Book Review: The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

October 26, 2016 Book review 20 ★★★

I couldn’t wait to devour The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware.  I loved In a Dark, Dark Wood when I read it but my overall feel after finishing this one is deflated.

Book Review: The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth WareThe Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
Published by Gallery/Scout Press on July 19th 2016
Genres: Friendship, Law & Crime, Mystery & Detective
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

From New York Times bestselling author of the “twisty-mystery” (Vulture) novel In a Dark, Dark Wood, comes The Woman in Cabin 10, an equally suspenseful novel from Ruth Ware—this time, set at sea.
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.

CRIME Murder Mystery Thriller

My thoughts on The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware:

This book was missing the wow factor that I was hyped up for. Initially I thought the pace crawled along and I longed for action. And the characters were hit and miss for me. But then it kicked up a notch and I felt a lot more invested in the plot line.

A big disappointment was Lo, the main character, because I was so indifferent to her.  I didn’t love her, I didn’t hate her, I just didn’t really care.  Her situation was precarious but I never really felt on the edge of my seat reading this which is what I expected to feel.  The cruise ship location did add a sinister vibe as it felt very isolated.  But it didn’t move swiftly enough for me to really get caught up in the danger.

Thankfully, it improved!  I’d probably rate part 1 as 2 stars and part 2 as 3.5 stars. It was worth persevering with, as it picked up a lot, even if it lacked the wow for me personally.  If the mystery had been more complicated or if the characters had been livelier, then I would have rated it a lot higher.  I enjoyed the plot but missed that page turning sensation that I love in a good thriller.

And I realise my whole review is sounding a bit meh.  Which is unfair as the book isn’t meh, I was just expecting better based on my experiences with Ruth Ware’s previous book.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: three-stars


Who should read The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware?

I’m so-so about recommending this to you.  You need to be aware that it’s slow but it does pick up. If you are ok with that and like the sound of a cruise ship setting, then give it a shot.  To be honest, I’d suggest reading Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard first as that captured the cruise ship psychological thriller much more effectively.




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20 Responses to “Book Review: The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware”

  1. Greg

    I liked this one a bit more but I agree with you about the slow start. Especially considering the fact that something important happens right off the bat- but it still felt slow, oddly. And yeah it did pick up towards the end. I’ve never heard of Distress Signals but I will definitely go check it out since I’d like to read another cruise ship thriller, and it sounds like that one might be a bit better.
    Greg recently posted…How Scary Is Too Scary?

    • trish

      I think if you liked this one Greg, then you’d enjoy Distress Signals too. And yes it definitely picked up as I got more in to it!

  2. Maureen Beatrice

    I’m sorry you didn’t really like the main character. I hate when that happens since it usually makes reading the book a lot less fun. I’m glad to read the book became better the second part though.
    I’m not really in the mood for slow moving books lately. I just can’t seem to find the patients. So this book may not be for me.
    Maureen Beatrice recently posted…Wednesday’s Favorites: The Find by Gregg Bell

    • trish

      I find slow moving books are not for me either at the moment Maureen. I think because I’m busy and I want a book that totally takes me away from everything so I need a snappy pace to hook me!

    • trish

      I don’t know why I didn’t click with Lo, I think I was just a bit impatient with her decisions. But once I got in to it, I enjoyed it a lot more 🙂

    • trish

      I think it’s always best to be under excited rather than hyped up before reading a book. That way it’s more likely to exceed your expectations. Hope you enjoy it Katherine 🙂

  3. Jade @ Reading With Jade

    I have very similar thoughts on this title – I enjoyed the story overall but didn’t find it to be anything special. I had heard so much hype. I did really like the setting of the cruise ship though; I felt that added to the suspense and creepiness of the plot. Enjoyed hearing your thoughts.
    Jade @ Reading With Jade recently posted…BOOK TALK | Elements of Ghost Stories

    • trish

      Glad to hear your experiences were similar to mine Jade, as they seem very different to most other people! I don’t know of you read In A Dark, Dark Wood but I did enjoy that one a lot more.

  4. Lola

    It’s a shame when you’re so hyped up for a book and then it falls flat. I am sorry to hear it missed the wow factor. I read a cozy mystery like that recently were the pace was so slow and it made it a bit hard to get into.
    Sometimes I think it’s better to dislike a character than really not care about her either way. The ships setting does sound well done and I can imagine how the isolation of such a setting can add to the mystery. Great review!
    Lola recently posted…Review: It’s Your Party, Die If You Want To by Vickie Fee

    • trish

      I never mind hating a character as at least I know I’m feeling passionately about what I’m reading! And yes the cruise ship setting was fun and something a little different too. Thanks Lola!

  5. Deborah

    I was exactly the same Trish. I just didn’t engage with the main character and when you don’t really care if they live or die, it’s kinda problematic!
    Deborah recently posted…Weekly check-in

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