The case of the random burglary


A couple of days ago I finished The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware and in the end I sort of liked it. But it didn’t start that way.

(Spoiler alert)

At first this book felt like a wrong choice for me. I chose it as my “2016” book for the Read-one-book-from-each-year-I’ve-been-alive project and I wanted something interesting. i read a couple of reviews and all of them said that the book was a great mystery novel. I started reading it and I felt cheated. The mani character somehow felt vapid, I even thought for a moment this would end up being a romance!

But, Ruth Ware came through with an ok read.

The mystery revolves around a late night noise and subsequent body dump on a small cruise ship sailing the North Sea. The main character, Lo Blacklock, hears all this, and even sees something that looks like a hand stretch out from the sea before sinking into the cold dark depths. She of course informs the security people on board, but nobody takes her seriously – she had been drinking, she’s taking pills, she had had a shock because she was in her apartment when it was burglared just days before the cruise… She does her best to find out the truth, and her digging brings her life in danger…

There were moments when she was obviously foreshadowing – the fact that she felt the need to explain in detail how the bag the burglar took from her apartment had her mascara in it. This turned out to be a crucial detain in the development of the plot. She meets the imposter because she went to the cabin next door to borrow some mascara.

With all this, there are some points that are never cleared – who broke into her apartment, why was the man who was supposed to be in cabin 10 absent… She could have put the explanation in there. If the owner of the ship went through all the trouble of replacing his wife and all that, it could be possible that he hired someone to steal Lo’s bag and her passport to ensure the cabin next to the cabin where his mistress will hide and his wife will be killed remains empty. But, by leaving it unexplained it seems to be a rather random act of violence.

Another thing that surprised me was the depiction of the people in  Norway – she gets there by jumping off the boat, fleeing for her life. She comes to a hotel and tells the people there what has happened, but instead of calling the police, the man calls Lord Bullmer and tells him that Lo is here. Of all the gin joints…

But with all this, it’s an interesting-ish book.


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