In this tightly wound story, 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. 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 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…
With surprising twists and a setting that proves as uncomfortably claustrophobic as it is eerily beautiful, Ruth Ware offers up another intense read.
This is the first book I have read written by this Author.
I have to start out by saying that I found the main protagonist the least likeable character I’ve read in a very long time, and despite the traumatic events she experiences at the beginning of this book does not improve as the storyline progresses. I have no insight into why an Author would write a character in this manner; she is blatantly rude to everyone she comes across, including the man she is supposed to love, and then shocked and surprised when they refuse to give credence to her claims. The supporting characters are dealt with less harshly, and some of them are far more likeable than the main, who seems to find a reason not to like or trust anyone. I can only assume that the Author including a drink and mental health problem to the main character is their way of trying to explain away the bad behaviour. She is not a strong woman in any sense of the word, and rather than showing an empowered woman who is holding her own in her chosen profession, the reader is subject to a woman who falls apart at the slightest noise, and sees dangers lurking in every shadow and corner.
The book itself is nothing new plot wise, in fact it read pretty much as a modern-day rehash of the old Agatha Christie ‘locked room’ cosy mystery; just not as well penned or suspenseful. It is also full of implausible moments and bad dialogue to boot; after all how many times does the reader need reminding that the main character did not read the press package? This book could have been so much more given the setting and its starting out well-paced and somewhat suspenseful, it is a shame that the Author could not have kept this tone throughout the novel.
If you enjoyed this Author’s debut novel, you may well enjoy this offering; as for myself I can’t, in all conscience recommend this book and will not be reading anything else by this Author.