PHOTO: RUTH WARE/SIMON & SCHUSTER
Remember when The Girl on the Train came out and it was immediately pegged as "the next Gone Girl"?
Well, there's a new The Girl on the Train, which means there's a new-new Gone Girl. And it's honestly worth detouring after work to your nearest bookstore to find it.
is the second novel by Ruth Ware, an up-and-coming author who specializes in psychological thrillers and has been compared to Agatha Christie. Her first book, In a Dark, Dark Wood, is currently being turned into a movie by Reese Witherspoon's production company, so you know she's good.
And she is. I read The Woman in Cabin 10 in a matter of hours, much to the confusion of my partner, who sat next to me on a train while I devoured the pages faster than I devour a Big Mac. Seriously.
The Woman in Cabin 10 is set on a cruise ship and follows a group of journalists as they board the boat for a week to test it all out before it officially launches.
Our protagonist is Lo Blacklock, a travel writer who was recently the victim of a break-in and has struggled with depression in the past. Lo is strong, resilient and independent, and she's also untrustworthy. Like Rachel in The Girl on the Train and Amy from Gone Girl, we have a story told from the perspective of a woman who we just can't trust.
One morning, Lo is woken by a scream and gets to her balcony in time to hear a loud splash. She's convinced a body has been thrown overboard, and she sees a smear of blood on the door in the cabin next to her. After alerting security, she gradually finds out no one believes her and she becomes more convinced there is someone on board trying to shut her up.
Given her history of depression and a recent break-in, everyone she tells thinks she is just making it up. While Lo struggles to find someone she can trust, as a reader you find yourself questioning Lo's story.
I asked Ware about this, and she agrees it's a trend. From Gone Girl to The Girl on the Train and now Ware's two novels, each present us with an untrustworthy protagonist.
"It goes to the heart of a fear that a lot of people have—what if I witness something important, but I'm not believed?" Ware says.
"I think many people have had that experience of having to give a statement about something, even something quite minor like an insurance claim on a small car accident, and being suddenly paranoid that you'll slip up and it will undermine your whole account and everyone will dismiss you.
"I think many people can relate to that, and perhaps reading about someone else grappling with their own truth is cathartic."
This book isn't an easy read. It's not something to pick up on a Sunday and read a few chapters of before bed. Once you start, you won't be able to stop. Not only will it consume your attention for hours, but it will infiltrate your thoughts.
It's been a week since I finished The Woman in Cabin 10 and I still feel unsettled. For a book set in the open water, I couldn't feel more claustrophobic.
As for Ware? While Reese Witherspoon is busy adapting her first book ("I'm very happy to leave all that to the professionals," she tells me) she's working on her next one. And if it's anything like In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10, I know we're going to love it.