Book Review: The Cruise by Catherine Cooper

I have thoroughly enjoyed Catherine Cooper’s previous two books and so was excited to be sent an advance review copy of her new book – still at C in the alphabet, this time The Cruise! Here’s the blurb:

A glamorous ship
During a New Year’s Eve party on a large, luxurious cruise ship in the Caribbean, the ship’s dancer, Lola, goes missing.
Everyone on board has something to hide
Two weeks later, the ship is out of service, laid up far from land with no more than a skeleton crew on board. And then more people start disappearing…
No one is safe
Why are the crew being harmed? Who is responsible? And who will be next?”

The book starts off on a luxury cruise ship in the Caribbean – so far so swanky. Then it flips to a remote Scottish location – and I have to admit I must have read it after wine / when really tired – as when I opened my Kindle the next day to continue reading I was completely confused as to where the cruise ship was and what had happened – and wondered if I’d opened a totally different book! After a bit of ‘rewinding’ (not sure what the technical term is?!) I worked out what had happened. At first read these two storylines appear completely unrelated – but you know from previous Catherine Cooper books that it’s not going to stay that way! Having been caught completely off guard with her previous books’ twists and turns I was much more alert this time (well, when sober / awake enough, clearly!).

On the cruise ship, one of the dancers, Lola has gone missing – and her dance partner Antonio is distraught. A guest thought she saw someone fall overboard during the New Year’s Eve celebrations – and it’s assumed that Lola has taken her own life. But then other crew members start dying…

The cruise ship setting is described really well and you got a real feel for the boat – however as it’s basically moored up for maintenance work, the setting of the Caribbean isn’t really explored at all.

The geographical location of Laura and her father in Scotland is the other initial setting – and again, you get a real feel for the oppressive and reclusive setting he enforces they live in.

The storylines eventually intertwine – but I don’t want to say too much for fear of spoilers!

I loved the fact that the book tied up all of the loose ends – even if some seemed a *little* far fetched – but that often happens in ‘whodunnits’ I guess.

The book has an incredibly similar vibe to Catherine Cooper’s previous novels – but why mess with a format that has worked so well. And even though I was on my toes looking for clues throughout – and did pick up on some – I most definitely didn’t guess the whole storyline. Enough to be smug – but without being bored – perfect!

The Cruise is out later this month on Kindle, and early next month as a hardback.

A big thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for my ARC.

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