February is one of the biggest months for romance novels. Romance novels are hit or miss for me, but there are a few I’ve come across over the years that I’d recommend. So, while you’re being bombarded this month with love stories, here’s a book I’ve recently read that will challenge your romance novel expectations.
Ruth Ware is a psychological crime thriller author who lives in the UK with her husband and two children. The Woman in Cabin 10 is Ware’s second novel, her debut novel being In a Dark, Dark Wood, and with two others published, her fifth novel will be released in September of this year. This novel is a New York Times Bestseller and has you wondering if you can really trust what Lo says.
Summary of The Woman in Cabin 10:
Goodreads summarizes The Woman in Cabin 10 as “Laura (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 are 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…”
Why You Should Read It:
This is the kind of book where you really need to pay attention—diverting your attention for a minute could mean missing something, even though it’s a slow burn. It’s not one to hook a reader in and keep them captive as the tension and suspense unfolds faster and faster. It’s more like the heart rate of someone sleeping: steady with the occasional spike. But, as soon as Lo boards the ship, the mystery really begins—you won’t be able to stop until you know who’s telling the truth.
The question of whether Lo was reliable or not while the other characters were convinced she was crazy kept me the most interested. As a woman, reading another psychological thriller where the “unreliable narrator” is a woman who deals with depression or anxiety amongst other mental illnesses is something I tend to resent; however, this book, along with other thrillers I’ve read, did a great job of presenting how Lo deals with her anxiety and manages the opinions of others in the novel. The more the book went on, the more chilling everything became. I was flying through the pages in suspense.
I really didn't predict the ending, which is rare for me and proves that this is a book that will really surprise a reader. While some thrillers and mysteries can easily be solved by the reader before the end, I was contentedly surprised with how it wrapped up. The climax made my heart race. I felt like I was in Lo’s shoes. After reading this, I am looking forward to more of Ruth Ware’s novels and I would recommend this to any bookworm. Get ready for the hair on the back of your neck to stand if you pick up this book.
Unless you have a lot of time to spare, don't start a book conversation with Maxine, because she can talk for hours. She's an avid reader, primarily contemporary romance, but every once in a while she'll pick up a suspenseful thriller. She's been writing since high school, mostly fiction, and thinking of characters and situations to put them in for as long as she can remember. Her motto is "everyone deserves love," and therefore her dream is to help push representation for different races, disorders, and disabilities in the romance genre.