by Ruth Ware
In my dream, the girl was drifting, far, far below the crashing waves and the cries of the gulls in the cold, sunless depths of the North Sea. Her laughing eyes were white and bloated with salt water; her pale skin was wrinkled; her clothes ripped by jagged rocks and disintegrating into rags.
Only her long black hair remained, floating through the water like fronds of dark seaweed, tangling in shells and fishing nets, washing up on the shore in hanks like frayed rope, where it lay, limp, the roar of the crashing waves against the shingle filling my ears.
I woke, heavy with dread. It took me a while to remember where I was, and still longer to realize that the roar in my ears was not part of the dream but real.
The room was dark, with the same damp mist I’d felt in my dream, and as I pulled myself to sitting I felt a cool breeze on my cheek. It sounded like the noise was coming from the bathroom.
I climbed off the bed, shivering slightly. The door was shut, but as I walked across to it, I could hear the roar building, the pitch of my heart rising alongside. Taking my courage in both hands, I flung open the door. The noise of the shower filled the small room as I groped for the switch. Light flooded the bathroom – and that’s when I saw it.
Written across the steamy mirror, in letters maybe six inches high, were the words STOP DIGGING.
As always I’m a little late to the party. This book was all the rage last year and I’m just getting around to reading it. It was a real page turner! Laura Blacklock, Lo for short, (I hated that nickname!!) is our protagonist in this tense spellbinder. She works for a travel magazine and finally gets her opportunity to move up when she is picked to replace her boss who is on maternity leave. She is booked on an exclusive cruise ship as part of a press junket cruise for its maiden voyage. A few days before she leaves though she is burgled while she is home and the masked man locks her in her room while he ransacks her house. This sets the tone for what happens on the cruise.
‘Lo’ thinks she sees a body dumped overboard from the veranda next to her. She had had a lot to drink, she hadn’t slept since the burglary and her nerves were a wreck. Was it a dream or did it really happen? She can’t seem to get anyone to believe her. But the little evidence she has to prove the girl she thinks was killed really existed seems to be disappearing and she starts to think it is all in her imagination. The she receives a no nonsense message telling her to back off.
Even though ‘Lo’ isn’t a character I particularly liked, Ms. Ware pulled us into her life expertly and we had to find out what happens to her. She used a cool device to keep us flipping the pages to see what happens to her!
Did you read this and what did you think? I read some reviews that weren’t very kind and I was leery to read it but I’m glad I did. I really enjoyed it!