Where's the book?

Sunday, August 28, 2016

#24 girl on a boat

I do like a good thriller, even if it has "girl" in the title. In this book's case, the girl is upgraded to a woman, but it's the same idea. The only other change is the female in the title, the actual woman in cabin 10, is not the narrator or even the main character. She's a young woman, seen briefly in a cabin on a cruise ship by our story's narrator. No one else sees her. No one else seems to know she ever was there. In fact, the woman is cabin 10's existence is strenuously denied by everyone involved. Hence the mystery.

The only proof that the narrator has is the tube of mascara she borrowed from the woman in the next cabin. But the tube mysteriously disappears -- and that disappearance ironically proves that the woman in cabin 10 did exist. Because if she didn't, and if she hasn't met with foul play, then why would anyone need to disappear the mascara?

It's a twisty, turny book, decently (not brilliantly, not even very well) written, with a neat resolution that's mostly unexpected. My only complaint is why do the narrators of these types of books have to be such pathetic wrecks? The main character in The Girl on the Train, this main character, and so many others -- they drink too much, they wallow in self-loathing, they're clinically depressed, they have sex with the absolutely wrong men. At lease the gone girl in Gone Girl was confident and powerful, although she was a total sociopath. Can't there be a sane, smart, together female who comes across a crime and attempts to solve it? Whatever happened to stories like the one I read a few books back, Compromising Positions? Decently written (as good as this one or The Girl on the Train for sure), and the heroine is smart and confident. And that was the eighties! Have women gotten more delicate and depressed and drug-addled since then? Maybe. Miss Marple was more of a strong, "modern" woman than these gals.

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