Lo Blacklock is a travel writer with a wee bit of anxiety, boyfriend problems, and a ticket on a luxury boutique cruise ship set to sail the seas. So when she sees a mysterious woman in the cabin next to hers, cabin 10, and then hears a body go overboard in the night and never sees that woman again, she gets suspicious. In the style of Agatha Christie and so many others, Lo begins to question the people around her, including an ex-boyfriend, fellow travel writers, wealthy investors, socialites, and the billionaire that owns the whole ship. Who was the woman in cabin 10? Where did she go? And what is going to happen to Lo if she finds out?
This book is perfect for lovers of suspense thrillers starring women that aren’t completely reliable narrators, at least to some of their fictional peers. I’d best compare this book to The Girl on the Train or The Woman in the Window, where a bystander is brought into the mix of things and becomes inextricably tied to the action.
I personally thought this was told really well, kept me guessing til the very end, and provided lots of red herrings along the way that entertained me and allowed me to get to know the other guests more. There was a lot of tension (affairs, social climbing, sex with a bellhop) below the surface that was briefly mentioned but ultimately became overshadowed by the real story, but I think that’s good. It made the rest of the passengers feel real instead of just cardboard cut-outs surrounding the villain.
Lo as a character is flawed in many ways, but also in that endearing way that makes you root for her despite her obstacles. She’s anxious, just experienced a break-in that has left her paranoid, has had a breakdown in the past, is struggling to understand her relationship with her American boyfriend, and drinks too much, but you still don’t want her to die, and let me tell you, you think that might happen a couple times.
This book is a perfect suspenseful read for a warm winter night by the fire covered up in a throw blanket and with a huge mug of hot chocolate so that you don’t have to stop reading to refill. This book may make you wary of ever traveling by sea again, but it’s a really fast moving book that keeps you guessing about how it will end because of some really cool news clippings that Ware includes throughout
I counted this for my Pop Sugar Reading Prompt: a book set at sea/on a boat
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