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The Woman in Cabin 10

The Woman in Cabin 10

3.8 107
by Ruth Ware

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From Ruth Ware, the New York Times bestselling author of the “twisty-mystery” (Vulture) novel In a Dark, Dark Wood, comes The Woman in Cabin Ten, an equally suspenseful and haunting psychological thriller.


From Ruth Ware, the New York Times bestselling author of the “twisty-mystery” (Vulture) novel In a Dark, Dark Wood, comes The Woman in Cabin Ten, an equally suspenseful and haunting psychological thriller.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Ware’s underwhelming sophomore mystery (after 2015’s In a Dark, Dark Wood), Laura “Lo” Blacklock thinks stepping in for her pregnant boss for a week-long jaunt on the new miniature cruise ship Aurora will give her a leg up at Velocity, the magazine where she’s toiled for years. A break-in at her London flat days before her departure does little more than set up Lo as an easily startled protagonist. Everything on the Aurora is sparkly and decadent, from the chandeliers to the wealthy guests, most of whom are either fellow travel writers or investors brought on by owner Lord Richard Bullmer, but Lo is distracted from the scenery—the ship is headed for a tour of the Norwegian fjords—by her certainty that she heard the unmistakable sound of a body hitting the water from the adjacent cabin. No one, unsurprisingly, believes her, or buys her story of a mysterious woman she saw lurking on the ship hours earlier. Those expecting a Christie-style locked-room mystery at sea will be disappointed. Agent: Eve White, Eve White Literary (U.K.). (July)
Marie Claire
"Ruth Ware is back with her second hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck-tingling tale."
Starred Review Booklist
"[The Woman in Cabin 10] generate[s] a dark, desperate tension that will appeal to Ware’s and Gillian Flynn’s many fans. This is the perfect summer read for those seeking a shadowy counter to the sunshine."
O Magazine
“A fantasy trip aboard a luxury liner turns nightmarish for a young journalist in The Woman in Cabin 10, the pulse-quickening new novel by Ruth Ware, author of In a Dark, Dark Wood.
Associated Press Staff
"[A] snappy thriller set on the high seas… The first chapter will grab your attention, force it against a wall and hold it there until the end.”
The Washington Post
"Ruth Ware’s The Woman in Cabin 10 is an atmospheric thriller as twisty and tension-filled as her 2015 debut, In a Dark, Dark Wood... The novel’s tone is dark and claustrophobic as Lo continues her search for the woman even though someone is trying to stop her — maybe even kill her."
"If you're a fan of Agatha Christie, get ready to curl up with this suspenseful mystery."
"Haunting and absurdly suspenseful."
New York Post
"A great modern whodunit!"
US Weekly
“Ruth Ware’s thrilling suspense novel captivates.”
"The Woman in Cabin 10 bucks the trend of disappointing follow-ups, and is every bit as taut and provocative as the earlier book."
Sunday Mirror
"With a flawed but likeable heroine, and a fast moving plot, it makes for a stylish thriller."
“A twisted and suspenseful mystery that entangles friendship, identity and memory with a possible murder…. Subtly tips its hat to authors such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers”
“With a churning plot worthy of Agatha Christie, and fresh on the heels of her bestselling thriller In a Dark, Dark Wood, Ruth Ware twists the wire on readers’ nerves once again. “Cabin 10” just may do to cruise vacations what “Jaws” did to ocean swimming. You’ll be afraid to go out on the water.”
"This beach read thriller has sun, suspense, and goes well with SPF."
Electric Literature
"Ware does something more than write the next Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train, even if she writes in that wheelhouse. Ware puts her own stamp on the genre... The Woman in Cabin 10 is good: it’s creepy, it’s frustrating, and it’s interesting. It brings elements of our current fixations into the realm of the thriller/mystery in the best possible way."
Minneapolis Star Tribune
"With a churning plot worthy of Agatha Christie, and fresh on the heels of her bestselling thriller In a Dark, Dark Wood, Ruth Ware twists the wire on readers’ nerves once again. “Cabin 10” just may do to cruise vacations what “Jaws” did to ocean swimming."
Shelf Awareness
"Ware's propulsive prose keeps readers on the hook and refuses to let anyone off until all has been revealed."
From the Publisher
Named by the Washington Post as "One of the best mystery books and thrillers of 2016"
New York Journal of Books
"No one does spooky without the supernatural element better than Ruth Ware, and The Woman in Cabin 10 is proof for any who doubt it."
Thrillist - R.L. Stine
"Lots of twists and surprises in an old-fashioned mystery."
Library Journal
★ 06/15/2016
Travel journalist Laura "Lo" Blacklock receives a press pass for a weeklong cruise from London to the Norwegian fjords. Despite the ship's opulence and lavish amenities for the nine passengers, Lo finds her stay far from relaxing. On the first evening aboard, she witnesses a woman being thrown overboard. But her claims are quickly dismissed by the ship's crew as all the passengers are accounted for. Lo's desire to chronicle the liner's maiden voyage for her magazine is quickly overshadowed by her obsession with solving the mystery, regardless of the lack of evidence of foul play. With few potential suspects and little support from the others on board, Lo continues digging for answers. Her relentless quest for the truth despite warnings to stop, entangles her in a web of deception and danger. VERDICT Ware's follow-up to her best-selling debut, In a Dark, Dark Wood, is a gripping maritime psychological thriller that will keep readers spellbound. The intense final chapters just might induce heart palpitations.—Mary Todd Chesnut, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights
Kirkus Reviews
Ware (In A Dark, Dark Wood, 2015) offers up a classic "paranoid woman" story with a modern twist in this tense, claustrophobic mystery. Days before departing on a luxury cruise for work, travel journalist Lo Blacklock is the victim of a break-in. Though unharmed, she ends up locked in her own room for several hours before escaping; as a result, she is unable to sleep. By the time she comes onboard the Aurora, Lo is suffering from severe sleep deprivation and possibly even PTSD, so when she hears a big splash from the cabin next door in the middle of the night, "the kind of splash made by a body hitting water," she can't prove to security that anything violent has actually occurred. To make matters stranger, there's no record of any passenger traveling in the cabin next to Lo's, even though Lo herself saw a woman there and even borrowed makeup from her before the first night's dinner party. Reeling from her own trauma, and faced with proof that she may have been hallucinating, Lo continues to investigate, aided by her ex-boyfriend Ben (who's also writing about the cruise), fighting desperately to find any shred of evidence that she may be right. The cast of characters, their conversations, and the luxurious but confining setting all echo classic Agatha Christie; in fact, the structure of the mystery itself is an old one: a woman insists murder has occurred, everyone else says she's crazy. But Lo is no wallflower; she is a strong and determined modern heroine who refuses to doubt the evidence of her own instincts. Despite this successful formula, and a whole lot of slowly unraveling tension, the end is somehow unsatisfying. And the newspaper and social media inserts add little depth. Too much drama at the end detracts from a finely wrought and subtle conundrum.

Product Details

Gallery/Scout Press
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Woman in Cabin 10



The first inkling that something was wrong was waking in darkness to find the cat pawing at my face. I must have forgotten to shut the kitchen door last night. Punishment for coming home drunk.

“Go away,” I groaned. Delilah mewed and butted me with her head. I tried to bury my face in the pillow but she continued rubbing herself against my ear, and eventually I rolled over and heartlessly pushed her off the bed.

She thumped to the floor with an indignant little meep and I pulled the duvet over my head, but even through the covers I could hear her scratching at the bottom of the door, rattling it in its frame.

The door was closed.

I sat up, my heart suddenly thumping, and Delilah leaped onto my bed with a glad little chirrup, but I snatched her to my chest, stilling her movements, listening.

I might well have forgotten to shut the kitchen door, or I could even have knocked it to without closing it properly. But my bedroom door opened outward—a quirk of the weird layout of my flat. There was no way Delilah could have shut herself inside. Someone must have closed it.

I sat, frozen, holding Delilah’s warm, panting body against my chest and trying to listen.


And then, with a gush of relief, it occurred to me—she’d probably been hiding under my bed and I’d shut her inside with me when I came home. I didn’t remember closing my bedroom door, but I might have swung it absently shut behind me when I came in. To be honest, everything from the tube station onwards was a bit of a blur. The headache had started to set in on the journey home, and now that my panic was wearing off, I could feel it starting up again in the base of my skull. I really needed to stop drinking midweek. It had been okay in my twenties, but I just couldn’t shake off the hangovers like I used to.

Delilah began squirming uneasily in my arms, digging her claws into my forearm, and I let her go while I reached for my dressing gown and belted it around myself. Then I scooped her up, ready to sling her out into the kitchen.

But when I opened the bedroom door, there was a man standing there.

There’s no point in wondering what he looked like, because, believe me, I went over it about twenty-five times with the police. “Not even a bit of skin around his wrists?” they kept saying. No, no, and no. He had a hoodie on, and a bandanna around his nose and mouth, and everything else was in shadow. Except for his hands.

On these he was wearing latex gloves. It was that detail that scared the shit out of me. Those gloves said, “I know what I’m doing.” They said, “I’ve come prepared.” They said, “I might be after more than your money.”

We stood there for a long second, facing each other, his shining eyes locked on to mine.

About a thousand thoughts raced through my mind: Where the hell is my phone? Why did I drink so much last night? I would have heard him come in if I’d been sober. Oh Christ, I wish Judah was here.

And most of all—those gloves. Oh my God, those gloves. They were so professional. So clinical.

I didn’t speak. I didn’t move. I just stood there, my ratty dressing gown gaping, and I shook. Delilah wriggled out of my unresisting hands and shot away up the hallway to the kitchen, and I just stood there, shaking.

Please, I thought. Please don’t hurt me.

Oh God, where was my phone?

Then I saw something in the man’s hands. My handbag—my new Burberry handbag, although that detail seemed monumentally unimportant. There was only one thing that mattered about that bag. My mobile was inside.

His eyes crinkled in a way that made me think he might be smiling beneath the bandanna, and I felt the blood drain from my head and my fingers, pooling in the core of my body, ready to fight or flee, whichever it had to be.

He took a step forwards.

“No . . .” I said. I wanted it to sound like a command, but it came out like a plea—my voice small and squeaky and quavering pathetically with fear. “N—”

But I didn’t even get to finish. He slammed the bedroom door in my face, hitting my cheek.

For a long moment I stood, frozen, holding my hand to my face, speechless with the shock and pain. My fingers felt ice-cold, but there was something warm and wet on my face, and it took a moment for me to realize it was blood, that the molding on the door had cut my cheek.

I wanted to run back to bed, to shove my head under the pillows and cry and cry. But a small, ugly voice in my skull kept saying, He’s still out there. What if he comes back? What if he comes back for you?

There was a sound from out in the hall, something falling, and I felt a rush of fear that should have galvanized me but instead paralyzed me. Don’t come back. Don’t come back. I realized I was holding my breath, and I made myself exhale, long and shuddering, and then slowly, slowly, I forced my hand out towards the door.

There was another crash in the hallway outside, breaking glass, and with a rush I grabbed the knob and braced myself, my bare toes dug into the old, gappy floorboards, ready to hold the door closed as long as I could. I crouched there, against the door, hunched over with my knees to my chest, and I tried to muffle my sobs with my dressing gown while I listened to him ransacking the flat and hoped to God that Delilah had run out into the garden, out of harm’s way.

At last, after a long time, I heard the front door open and shut, and I sat there, crying into my knees and unable to believe he’d really gone. That he wasn’t coming back to hurt me. My hands felt numb and painfully stiff, but I didn’t dare let go of the handle.

I saw again those strong hands in the pale latex gloves.

I don’t know what would have happened next. Maybe I would have stayed there all night, unable to move. But then I heard Delilah outside, mewing and scratching at the other side of the door.

“Delilah,” I said hoarsely. My voice was trembling so much I hardly sounded like myself. “Oh, Delilah.”

Through the door I heard her purr, the familiar, deep, chainsaw rasp, and it was like a spell had been broken.

I let my cramped fingers loosen from the doorknob, flexing them painfully, and then stood up, trying to steady my trembling legs, and turned the door handle.

It turned. In fact it turned too easily, twisting without resistance under my hand, without moving the latch an inch. He’d removed the spindle from the other side.


Fuck, fuck, fuck.

I was trapped.

Meet the Author

Ruth Ware grew up in Sussex, on the south coast of England. After graduating from Manchester University she moved to Paris, before settling in North London. She has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language, and a press officer. Despite being married with two small children, she has found the time to write her second psychological thriller, The Woman in Cabin 10, available July 2016.

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The Woman in Cabin 10 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 107 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great read. Story centers on a young female journalist who was sent by her publisher to write an article on a luxury cruise ship. I don't want to give the story away. Read it in one day. Great ending. Also suggest you read the author's first book In the Dark Dark Woods. Also good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put the book down. Once you get started plan to do nothing else!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this cover to cover. Stopped only to sleep. This is the first book in a long time where I wanted to skip to the end, the suspense was so great . Would recommend to anyone who likes the "pieces don't fit" and "I never saw it coming" types of books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Suspenseful right up to the end. I would definetely recommend this book to those readers that love a riveting mystery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting plot wasnt sure how it would end Liked it better than deep dark woods
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NOTE TO AUTHOR: I cannot justify spending 14 bucks without an overview. What the heck? Why would you not add a synopsis. Losing business.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this mystery book very much
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely loved this book. It is slow to start, but once it gets going I could not put it down! It was an amazing suspenseful thriller. I did not like the fact that it was not a free sample. If you love Gone Girl or Girl On The Train you will love this!!
Anonymous 12 months ago
I really enjoyed this book! I liked it much more than a dark dark wood because the characters were better and the story overall was better in my opinion (especially the ending). If you have trouble reading things that could trigger panic attacks or claustrophobia I would not read but otherwise great thriller/suspense!
Ashya More than 1 year ago
Finished reading this book and honestly I had hard time keeping interest on this book and its plot, after 100 pages into it I still felt not suspense at all. Hope I don't spoil it to anyone but my feelings on this book: The female MC was pathetic through the whole book, couldn't feel any sympathy for her at all. No character and certainly not a single feeling of her really being a journalist. All I saw on her was a woman with extremely alcoholic problems, mental and paranoid issues and full of cowardice, very awful considering she was supposed to be a journalist. Spend the whole book as a scary cat hiding in a closet, that could be the main reason it felt the book was boring, with 0 suspense and the plot itself was very simple, to simple to have any suspense though it could be just the lack of any action from the MC that made the whole plot very uninteresting. Oh well, I'm not sure if I should read the other book In a dark, dark wood now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was disappointed. It wasn't that great. In a Dark Dark Woods was much better.
Anonymous 11 months ago
It's not great, but it's good enough for a quick read if you want a mystery that doesn't require a lot of thinking. The main character isn't particularly likable, a couple of coincidences are a just a little too contrived, and the twist is vaguely ridiculous, but it enjoyable enough in the way that a mediocre TV show can still be worth watching.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read!Will keep you up at night with all of it's twists and turns!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So slow! I couldn't evenmake myself finish the book! Loved her other books but this was awful!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
love a good ending
Anonymous 9 months ago
Good plot, but too long and "busy". Dragging along at times. Had a hard time with all the characters, unneccesary dialog. I didn't much like the narrator, she was always doing something...and descriptions got old. I loved the authors previous book. This one was a dissappointment.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Someone being scared for 300+ pages can get old. Took more than 200 pages for it to get remotely interesting. Sorry. Not one of my favs :(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not a very good read. First time I read this author. If you can borrow it from someone fine, but don't buy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it! Read it in a day and a half. And I hope Ruth comes out with another great one soon!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Found the storyline hard to follow...too many characters with not enough info. Disappointing.
feather_lashes More than 1 year ago
If there is any recently published novel that can be truly marketed as the next The Girl on the Train, it is The Woman in Cabin 10. A narrator whose personal issues cause her to appear unreliable, anxiety-riddled, paranoid, and even to begin questioning her own truth... One who is so preoccupied with the safety of an anonymous woman that she can't function... One whose investigative efforts end up putting her at grave risk... hmmm, sound familiar? The similarities were distracting. Hell, even the titles are alike. After a while though, The Woman in Cabin 10 became it's very own mystery and one that I ended up enjoying overall. The isolation, disorientation, and group dynamics involved in a sea voyage setting was my favorite thing about this book and I'm finding that developing a haunting tone via the characters' surroundings is one of author: Ruth Ware's many strengths. Although I enjoyed Ms. Ware's debut much more than this one, I still liked it and would recommend it to mystery fans. I've read several reviews that suspect Agatha Christie was a strong influence for The Woman in Cabin 10 and I am quite ashamed to admit I have yet to read any of Agatha Christie's amazing work but I plan to rectify that very soon :) My favorite quote: "I love ports. I love the smell of tar and sea air, and the scream of the gulls. Maybe it's years of taking the ferry to France for summer holidays, but a harbor gives me a feeling of freedom in a way that an airport never does. Airports say work and security checks and delays. Ports say... I don't know. Something completely different. Escape, maybe."
Anonymous 6 days ago
Nook sex pls
Anonymous 11 days ago
I really enjoyed the suspense of this book until the last 40 pages. Too long & drawn out.
Anonymous 24 days ago
Anonymous 25 days ago