Tag Archives: Agatha Christie

The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware

2 Mar
woman-in-cabin-ten-ruth-ware

3 of 5 stars

I’m not going to gush over this book, but I’m not going to hate on it either. It was fine. I listened to the audio version, and that made it a little difficult to follow all the characters, but overall it was narrated well and I don’t think it had an impact on my review.

But I didn’t love it. I don’t think it really falls into the “Mystery” genre, it was more in the Thriller category. “Gaslit woman terrorized on tiny cruiseship” is basically the plot. I did not like the intermittent sections of news that told what was happening on land at all. It was so bizarrely off from what was happening on board that I thought maybe this was supposed to be a sci-fi book and the ship had cruised into an alternate dimension. But no, it was just a bunch of stuff thrown in to throw you off, way way way off, so off that you don’t have the slightest clue what’s going on, much less understand the mystery.

Well, I guess that veered into “hate on it” territory. I didn’t hate the book. I enjoyed it while I was waiting for it to start making sense. But the problem is that the last third, once you’ve finally figured out what has actually been happening, really doesn’t make any sense – not any logical, realistic sense. And I just didn’t buy anything that was happening in the last few days of Lo’s time on board.

On the plus side…. I understand what the author was going for, which is a great murder mystery surrounded by the extra-legal situation of international waters. I think she had a great idea, and she does come close to a very Agatha Christie type story. She just doesn’t quite get there.

Well if you want a fairly easy read, with a lot of mystery and excitement, or want a modern-day Agatha Christie but don’t care a whole lot about logic and sense, then you might enjoy this. That sounds sort of sarcastic, but it’s not. Sometimes you need a Mission Impossible or a Bourne Identity, and sometimes you need a Woman in Cabin 10.

Let me give it a GIANT thumbs up for one thing: Titling it The WOMAN in Cabin 10, and not The Girl. Thank you Thank you Thank you for that.

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The Couple Next Door, by Shari Lapena

16 Aug
the couple next door shari lapeno

FIVE of Five Stars

So excellent!!

This book is like an amazing onion. Every page pulls back another layer and you don’t get to the core until the very end. Some layers expose mental illness, some show characters with their backs up against the wall, some layers have really bad decisions that spiral out of control, and you’re never quite sure who the real sociopath is.

Early on there is a kidnapping, and it’s not hard to figure out who the kidnapper is. That person is revealed early on, so the non-surprise is not a big deal. However the problems in the lives of these characters go far beyond the missing child, and every page turned, every layer peeled away, exposes another motive, another question, and another clue.

The narration jumps from character to character, and like an Agatha Christie novel, each character seems to be guilty of something. But WHAT? Is it possible that everyone is involved somehow in this kidnapping? No, it is not, but there are very few innocent people here.

I read this in 2 sittings. The drama never stops and the story is a constant flow, so it’s almost impossible to not read Just One More Paragraph.

I could take off half a star for a somewhat abrupt ending. Once we figure out the final evil character the book is pretty much over (except for one last, final event) and that evil character is dealt with without much excitement. But the other 99% was so great, I really can’t take off anything. It was a really enjoyable ride and I’m so happy that Netgalley gave me the chance to review an early copy.

One more really minor issue I had: What the hell ever happened to [Graham]??? We go deep into every other character, but this one disappears quickly and we never hear another word. This really is a flaw, as EVERY other character is dealt with thoroughly. But again – this fun ride is good enough that I’m just going to forget it.