The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

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Lo Blacklock, a journalist for a travel magazine, has been given the opportunity of sailing away on the Aurora for a week long luxury cruise. The Aurora is a small, intimate ship with only a few cabins and the select special guests who were picked for her first voyage. Mixed in with socialites and other journalists, Lo is ready to relax and enjoy the plush beds, fancy food and endless champagne.

On her first night on the ship Lo is getting ready for the formal dinner and she realizes she forgot some of her makeup. She knocks next door, at Cabin 10, and borrows mascara from the woman there before going back to her cabin to finish her preparations.

The night goes as planned; beautiful dinner, schmoozing with the other attendees and drinking a little too much.  After a mostly pleasant evening, Lo returns to her cabin to snuggle down into her bed for her first real night of sleep in a week.

Then, a scream. A splash. Lo rushes to her balcony only to see swirling dark waters and what she thinks might be blood on the glass of Cabin 10. But before she can process what might have happened, the blood is gone, the night is silent again.

When she investigates the cabin next door with security, it’s empty. They inform her that the planned guest for Cabin 10 never arrived and that no passenger is missing. The cabin is bare, as if that woman had never existed.

Now Lo must get to the bottom of what she heard and saw, while trapped on a small boat with a group of people she doesn’t know. Who was that woman? Was she murdered? Was Lo dreaming? What really happened that night?

“The Woman in Cabin 10” is a claustrophobic murder mystery with a few surprising twists to keep us turning those pages. Eery and engrossing, this book is hard to put down. Ware has a talent for picking locations for murders that are deliciously creepy in their own natural ways. A glass house in the heart of a forest (In a Dark, Dark Wood) and now a small boat in the middle of an empty ocean.

After finishing this novel, you’ll check the locks on your doors before sleeping at night and possibly think twice about that vacation you were planning.

After all, boats can be very dangerous places.

Release date: July 19, 2016

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The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

“Everything was the same and everything had changed. Outside the city and the voluble traffic and the millions of human eyes and talking mouths and crafty habituated hands testified: The accidental epic of ordinariness goes on. A godless universe of flailing contingency – now with the hilarious difference of not being in it alone.”

Jake Marlowe is an educated, classy, thoughtful and introspective werewolf. He loves to read, drink scotch, smoke a bit and write in his journal. And hes had quite a bit to write about for the past two hundred years. These days though, with the one love of his life long gone and enough experiences to last him multiple lifetimes, Jake feels it is his time to let it all go. Hes tired, but most of all, hes lonely.

“I still have feelings but I’m sick of having them. Which is another feeling I’m sick of having. I just don’t want any more life.”

So when he finds out that he is the last werewolf alive, he accepts it and welcomes the release that will be his own death when the hunters come for him. Alas, nothing in life ever goes as planned. Instead of gaining a clean death, the situation becomes confusingly messy. The hunters have fractions within their ranks, the vampires are after Jake for unknown reasons and even random humans seem to be trying to kill him or cage him. While Jake is just trying to survive long enough to figure it all out, he instead discovers something to truly live for.

I admit, I hesitated upon picking up this book. These days anything with Werewolf in the title (especially books that also have vampires in them) tend to make me feel queasy enough to put it right back on the shelf. I always wonder, is this going to be another paranormal love triangle with no original plot or character development? This time though, it had come highly recommended and the reviews were undeniably positive, so I thought I’d give it a whirl. And I must say, The Last Werewolf was a pleasant surprise.

Jake’s story is well written with some nicely sculpted turn of phrase. He quotes poetry, literature, history and has a way with words. Though Jake may spend a little too much time examining his own life, his will to live and his reasons for living, I guess after 200 years anyone might become a little too introspective. Especially if you were suddenly surprised with something worth living for.

The Last Werewolf is hard to put down once you read the first couple plot twists. It is a little more serious and sexy than expected, but it is also more eloquent. Jake, though he is a monster, is as deeply human as a creature can be. He experiences endless regret, loneliness, stupidity, fear and eventually, is even blinded by love.

If you think supernatural creatures should be smarter, faster and less sensitive than the rest of us, this novel may change your mind. As Duncan writes it, they are simply humans trapped forever by fate, chance or accident into a life that they did not choose. And in the end they must do what we all do, accept who we truly are, inside.