Rarely do I read multiple works by the same author very close together unless they are part of a series, but I did pick up both In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware this fall. In a Dark, Dark Wood (IDDW) was her 2015 debut novel, and The Woman in Cabin 10 (WC10) was released this past summer.
|Slightly creepy mystery/thriller during a bachelorette party weekend|
|Locked room style mystery onboard a cruise ship|
- Both books feature potentially unreliable female narrators with some secrets and some mental health issues (more so in WC10). Lee/Nora from IDDW suffers from amnesia with regard to a crucial point, and Lo from WC10 is a functional alcoholic.
- Both involve a fairly random group of characters gathered in a unusual and isolated setting: a rural house made of glass (IDDW) and a small luxury cruise ship (WC10).
- The writing flows well in both and they are quick reads.
- There are more suspects and a different twist in WC10. This is both good and bad. The characters are better developed by far in IDDW, but unfortunately, that makes the final ending more obvious. I hope Ware will write a third novel and find a balance somewhere in between the two.
- Lo's occupation (travel magazine writer) is significantly better developed that Nora's. Nora is supposed to be a crime fiction writer, but Ware does not develop her occupation in any way whatsoever, which is a completely missed opportunity in my opinion.
Ultimately, I really enjoyed both books and gave The Woman in Cabin 10 a 4 out 5 stars and In a Dark, Dark Wood 3.75 out of 5 stars. I look forward to more from this author because I feel she has tremendous potential.