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All booksMysteryThe Woman in Cabin 10
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

The Woman in Cabin 10

Each year thousands of members vote for our Book of the Year award—congrats to The Woman in Cabin 10!

by Ruth Ware

Quick take

It’s all fun and games until someone goes overboard in this gripping mystery set on a luxury yacht.

Why I love it

Liberty Hardy
BOTM Judge

A glamorous vacation on a luxury yacht? Lavish dinner parties and fascinating conversation? And how about that nice lady in Cabin 10?


But one of the passengers has gone missing!

Haven't they?

As a huge Agatha Christie fan, I adore these types of mysteries: A boat full of people, each with their own secrets. No way for anyone guilty (or innocent) to escape in middle of the ocean. A crime that can't be verified. And a narrator that you might be able to trust.

In fact, reading this book reminded me a bit of Death on the Nile for the modern age. But in The Woman in Cabin 10, the boat is a state-of-the art cruise ship on its maiden voyage in the North Sea. And, of course, instead of a Belgian detective solving the crime, there's a U.K. travel journalist handling a lot more thrills, chills, and action.

There's also an intriguing psychological aspect to this book. As our protagonist Lo Blacklock discovers that no one believes her account of a crime she thinks she witnessed, she struggles with cycles of disbelief and self-doubt as she decides what to do next. Armed only with her reporter's investigative skills and a very small clue, she is determined to solve the mystery before the boat reaches its destination.

The author, up-and-coming novelist Ruth Ware, teases out each twist and turn just enough, so everything you read could possibly have something to do with whatever it is that's actually happening on the boat. But she isn't going to let you in on the answer until the end. It was so much fun trying to figure out the mystery! The answer was ten times more interesting than any of my running theories. I hope you and your little grey cells enjoy it, too.

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In this tightly wound, enthralling story reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s works, 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. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. 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 dark and terrifying 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, spine-tingling turns, and a setting that proves as uncomfortably claustrophobic as it is eerily beautiful, Ruth Ware offers up another taut and intense read in The Woman in Cabin 10—one that will leave even the most sure-footed reader restlessly uneasy long after the last page is turned.

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