Before embarking on a press trip on a dream cruise, travel journalist Lo Blacklock is attacked in her apartment. Heavely drunk and under the effect of anti-depressants, she is acting confusely and chaotically, therefore, when she noticed that the woman she met the day before in the otherwise empty Cabin 10 disappears, no one will take here 100% seriously.
'It seemed impossible, surreal I'd witnessed a murder - or heard one, at least - and yet here I was trying to force down pancakes and coffee, while all the time there was a murderer walking free, and there was nothing I could do'. She is starting her own investigation, careless sharing her doubts and making up and down the list of possible suspects without considering the fact that maybe one of those people she is talking with might be the murdered in fact. Careless again, she is genuinely sharing her intention to announce the Norwegian police, during the first scheduled stop of the fancy Aurora Borealis cruise. Therefore, she ends up trapped in an underwater dungeon.
The writing is very good, with descriptions bringing settings to life and some very interesting twists into the story. The suspense is permanent, and some of the last pages are full of it, in a very good creative way. The context of the story also stand out and makes the story realistic. I personally couldn't put the book out until I finished, because I was really curious to figure out what happened, sure that some of the hints spread over the story were in fact greatly deluding. Ruth Ware created an ambiance of tension, where danger is in the air, starting from the table discussion about poisonous foods until the way in which some of the people on the cruise are talking.
However, I couldn't stand the character Lo Blacklock. At all. Psychotic, completely out of herself, incoherent and lacking any depth, either as a human or as a journalist, besides the dependency of anti-depressants. This day-by-day survival helped her perhaps to cope with the race against the clock for her life at the end of the story, but otherwise, whatever how much I tried, I just couldn't come along this character. The way in which she acts to find the murder is erratic if not completely stupid, despite her very good intentions. Not even a very beginner journalist, regardless the domain of activity, will commit so many stupid mistakes.
The book is worth a try though, and has some good combo of ingredients to convince to keep your reading, regardless what you think about Lo. As it happens in real life, it can be that you just cannot stand some people and nothing and no one can really change this.
Rating: 3 stars