review: the woman in cabin 10 by ruth ware

“I knew what Nilsson wanted. He wanted me to forget what I’d heard, the scream, the stealthy slide of the screen door, and that horrible, huge slithering splash.”

This is a spoiler-free review which can also be viewed HERE.

When first learning about The Woman in Cabin 10, I was extremely thrilled. Though crime thrillers are normally not the books I read, I enjoy them from time to time. The Woman in Cabin 10 sounded promising enough – a boutique luxury cruise in the Norwegian fjords with a body thrown over board that no-one seems to miss? This was the perfect fast in-between read I was looking for. Since I enjoyed reading The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, I had high expectations on this one since these books got compared. I have never read something from Ruth Ware before so I was intrigued to dive right into the story.

Sadly I needed quite some time to read the book because I put it down more often than not. My biggest problem with the book was the main character. Laura “Lo” Blacklock – travel journalist with an extreme anxiety. So far there’s not a single reason to dislike or hate her. But throughout the books the woman got on my nerves and more and more unlikable. Despite the PTSD-issues she suffered from due a burglar that happens right in the first few pages of the book, I couldn’t connect with her. Her character showed some self-centred and narcissistic traits – besides her insecurities. Also she seemed to like alcohol a bit too much when it comes to actually needing a clear head. The mix of those traits made me somehow confused. I tried to take a step from Lo since I really did not enjoy her and focus on the story instead.

But even the story wasn’t enough to grip me. As mentioned before, I initially bought it because I enjoyed the story around The Girl on the Train. And now a crime thriller on a boat where no one can escape? This was intriguing. But the plot was not what I expected – there were simply too many random incidents happening that didn’t make any sense in my opinion. They seemed not to be tied to each other and were only thrown in to give the reader some better point of understanding what is happening. To follow Lo’s train of thoughts and actions. But for me it did not really work. There were too many bizarre incidents that were too jumbled for my liking. The pace of the plot only increased in the last few pages and even then it was not right for me.

Overall The Woman in Cabin 10 reminded me more of a simple copy of the latest bestseller instead of an own unique piece of literature. What also seemed to be bothering other readers was a lack of plausibility. Because in fact you can’t hear such a huge splash in the middle of the Northern Sea – at least not like you would hear it in a swimming pool. So if this would have been written according to the law of nature, the trigger of the whole plot would not have happened. But ignoring this fact, the book was okay. I was let down by my high expectations, but if you need a fast and not-so-serious read you might consider this book.

The rating:

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