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Thanks to NetGalley and Gallery/Scout Press for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for–and so the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…

If you already tend to feel claustrophobic on a cruise ship, The Woman In Cabin 10ย is definitely not going to help. That said, it’s an enjoyable mystery that is somewhat reminiscent of Agatha Christie. There were only two things that kept it from being a perfect read for me. The first (and biggest), was the damsel in distress Lo Blacklock. I really tried to like this woman and have empathy for her, but the author made it nearly impossible. The story begins with a traumatic event happening and that’s before she even gets on the ship. I initially felt badly for her, but when she lashed out at the person who cares the most about her, she began to lose me. In addition to suffering from severe anxiety she’s also an alcoholic, which only adds to her problems. For much of the book she throws herself a pity party, although I did admire her determination to solve the mystery. She definitely could have used some lessons from Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot though. At one point she leaves a key piece of evidence out in the open inside her cabin and is shocked and dismayed when it disappears,even though she already suspects that there’s some sort of cover-up going on. She develops a backbone near the end of the story, but it wasn’t quite enough to save the character for me. I had mixed feelings about the secondary characters, with some being better written than others. The mystery itself though was entertaining and kept the plot moving right up until it’s conclusion. Which brings me to my other issue, the ending. It was just too over-the-top and unbelievable for me, although I appreciated that all the loose ends were tied up. While The Woman In Cabin 10 wasn’t everything I had hoped for, it’s a quick read, and a good pick if you’re going to the beach or on vacation.ย 

 

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