Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review of The Woman in Cabin 10, as well as a Q&A with author Ruth Ware! Thanks so much to Simon and Schuster for sending me a copy of this book for an honest review, as always, all opinions are my own, and for setting up this blog tour.

Make sure you check out the other stops for their questions to Ruth as well as some other reviews!

To start off this tour, the book's synopsis as well as my reivew!

This story was said to be told in the vein of Agatha Christie, and even though I've only read her short story "The Herb of Death", I could definitely see the comparisons.

Basically, the novel tells the story of Laura or Lo, a travel journalist who at the last minute is sent on a luxury cruise ship's maiden voyage. The senior editor is off on maternity leave, so Lo jumps at the opportunity. A few days before Lo is set to leave, her home is burgled and she is left paranoid and shaken. On her first night on the boat, Lo briefly runs into her 'neighbour' on the yacht, a woman in staying in cabin 10. However, when the woman doesn't show up for dinner, and when she asks around about her, she is confused. She convinces herself that she's a random stowaway or a member of the crew who is using the vacant cabin against regulation. It isn't until later that night that she lays awake, and hears a splash off the balcony. The splash of a body hitting the water.

Lo is frantic, she doesn't know what is going, but it can't be good. Convinced that she has to seek justice for what happened because something could have easily happened to her the night she was burgled, she contacts security. While skeptic, the head of security goes around with Lo to try and identify the woman. Along the way, Lo tells more people of what happened, but also receives threatening notes; someone wrote "Stop Digging" in the steam on her mirror while she was in the spa. No one seems to know the woman, and no one seems to care. Lo begins to doubt what happened. She was drinking that night and paranoid from her break in.

I'll leave it at that because I don't want to spoil anything.

I really liked Lo's character, the story focuses more on the alleged crime than her personally, but I feel like we still got a good understanding of her morals and character in her trying to find out what happened to the woman.

I think the mystery was really well done. There were quite a few red herrings, but when the major twist came, I only guessed half of it (you'll understand if you read the book). There are also little snippets between the chapters of what is going on in the story with current events, missing person report in the newspaper, an online forum discussing what actually happened on the boat. You know something happens to Lo, but you don't really know what. Each of these elements gives more and more suspicion to the story and creates a tension between the 'present day' events on the boat and 'present day' events after the end of the trip.

There were a few things that I didn't love, mainly because the purpose of them was unclear. Maybe it was just to show that things weren't what they seemed, but some elements seemed out of place. Chiefly, the break in at the beginning of the novel. I felt like this didn't really do much for the story. Even if it was a targetted attack, when Lo gets to the boat, the events that occur don't really link to her. Still, I suppose it gives a sense of paranoia to the reader and to Lo herself. Are they connected? Was whatever happened to the woman in cabin 10 meant for her? Just some things like this that I guess were meant to throw us off the track but didn't seem to lead anywhere.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I read Ware's debut, In a Dark, Dark Wood before it came out and didn't love it as much, but I think she has redeemed herself with this story.

And now the Q&A section!

A luxury boat is such a unique and interesting setting for a story, especially one where a mysterious crime takes place. Why did you choose to write the story in this setting and what does it lend to the story that a typical 'land' setting doesn't?

I think a large part of it was that I was writing the book at the same time In a Dark, Dark Wood was coming out, and so many of the reviews made reference to Agatha Christie and her famous closed room murders. It got me thinking about her amazing settings – like the dahabiya on the Nile in Death on the Nile and of course most famously Murder on the Orient Express. A cruise has some of the same ingredients in that it's a beautiful, luxurious setting – but you can't get away.

How did you come up with the storyline for this book? Was it based on a real event that you had heard about, or was it more of a fictitious account of something that could have happened?
The plot itself is completely fictional. The first scene that came to me was the one where Lo is lying asleep in bed and hears the veranda door sliding stealthily back, followed by a splash. From that point onwards I knew I had to work out what had happened... and why.
But the legal grey area surrounding cruise ships and deaths at sea is unfortunately very real, and I have read accounts of some really tragic disappearances at sea that were never solved. They didn't feed into the main plot, but the idea that someone could go missing at sea without any explanation is unfortunately based in reality.

This is your second novel, still a mystery/thriller but obviously a very different story. What did you learn from writing your debut that you applied to the writing of this novel?
Um... gosh, that's a question I've never been asked before! I don't honestly know. I'm sure I did learn stuff – I mean I hope I did. As a writer you always hope you're improving and growing with each book. But I don't really analyse my writing in that way – it comes from quite an instinctive place for me. I guess it's a little bit like cooking? You get better at tasting and more practiced at using certain techniques, but it's hard to put your finger on exactly what you've learned.

And finally, while I enjoyed the ending, I've seen others wanting a more cut and dry option. What made you leave the ending a little more ambiguous?

I don't think the ending is that ambiguous – if you go back over what happened in the preceding chapters the clues are there to explain what happened. However I do appreciate it's not exactly spelled out – and there's still uncertainty over what happens after the final page. Personally as a reader I like that – life very rarely wraps things up in a neat bow, and so it always feels pat and unrealistic to me when books manage to tie up every single story line in a conclusion. Of course it's annoying when a book poses a question and then doesn't answer it – but I think the answers to all Lo's questions are there, if you look for them. The question over what happens next is something else of course – and I do agree that's not answered. Personally I like open ended books. I hope the reader will decide for themselves!

Thank you so much to Simon and Schuster as well as Ruth Ware for making this blog tour and Q&A possible! Don't forget to check out the other tour stops as well!