After reading Remember Me? I wanted my next read to be something really different so I looked at some best seller lists and came across The Woman in Cabin 10. The synopsis intrigued me and I was in the mood for a mystery so I decided to read it. The novel centers around Lo Blacklock, a British journalist for a travel magazine. Covering for her boss she gets to go on the trip of a lifetime for her career – a week on a highly exclusive private cruise in the North Sea with the owner, a few other journalists, and the super elite. On the first night, Lo wakes up because she thought she heard a scream and something outside the ship. She goes to her balcony and thinks she sees a woman overboard and blood smeared on the glass of the balcony door next door. She immediately rings for help to report what she saw and within minutes security goes with her next door. Only, there’s no evidence of foul play, no blood, and no record of anyone staying in Cabin 10! However, earlier that evening Lo had met the woman in Cabin 10 but didn’t see her at dinner. So is it all in her mind or has there been a murder and an elaborate cover up?
The premise of the novel is pretty good and has a lot of promise. However, what kept me from loving or even liking this book very much is the main character, Lo. She is not likeable. I was more often than not incredibly frustrated by her and she kept doing stupid things! It’s not just me either, I looked at Good Reads (after reading the novel) and the comments were filled with people saying they couldn’t stand her character.
Lo reminded me of Rachel from The Girl on the Train. While Lo isn’t an alcoholic like Rachel, prior to the cruise she suffered a trauma and was having trouble sleeping plus she was drinking a lot for a few days to try to forget what happened to her. She knows this doesn’t make her a very reliable witness and yet she keeps drinking! She also talks about how this is a huge opportunity for her career yet she keeps sabotaging herself with the drinking, having no interest in talking to anyone let alone networking. She was so frustrating. I kept wanting to shake her and say “if you want people to take you seriously about this supposed woman who was thrown off the ship, maybe you should stop being drunk half the time!”
Once she sobered up, she did seem less like a crazy person and seemed like a more reliable witness. But, then her stupidity really took over. For someone who wants to solve a mystery she sure was telling a lot of people what she saw and poking and prodding not very discreetly. I mean, if I was fairly certain I had witnessed a murder and I’m on a ship with only a dozen other people (excluding staff) I might not want to tell everyone what I know because one of those people is obviously the killer! It’s not uncommon for characters to do something that is stupid or frustrating in your eyes but then they redeem themselves and you know, generally get better. I can’t think of anything Lo did right. Like, at all.
I don’t want to dissuade you from reading this novel if you did want to read it. Maybe then we can complain about it together! Or maybe now you want to read it to see if Lo is really as annoying as I say. Overall, the idea of the story was good but the characters just were too unlikeable for me.