The next time Carrie appears with food, Lo gets her talking again, but refrains from asking too many questions about Anne’s death at first—she wants to persuade Carrie that she isn’t a killer. Instead, she finds out that Carrie had pretended to be Lo, exiting the boat at Trondheim, so that everyone would think she’d left the Aurora. If Lo had never entered the picture, Carrie would have faked Anne’s disappearance in Trondheim, later to “meet” and publicly fall in love with Bullmer herself.
Lo shows her savvy investigative skill, but also her natural compassion, in trying to continue connecting with Carrie’s humanity. In doing so, she’s able to learn more about Bullmer’s scheme.
When Lo timidly touches Carrie’s knee, Carrie flinches, showing Lo “how frightened she was—how much of that vicious energy had come from terror, not hate.” Carrie slowly reveals more of the story—that she’d met Bullmer at the Magellan club when she was a waitress there, supporting herself as a struggling actress. Bullmer had swept her off her feet.
Carrie’s cringing reaction suggests that she isn’t used to being touched lovingly—perhaps the opposite. Lo readily sees that much of Carrie’s angry bravado had been a façade, showing her compassion once again. She also learns that Carrie doesn’t come from a privileged background and had been easy prey for Bullmer.
Carrie explains that she and Bullmer had carried on a secret affair until, one day, imitating Anne’s mannerisms and wearing one of her outfits, she went out with him in public. They pulled this off successfully a few more times, until Bullmer suggested smuggling Carrie on board the Aurora. Anne would be leaving the cruise early, he claimed, so Carrie could cut her hair and impersonate Anne for the rest of the trip; they could be like a real couple at last.
On the first night of the cruise, Bullmer had come to Carrie in Cabin 10 and told her that he and Anne had had a fight about the affair; he’d pushed Anne, he claimed, and she hit her head and died. Bullmer said that if there was a police investigation, Carrie could be prosecuted as his accessory. So they’d have to tip Anne’s body overboard in hopes of nothing being traced back to them.
It sounds as if Bullmer had this plan in mind all along, dragging Carrie into it at the last minute, when she didn’t have much hope of escape.
Listening to Carrie, Lo restrains herself from voicing objections to various holes in the story. It seems clear to her that Bullmer had never meant for Anne to leave the ship alive, and that Carrie is willfully blind to the truth.
Lo perceives that Carrie has been strung along and manipulated by Bullmer from the beginning, but if she’s fully invested in Bullmer’s story, then Lo’s logic is unlikely to sway her right now.
Lo tells Carrie that Bullmer is going to kill them both, but that Carrie is capable of getting them both out of there. Carrie insists that she loves Bullmer and would never betray him. Lo asks if Carrie loved him so much that she helped him kill his wife. At this, Carrie cracks. She says that at one point, the suitcase containing Anne’s body had opened, and she thought she’d seen Anne’s eyelids flutter. She screamed, but Anne’s blood still felt cold, so she shut the case and threw it over the side.
Lo finally hears the full story of what she’d overheard that first night, including the scream and the splash. Carrie is haunted by the possibility that she might have thrown Anne overboard while she was still alive.
Lo sees how guilt-stricken and afraid Carrie is and appeals to her conscience—Carrie doesn’t want another death weighing on her; she can stop worse from happening. Carrie says she’ll think about it. As she leaves the room, she notices the copy of Winnie-the-Pooh and comments that she’d loved the book as a kid. Her mom had called her Tigger, because no matter how hard she fell, she always bounced back.
Having seen Carrie’s humanity and vulnerability already and built up some measure of trust between them, Lo tries to reach that part of Carrie again. The two have a further bonding moment over a childhood favorite they have in common.
Lo briefly wonders if she’s developing Stockholm syndrome, but she realizes that, in any case, Carrie “had a considerably more advanced case than I did … we weren’t captor and captive, but two animals in different compartments of the same cage.”
Stockholm syndrome is a psychological condition in which a captive develops an emotional bond with his or her captor, as a survival strategy. Even though Lo is physically held captive by Carrie, it’s clear that Carrie is emotionally captive to Bullmer. In a certain way, she’s more trapped than Lo.
After Carrie leaves, Lo spends the day pondering her fate and Carrie’s. She’s sure that Bullmer only intended for Carrie to live long enough to perform her part in the plan. That evening, Carrie bursts into the room again with news—Bullmer, who’d been off the ship in Bergen, has sent a message saying he’s coming back tonight.
Lo sees the full terrifying picture of Bullmer’s exploitation of Carrie; the question is whether Carrie will come around to seeing it, too. With Bullmer on his way back to the Aurora, things are coming to a climax.
On Tuesday, September 29, the London Telegraph reports that a second body has been found in the search for Laura Blacklock.
This builds suspense as it becomes clear that someone else is about to die—but whom?