I was made a fool by the jacket of The Woman in Cabin 10! With its compelling premise, I was sure to find myself immersed in the book, but wow, no such luck for me!
Lo Blacklock, in her early thirties, is a journalist for the travel magazine Velocity. The story starts with Lo getting burgled one day after she comes home drunk – an incident which leaves her rattled. Lo had accepted an assignment to go on a press tour to cover the maiden voyage of Aurora, a luxury cruise headed to see the Northern lights, which she thinks would become her escape from the traumatic event she faced. But not quite! On the very first night of the cruise, Lo gets awakened by the sound of a screaming woman coming from the next door cabin – cabin 10. She hears a loud splash and sees blood on the neighboring balcony. But when Lo calls security, they tell her that no one ever checked into cabin 10, and none of the passengers or crew members have gone missing. Also by the time the head of security gets to cabin 10, there is no blood on the railing.
The premise in The Woman in Cabin 10 is good, but from early on I could see similarities to The Girl on the Train. To suppress the anxiety caused by the break-in, Lo keeps on drinking one drink after another. So it did not surprise me that most people found Lo to be an unreliable witness, just like what happened to Rachel in The Girl on the Train. However, until the “mystery” started to unravel, I liked The Woman in Cabin 10 slightly better than The Girl on the Train!
My biggest problem with the final revelation was that it lacked imagination. I felt like the criminal mastermind left a lot of things to luck as there were so many loose ends in the story. Things that seemed like clues at first did not matter in the end, and there were no explanations. Also, there were way too many implausible moments in the story. For instance, the accomplice has a change of heart and starts batting for the ‘good side’ after a conversation with the protagonist! Now what are the chances of that happening in real life?! 😐
This book was just not my cup of tea!