - this time set at sea.
In this tightly wound, enthralling story reminiscent of Agatha Christie's works, 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. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. 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 describe only as a dark and terrifying 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, spine-tingling turns, and a setting that proves as uncomfortably claustrophobic as it is eerily beautiful, Ruth Ware offers up another taut and intense listen in The Woman in Cabin 10 - one that will leave even the most sure-footed listener restlessly uneasy long after the last minute ends.
©2016 Ruth Ware (P)2016 Simon & Schuster Audio
I didn't enjoy this book.
The protagonist was not very likeable and she spends the entire story telling us how tired she is... over and over. I'm disappointed because I liked the author's last book, and although I think the narrator is outstanding ( based on this book and many others ) I think some may confuse their dislike for her with the character herself. I don't 't recommend this book
The story could have been a nice little mystery, although the ending was a bit anticlimactic. But the problem is in the presentation - the whole yarn is told through the protagonist's internal dialog, and this is a hellish place to live for the several hours it takes to tell the tale. Our heroin is a severe neurotic prone to panic attacks, claustrophobia, social anxiety, and she needs to help us understand what her body is doing every second: her heart pounds in her chest. Her throat is raw. Her stomach clenches. Her knees wobble. She is trying to choke down an ear shattering scream. And all this is just saying "hello" at a dinner party. And she vomits a lot. This sort of tedious reporting on her internal state takes up perhaps one half of the narration. I recommend giving it a pass.
I bought this book because I 'sort of' enjoyed Ruth Ware's last book. For more info on that read my review of her book In A Dark, Dark Wood.
I think overall she's a good writer and I enjoy her writing style quite a bit. This book is similar in style and pace and it's exciting and keeps you guessing. Unfortunately, as in her previous book, the main character does a good bit of melodramatic whining. I'm not sure if this component of the character's personality was part of the point of the story. I suppose it provides a contrast for her eventual transformation, but it was so grating I almost stopped listening. Thankfully the whining factor diminishes in the last quarter of the book.
I'm glad I kept listening because I really enjoyed the story and the ending. It's not a great book, but I think it's pretty solid and was worth the credit.
The narration is well done.
I admit that I only got through about 5 hours- was excited to see this new book released since I enjoyed In a Dark Dark Wood very much. The same impeccable narrator raised my expectations . But after several hours, unfortunately this book continues to be extremely boring and monotonous with an ordinary storyline. Oh well.
I have to tell you, I saw this book, read the blurbs and skipped it, first time around. Then I bought and read, "In A Dark Dark Wood" and was blown away by how good it was, so I went back to "Cabin 10" and bought that. Glad I did.
Great book -- I was hooked from page one. Certainly a unique concept -- I've never really thought about how vulnerable people are while on cruises, but I get the idea. Being outside the jurisdiction of your own country, and dependent -- to some extent -- on the country of the registry of the ship -- is a pretty scary situation, if someone is out to get you. Ruth Ware uses this vulnerability expertly, and makes a very sinister situation of it all.
I admit there were a couple of "refrigerator" questions -- things you don't think about while listening, but occur to you only after you've finished, and are digging around in the fridge for a snack -- but I won't name them here. You'll either have your own questions, or you won't -- you don't need mine. I mention this just to say that there are some unresolved issues (in my opinion) but that none of it occurred to me until well after I'd finished the book, and thus did nothing at all to decrease my appreciation.
Special tribute to narrator Imogen Church who did a masterful job on the whole thing, including perfectly respectable work on the Norwegian accents, throughout. I'm no authority on Norwegian accents, but she managed to convey "Scandinavian" without making any of the characters sound stupid, which is what happens many times. Anyway, Church did a good job.
At this writing, there are only two Ruth Ware books on Audible. Since I really really really enjoyed them both, I hope there are more, soon. Encore!!
I loved this book! What a "page turner." I'm almost embarrassed to say that I listened to this all the way through in one shot. I simply couldn't stop. The author did a terrific job in setting up the plot and developing the characters. I loved the main character, Lo Blacklock. She was flawed and had her issues, but thankfully the author also made her likeable, honorable, spunky and brave, too. Too many authors make the mistake of making their protagonist either too weak and mousy, or too brave and fearless to the point where it's just not believable. Lo was a perfect mix of the two. I tried to just enjoy the story without getting too caught up in figuring out the mystery, but it was hard not forming a few opinions along the way about "who done it." Of course I got it wrong, and the plot twists and turns at the end were a delicious mix of suspense and surprise. The Scandanavian setting and the descriptions of the cruise ship added to my enjoyment of this book, and as usual, Ms. Imogen Church did a fantastic job of narrating -- even managing to pull off a New York accent. I was pleased that it wasn't too dark or gory, as many suspense novels are these days. Reminiscent of old vintage mysteries that keep you up late in the night (with locked doors and windows, of course). Highly recommend for anyone at all who loves a good mystery.
Eclectic bookworm...I listen to a little bit of everything. Give up after listening to something for 20 minutes and don't like it.
Overall, this was an awesome listen - however, I did agree with some of the reviewers that the main character’s inner dialogue was a bit exasperating. It could have aptly been called “Panic and Neuroses on the Aurora.” The protagonist reminded me a lot of Leonora “Lee” from Ware’s previous book In a Dark, Dark Wood, who was also melodramatic, introspective, and always on edge. In that book, Lee had been a woman in her late twenties who was still grieving the breakup with her boyfriend from high school (somehow it didn’t seem to have occurred to her to either reach out to him or move on.) I put up with her because she had a dry sense of humor and because I was impressed with the rest of the story.
This protagonist, Laura, nicknamed “Lo” is less haunted and slightly more normal - normal being a relative term. Laura suffers from anxiety relating to enclosed spaces and any sort of encounter in which she might *perceive* herself to be physically threatened. These phobias stem partly from a minor burglary in her apartment before she embarks on a trip and partly from her crippling anxiety disorder which came out of nowhere when she was 25. Now she’s 32, and despite having been through years of therapy and taking anti-anxiety meds she’s still a nervous wreck.
I found her reaction to the burglary to be way over the top. From all the melodrama and angst going on in her head you would have thought she had been raped or had been shot at or ambushed during the war in Iraq. I understand why someone would feel intruded upon and shaken by an incident like that, but after a certain point it was like get over it.
Other issues included her neurotic fixation on sleep and extreme dread of sleep deprivation, as well as her borderline alcoholism. She’s either drunk or hungover throughout most of the story - why, it’s not really clear aside from the fact that alcohol is always readily available.
All this being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed the story - perhaps mores than In a Dark, Dark Wood. It reminded me a bit of Agatha Christy’s And Then There Were None and Murder on the Orient Express, except more modern and satirical. The writing does a good job the conflicting sensations Lo has on the boat. On the one hand, there is the exhilarating experience of being on a glamorous boat in an exotic location while mingling and drinking champagne with interesting people; on the other hand, there’s the uneasiness of being stuck, isolated, and adrift in the middle of the ocean with people she doesn’t trust - one of which is presumably a murderer.
I was also impressed with the twists and turns that took place. I’m usually pretty good at making predictions during stories like these, but this time I was off by a mile.
Imogen Church did an excellent job narrating - I loved all her accents, except for Joe’s which made him sound like a salty mechanic, not a young journalist.
The biggest challenge I had with this book was Laura Blacklock, the story's heroine, was so damned annoying. To a degree, I think the author agrees with me if the second-guessing and the sobbing self-pity are any indication. After the first couple of "Why the hell did she do that?" moments that I had, I frankly didn't mind if bad things happened to her. She kind of brings her misfortune on herself and then goes through a series of "F*ck; why did I do that?!" responses.
The narration was okay. I enjoy the previous work I have heard by Imogen Church. Unfortunately I felt sorry for her having to portray Scandinavian accents that made me cringe. Add a male New York City accent and I am surprised I made it through this one.
I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.
The only emotion this audiobook stirred in me was anger. It was an absolute waste of my time listening to one long panic attack down to the most excruciating detail. The book is 90% about how scared and bad Lo feels all the time. The narrator is normally good, but on this story, Lo sounds like she is on the verge of crying all the time.
The plot was very promising and suspenseful, but is wasted by making the book about a girl that needs some serious emotional help. My advice to Ruth Ware is that other writers successfully write about damaged souls by adding humor, warmth, and a much better paced story.
I did enjoy Ware's book "In the Dark, Dark Wood", but this book was so bad I will never listen to another Ware story.
I tend to lean toward the thrillers and mysteries during the summer months, and this one pleasantly surprised me. It wasn't my typical thriller, but I enjoyed the twists. Every time I thought I had it figured out, I didn't, and once I finally did, I had to know how the events played out...
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