Thursday, December 1, 2016

Book Review: The Woman in Cabin 10

Even though I wasn't a huge fan of Ruth Ware's thriller, In a Dark, Dark Wood, I decided to give the author another shot when I read the premise behind this novel, The Woman in Cabin 10. The book is about a travel magazine journalist who is invited aboard a press junket voyage of an exclusive cruise ship. While on board, she believes she witnesses a woman being thrown overboard. She is frustrated when the security officer fails to believe her report and even more flummoxed when all the passengers are accounted for.

The book begins with the journalist, Laura Blacklock, experiencing a break-in in her London flat. Has that break-in caused her to be overly anxious or to feel undue fear while she is on board the ship? Did she really hear the splash and see the mark of blood on the neighboring veranda window or was it merely her imagination and nerves at play? Can she be trusted as a reliable narrator when she is on antidepressant medication for anxiety or when she drinks more than she should?

All of these questions stir within the reader as the story unfolds. I was gripped and entertained by the process of listening to the audio version of this book. I did enjoy this book, with its multiple twists and turns, far more than Ware's last offering. However, my chief complaint was with a formatting issue from the audio version. The tracks were unbearably long. One track went on for over 32 minutes. This would be all fine and dandy if I were listening on a device that would stop and restart wherever I had last been in the story. Sadly, the player I use by my treadmill only allows me to stop the track and restart from the beginning of each track. Thus, I would finish my workout and be six minutes into a track, never knowing whether I would require another two minutes or another thirty minutes to finish the track. Groan! Why, oh why, couldn't they have provided three to five minute tracking?

My only other complaint was that you end up absolutely hating Blacklock. She is a whiny, drunken, neurotic narrator and you know from the start to be suspicious of her version of things. Still, if you can get past the annoyance with her character, she does live through a riveting story.

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