The Woman in Cabin 10

by

Ruth Ware

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The Woman in Cabin 10: Chapter 20 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Within an hour, Lo “could see why Richard Bullmer had got to where he had in life.” He grills her on her story and presses her on specifics. Without offering any speculations, he just fires questions at her, “the intonation … pure Old Etonian and 100 percent business, with no emotion on his face.”
Lo is impressed by Bullmer’s seeming businesslike detachment and focus. The chummy, everyman façade he’d given off before vanishes as he zeroes in on the matter at hand, suggesting he’s invested in what she’s saying.
Themes
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Wealth and Power Theme Icon
Lo is a bit puzzled by Bullmer’s stoic reaction, unsure what he’s actually feeling. Finally, Bullmer promises to speak with Nilsson and the captain and suggests that Trondheim, the next day’s stop, is the nearest place where help could be found. Plus, if the incident took place in British or international waters, there might not be much that Norwegian police could do.
In contrast to other characters who’ve heard Lo’s story, Bullmer doesn’t give a reaction she can clearly categorize. Bullmer also doesn’t offer much hope of anything being done right away to address the situation. Their position as a vessel in international waters isolates them.
Themes
Entrapment and Isolation Theme Icon
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Related Quotes
After Bullmer gives a sympathetic smile, Lo abruptly tells him about Nilsson’s reaction to her drinking and medication. Bullmer apologizes for the way Lo was treated and promises that he takes her completely seriously. Lo feels relief at finally being believed and thinks that “if anyone had the power to get this sorted, it was” Bullmer.
Bullmer projects trustworthiness, moving Lo to tell him more. After all she’s been through, it’s a big relief for her to feel heard at last. Though Lo doesn’t think of it now, if Bullmer has the power to fix the situation, it also means that he has the power to silence it.
Themes
Entrapment and Isolation Theme Icon
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Trauma, Mental Illness, and Resilience Theme Icon
Wealth and Power Theme Icon
When Ben comes along and asks about the conversation, Lo reflects that, though she’d felt “confident and appeased” at first, Bullmer hadn’t actually promised anything concrete or stated explicit support for Lo’s claims. They talk about Lo’s plans to speak to the Trondheim police tomorrow, and Ben mentions that when Cole cut his hand on the champagne glass, he managed to knock his camera into the hot tub as well, ruining the photos.
Upon further reflection, Lo realizes that her talk with Bullmer hadn’t been entirely satisfactory, showing her sharp mind. Lo is chilled to realize that the accident with the camera must have destroyed the only other evidence of the girl from Cabin 10.
Themes
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Lo figures that someone must have taken advantage of the bustle surrounding Cole’s injury to intentionally destroy the camera, but she has no way of knowing who it was. She feels like the answers to the mystery must be right in front of her, if only she could put the pieces together. There’s still no phone reception, so she’s banking on making it to the police at the nearest opportunity.
Despite her geographic isolation and the sense that only she can unravel this mystery, Lo hangs onto the hope that the authorities will be able to settle everything.
Themes
Entrapment and Isolation Theme Icon
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon