Ruth Ware's new novel, The Woman in Cabin Ten - pretty much since I turned the last page in her first book - In a Dark, Dark Wood! Yes, her books are that good!
The premise? Lo Blacklock is a travel writer who has just landed a plum assignment on a new, intimate, luxury cruise ship. She is assigned to cabin nine and briefly meets the woman in cabin ten when she borrows some cosmetics. Later that evening after dinner - and after many nightcaps - she thinks she hears a splash from next door, runs out to her balcony and peers across to cabin ten. She is sure that there is a smear of blood on ten's patio door as well. Could the woman have fallen overboard? She raises the alarm.......but is informed that there is no guest registered in cabin ten. And sure enough the room is empty. Delicious!
The publisher has used 'reminiscent of Agatha Christie's works' in the back cover blurb. I agree - the setting is remote and contained, there are a limited number of players and/or suspects and the narrative changes the reader's suspicions with every new piece of information.
But how accurate is that information? Lo is the epitome of the 'unreliable narrator'. She drinks too much, mixes her drink with medications, questions her own memories and is dealing with PTSD from a break in at her home. She's self destructive but tenacious. She is determined to find her own answers instead of accepting what she has been told. And prove her sanity. What I really liked was that as a reader, we know no more than Lo does. We are looking for answers alongside of her.
Ware ramps up the tension with every new avenue explored by Lo. It's not clear what the truth is and what is being hidden. I so appreciate not being able to predict where a plot is going to go. Ware kept me on my toes the whole way. The whodunit is a wonderful twist. And then there's just one more gotcha on the last page. (Do not flip ahead!)
Yes, this was a sit in the jammies and finish it in one day read for me - addicting and entertaining. I loved it! And now I will be eagerly awaiting Ware's third book - The Lying Game - due out in July 2017. Read an excerpt of The Woman in Cabin Ten.