The Woman in Cabin 10

by

Ruth Ware

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Ben Howard Character Analysis

Ben is a fellow passenger on the Aurora, a travel journalist with a “hipster beard” who used to work at Velocity with Lo and now does investigative journalism at the Times. Unlike Lo, Ben is adept at networking. The two of them dated in their twenties, and Ben has lingering feelings for Lo. On the first night of the cruise, they’re both drunk, and Ben makes an unwanted sexual advance, to which Lo responds by kneeing him in the groin. He helps Lo with her investigation, though, and “raises hell” about her disappearance from the ship.

Ben Howard Quotes in The Woman in Cabin 10

The The Woman in Cabin 10 quotes below are all either spoken by Ben Howard or refer to Ben Howard. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Entrapment and Isolation Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scout Press edition of The Woman in Cabin 10 published in 2016.
Chapter 21 Quotes

I was so busy thinking about Ben that as I rounded the corner near the upper-deck toilet, I almost tripped over Anne Bullmer. She was leaning back against the wall as if steeling herself for something, although whether to return to the party, or make her way back to her cabin, I wasn’t sure. She looked extremely tired, her face gray, the shadows around her eyes darker than ever […]

“I’m fine, I’m just very tired. Sometimes…” She swallowed, and her voice cracked for a moment, something in the cut-glass English accent slipping. “Sometimes it all just seems too much—d’you know what I mean? Such a performance.”

Page Number: 214
Explanation and Analysis:
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Ben Howard Character Timeline in The Woman in Cabin 10

The timeline below shows where the character Ben Howard appears in The Woman in Cabin 10. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 7
Trauma, Mental Illness, and Resilience Theme Icon
...and Archer Fenlan, but she doesn’t see the mysterious girl anywhere. Then she’s startled by Ben Howard, a writer whom she used to date. When he mentions the bruise on her... (full context)
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Wealth and Power Theme Icon
Lo sees Lord Bullmer and is amazed how young he looks. Ben mentions that most of his money comes from his wife, heiress of the Lyngstad car... (full context)
Trauma, Mental Illness, and Resilience Theme Icon
Ambition and Compassion Theme Icon
When Lo is surprised by Ben’s knowledge of everyone aboard, Ben looks at her in surprise and points out that it’s... (full context)
Trauma, Mental Illness, and Resilience Theme Icon
Ambition and Compassion Theme Icon
Lo watches Ben “networking like a bastard” and thinks that this is why he’s advanced to writing for... (full context)
Chapter 9
Entrapment and Isolation Theme Icon
Trauma, Mental Illness, and Resilience Theme Icon
...insomnia. As she’s fumbling to retrieve her room key from inside her gown, a drunken Ben looms over her and makes suggestive comments. Before Lo can stop him, he reaches down... (full context)
Entrapment and Isolation Theme Icon
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Trauma, Mental Illness, and Resilience Theme Icon
Twenty minutes later, they sit in Lo’s cabin, Ben still weak with pain and Lo weeping, telling him she’s going mad from the events... (full context)
Chapter 13
Entrapment and Isolation Theme Icon
...that would be. She tries checking her email and sees there’s no Wi-Fi connection. Then Ben comes into the restaurant. He’s still apologetic about the previous night. He tells Lo that... (full context)
Chapter 14
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Trauma, Mental Illness, and Resilience Theme Icon
...that all the staff have been accounted for. He also says that he’s spoken with Ben Howard, who told him about the break-in at Lo’s flat. Nilsson goes on to say... (full context)
Chapter 15
Trauma, Mental Illness, and Resilience Theme Icon
...a way of making myself more how I really am, less raw.” She reflects that Ben saw her “without makeup” when they were dating, and she doesn’t blame him for breaking... (full context)
Entrapment and Isolation Theme Icon
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Trauma, Mental Illness, and Resilience Theme Icon
Lo bangs on Ben’s cabin door and angrily asks him how he could have told Nilsson these things about... (full context)
Entrapment and Isolation Theme Icon
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Lo agrees with Ben that Nilsson’s reluctance to believe her makes sense, since crime taking place in international waters... (full context)
Entrapment and Isolation Theme Icon
Trauma, Mental Illness, and Resilience Theme Icon
Ambition and Compassion Theme Icon
Lo and Ben agree to meet after the scheduled morning activities so that they can question other passengers.... (full context)
Chapter 17
Entrapment and Isolation Theme Icon
...only an alarmed fire exit that opens into the staff quarters. She also says that Ben had come to the spa looking for Lo. (full context)
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
...and Cole eating lunch. She questions them about last night’s poker game and learns that Ben had briefly left the game to get his wallet. Cole shows Lo the photos he’s... (full context)
Chapter 18
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
...She ends up not saying anything and hurries out of the lounge, almost crashing into Ben on the way back to her cabin. Ben claims he’d left a note under the... (full context)
Entrapment and Isolation Theme Icon
Trauma, Mental Illness, and Resilience Theme Icon
Wealth and Power Theme Icon
Ben had been wanting to tell Lo that he saw a contact listed on Archer’s phone... (full context)
Entrapment and Isolation Theme Icon
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Wealth and Power Theme Icon
As Lo and Ben reenter the ship to avoid Tina on the deck, Ben comments that he would bet... (full context)
Chapter 20
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
When Ben comes along and asks about the conversation, Lo reflects that, though she’d felt “confident and... (full context)
Chapter 21
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Trauma, Mental Illness, and Resilience Theme Icon
Ambition and Compassion Theme Icon
Lo halfheartedly networks during the dinner. Afterward, Ben offers to walk her back to her cabin, and Lo accuses him of lying to... (full context)
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Trauma, Mental Illness, and Resilience Theme Icon
Ben reappears, hurt by Lo’s accusation and suggesting that she’s not looking at things rationally. Lo,... (full context)
Chapter 37
Entrapment and Isolation Theme Icon
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
...left, including some surprising ones, like a kind one from Tina. She also learns that Ben had been “raising hell” since the boat left Trondheim without her. (full context)