A luxury cruise with a small number of guests takes off in search of the Aurora Borealis by way of the North Sea. All goes well until a woman vanishes, pushed off a balcony into the freezing waters below, with only one witness: travel journalist Lo Blacklock, who scrambles to piece together the clues and uncover the truth. Sound like an Agatha Christie tale? Not quite, but The Woman in Cabin 10, by English novelist Ruth Ware, has earned favorable—and apt—comparisons to the works of the reigning queen of the mystery genre.
Blacklock, a writer for the travel magazine Velocity, gets the opportunity of a lifetime when her boss assigns her to cover the inaugural voyage of “a boutique super-luxury cruise liner” that journeys through the Norwegian fjords. Two days before departure, Blacklock suffers a traumatizing break-in and fights with her long-term boyfriend. She arrives on the ship sleep-deprived and shaken, and takes to self-medicating with alcohol her first night on board. When she insists to ship security that she heard a woman thrown overboard, she is met with skepticism.
Blacklock knows what she has heard and fights to prove herself while interacting with a motley cast of characters, including notable travel journalists (one of them an ex-boyfriend) as well as billionaires and major society players. Even as she receives threatening messages and loses faith in those around her, Blacklock must also network to complete her article in order to keep her job. It’s a race to the end as Blacklock seeks to prove her credibility—and maybe save her own life. Fast-paced and entertaining, The Woman in Cabin 10 is the perfect accompaniment to a cruise, especially one through Scandinavia.