This book keeps popping up on book lists everywhere and then someone in our book club picked it, but then changed her mind to have us read Just Mercy instead (this was last year which is why I don’t have a review for it). But…I had already purchased the book and so I decided that eventually I would get to it.
After reading The Kind Worth Killing I realized that I’ve been missing suspense and mystery in my life. Soooo…I turned to The Woman in Cabin 10. Sold as a type of “locked room mystery”, Lo (Lauren Blacklock) is a travel writer who has to determine if she’s paranoid or if she actually “witnessed” what she believes that she did. She was chosen to represent her magazine on an exclusive new yacht. Lo, copes with anxiety, claustrophobia, is dealing with the trauma of suffering a recent break in at her home ( which she was present for). This is supposed to set us up for a possibly unreliable witness. Add all the alcohol that she drank at dinner the night the incident occurred and you have really cool security officers asking her, “Can I ask how much you had to drink last night?” *SHUDDER.
Anyways, Lo, is prepping for the first big night’s festivities when she realizes that she forgot her mascara and her smokey eyes aren’t going to look complete without the full mascara treatment (preach). Going to the cabin next to hers, she knocks to find an attractive young lady who seems startled to see her. The girl tells her to keep the mascara and basically boots her out of the room. At dinner, no one seems to know who Lo is talking about and in fact, Cabin 10 is empty. Later that night Lo awakens to something, she hears a splash and maybe someone crying for help. Going to the balcony she sees a blood smear on the screen. Quickly, Lo calls for help but by the time the AWFUL security guard arrives the blood smear is gone, there’s no luggage or girl in Cabin 10 and of course, everyone knows that Lo has suffered a breakdown before and that “anxiety meds and alcohol don’t mix” so clearly she’s just delusional (the implied tone, not mine…in fact, I found that rude and annoying).So where is this girl? Did she exist? If so, what has happened to her? What will happen to Lo if she continues to pursue these loose ends? She’s already getting dangerous messages to stay out of it…but how can she, when she herself has been a victim before?
This was a popcorn read for me. I was fully invested in the story for the majority of the book. When things start getting revealed (and there is a MAJOR telling plot point that jumps off the page at you when you hear a character say it early on you know something’s up), it unravels quite a bit. BUT, I enjoyed it and I’d recommend it especially for a book club read. It’s pretty mindless and tense for a good portion of the book and as I always like to draw comparisons to Christopher Pike (my middles school self’s lord and savior), it’s on that level of camp for the reveal . I didn’t love the anxiety=crazy angle (in fact, I kind of hated it); I feel like we’ve moved passed or moving passed that presumption as a society but I know Ms. Ware was trying to create a character that wouldn’t be believed…but hey Ware, she was on a boat with mostly men who weren’t listening to her anyway, you could’ve just stuck with that!