I'm always reading something, usually multiple books at a time.
Maybe I've read too many books like this one. Maybe I'm cranky because I stayed up way too late last night finishing this book (I started it too early to "count" for my library's summer-reading program, and didn't finish it soon enough to get started on another book for my summer reading when it officially began on 6/24!). Keep in mind that this book did propel me forward to wanting to know what happened. Also ** = "Fair" for me.
Laura "Lo" Blacklock, a British travel journalist, goes through a traumatic event when a burglar breaks into her apartment, steals her purse, and traps her in her own bedroom by disabling the doorknob (after slamming the door into her face). Despite the trauma, which seems to have left her with PTSD, she accepts a plum assignment on a luxury cruise ship, the Aurora Borealis, which will take its press-junket passengers on a Norwegian cruise. During her first evening, she knocks on the door of Cabin 10, and the young woman inside gives her a mascara, refusing Lo's offer to return it. Later that night, Lo hears a suspicious splash from the veranda of that cabin and, running out to her own, notices a smear of blood on that neighboring veranda. She immediately concludes that the young woman she interacted with has been murdered.
The ship's head of security tells her that Cabin 10 is unoccupied, and sure enough, he is able to show her that it is quite empty and clean. Although he takes her through the motions of speaking with various staff members to try to identify the young woman, he clearly doubts her credibility. After all, she suffered a trauma in her own apartment, is on anti-anxiety meds, and admittedly consumed alcohol on the night in question. When the security officer is clearly done with her, Lo pursues her own investigation, enlisting an ex-boyfriend who is on the cruise, Ben Howard, as well as the ship's owner, Lord Richard Bullmer.
So, I won't give away anything about the way the mystery unfolds. Of course, there are elements of "things are not as they seem." It felt as though it took a long, long time to get to the unraveling. The day after the incident felt at least four days long. Once the unraveling occurred, there was another stall-out for a while. And I guess I would call the resolution semi-satisfying. And exhausting. But this is definitely a YMMV type of situation, and if you haven't read too many of these thrillers where a woman disappears, you might enjoy this more than I did.