Lead Review

  • Book: The Woman in Cabin 10
  • Location: Norwegian Fjords, The North Sea
  • Author: Ruth Ware

Review Author: tripfiction



This novel has been on the TripFiction bookshelves for a little while and as I was taking a Cross Channel Ferry (which is in no way the same as the little luxury liner depicted in the book) I thought it would be a good choice to accompany me on my voyage.

Lo (Laura) Blacklock as been assigned to cover the maiden voyage of the Aurora Borealis, a top of the range, exclusive ship, ploughing it’s way north from Hull to the Norwegian Fjords. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity – she is covering for her boss who is on maternity leave. Even a break-in at her basement apartment just before departure doesn’t deter her, although she struggles to quell her terrible fears and anxiety as she did see her masked intruder and who locked her in.

On the luxury boat, which is tiny, there are all the amenities and more you would expect for the elite travelling classes. At the opening dinner Lo connects with people she already knows. And when individuals are confined in a small space, they do tend to start to behave in very odd ways.

On the first night, as she is getting ready, she discovers her mascara has not been packed and knocks on the cabin next door, the eponymous Cabin 10 of the title. A young woman with dark glossy hair opens the door and offers her a Maybelline mascara (ooh, is this product placement?) which she impresses she should keep. Once in bed, after the festivities and imbibition of copious quantities of alcohol, she hears a scream and the plop of a body falling – being pushed even – overboard. There is a smear of blood as she peers over to the small balcony next door. She knows what she heard and saw!

When she raises the alarm she is categorically informed that there is no-one in that particular cabin and she must be mistaken. Perhaps too much alcohol, perhaps her meds for depression and anxiety have made her over imaginative. She, however, knows that something dreadful has happened and determines to discover the fate of – presumably – the woman who lent her the mascara. But the situation evolves and she finds herself immersed in a high octane situation.

The reader is also aware that news is getting out that Laura Blacklock cannot be contacted and is presumed missing from a boat travelling North…

It is a pretty good read, an interesting story and there is a good level of pace to the narrative. The characters assembled are a little stereotyped, however. What the author does well is convey a real sense of claustrophobia.

So, I have been put off travelling on a large boat by reading The Floating Feldmans and now, I am not keen to travel on a small (even if it is the last word in luxury) ship that has a mere 10 cabins. But that is the impact of #literarywanderlust!

Setting isn’t really strong in terms of TripFiction.

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