Readers are always looking for a thriller as intriguing as Gone Girl or Girl on the Train. A new book that comes close to these with plot twists is The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. Lo Blacklock is employed by a travel magazine in England and has been feeling that she is going nowhere with her career. Her supervisor is pregnant and not feeling that she can tolerate a cruise, so this is Lo’s big break. The cruise will be the maiden voyage of a luxury yacht. There are only ten cabins on the boat and everything is extremely luxurious. The owner, who is a sort of Richard Branson figure, is on board, along with his wife who is recovering from chemotherapy. Lo is a woman who has panic attacks and a bit of a drinking problem. She hopes to excel with a feature article describing the cruise through Scandinavian waters. She is having an experience far beyond an ordinary person’s financial means. Her reputation follows her when she drinks a little too much on the first night and then insists that she thinks she saw a woman fall off the ship. She is also positive that she saw a young woman in Cabin 10, although staff and other passengers insist that no one like that was on the boat. The protagonist deals with her own personal demons as she must cope with very frightening situations. See how soon you can figure out what may have happened and why.
It’s always a special treat to read a well written book set in Michigan. Joseph Heywood has been writing for fifteen years about Grady Service, a “Woods Cop”, or conservation officer who works in the Upper Peninsula. Buckular Dystrophy is the newest book in the series. It follows Grady around through a hunting season. From November 15th to November 30th most of the men in the Upper Peninsula are suffering from what conservation officers call buckular dystrophy or deer killing disease. It seems that all the hunters will do anything possible to get the biggest buck and the most deer possible. Michigan hunting laws are fairly simple and straightforward, but some hunters feel the laws shouldn’t apply to them. This is the year that Grady managed to write sixty-eight violation tickets at one deer camp, uncovered a deer-for-bucks scam, and had his garage firebombed. The bigger question is, why are there reduced numbers of large bucks even seen in the last few years. Many hunters blame it on wolves, but the experts say that isn’t the answer. Grady and a very unusual new partner are on the case.
Chris Bohjalian is an extremely skilled writer in that he never does the same book twice. Each of his novels is a unique story, but the skilled writing is always there. The Guest Room could be considered a thriller/suspense. Richard Chapman decides to throw a bachelor party for his younger brother. In an attempt to keep the party at a certain level of decorum, he hosts the party at his suburban home instead of in a New York City club. He could not have made a bigger mistake. The entertainment hired by his brother’s friend is brought to his house by members of the Russian mob. When the two Russian mobsters are killed by the girls they had supplied for the party, everyone’s life is irrevocably altered. Richard’s house is a crime scene complete with all that ugliness and horror. Richard’s wife is VERY angry at him after the sexual details of the party are disclosed. This event has so much negative publicity that the investment firm Richard works for puts him on executive leave and his employment future becomes a question mark. Also, when mob figures are killed, those who were at the bachelor party may have their lives threatened. Exactly who were the men that were killed and what kind of revenge will be taken?