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Distress Signals: An Incredibly Gripping Psychological Thriller with a Twist You Won't See Coming by [Howard, Catherine Ryan]
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Distress Signals: An Incredibly Gripping Psychological Thriller with a Twist You Won't See Coming Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews

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Length: 368 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product description


Distress Signals is a highly confident and accomplished debut novel, impeccably sustained, with not a false note. The exploration of the often murky backstage workings of the luxury liner world is fascinating, and there is a psychologically acute portrait of a killer that is genuinely moving. We will hear a great deal more of this author." - Irish Times

A debut novel with a cracking plot and satisfyingly eerie writing throughout. - Woman's Way magazine

This is Catherine Ryan Howard's debut thriller, and what a tense, tight, original page turner she's delivered...Writing a thriller which doesn't leave readers with a sense of deja vu isn't easy these days, but Catherine Ryan Howard has managed it triumphantly. Definitely a new, exciting and original author to watch. - Sunday Independent

Catherine Ryan Howard is an astonishing new voice in thriller writing. Make sure the children are fed, the cat is out and the box set is finished before you pick up Distress Signals because it will have to be wrenched from your hands before you will notice the world again. Pacey, suspenseful and intriguing, I highly recommend it for a top class page turning read. - Liz Nugent, author of 2014 IBA Crime Novel of the Year for Unravelling Oliver

I loved the voice and the Cork setting - an engaging, unusual and believable thriller. - Sinead Crowley, bestselling author of Are You Watching Me?

An exhilarating debut thriller from a hugely talented author. Distress Signals is fast-paced, twisty and an absolute joy to read. - Mark Edwards, #1 bestselling author of The Magpies and Follow You Home

Twisty and gripping. - Claire McGowan, author of The Silent Dead

About the Author

Catherine Ryan Howard was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1982. Prior to writing full time, Catherine worked as a campsite courier in France and a front-desk agent in a hotel in Walt Disney World, Florida, and most recently as a social media marketer for a major publisher. She is currently studying for a BA in English at Trinity College in Dublin.

Alan Smyth has worked as a professional actor for more than fifteen years. He has toured extensively in Ireland and the United States, and has worked with such companies as the BBC, Parmount Films, and Showtime Productions.

Bronson Pinchot, an Audie Award-winning narrator and Audible's Narrator of the Year for 2010, received his education at Yale University. He restores Greek Revival buildings and appears in television, film, and on stage whenever the pilasters and entablatures overwhelm him.

Suzanne Toren has recorded over nine hundred audiobooks. She has performed on Broadway and in regional theaters in works penned by Shakespeare, Moliere, and Arthur Miller. She has also appeared on Law & Order and in various soap operas. She was awarded the Narrator of the Year Award for her audiobook recordings for the Library of Congress and has earned more than two dozen Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2373 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Corvus (5 May 2016)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,574 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A stunning crime debut, clever to the core and brimming with plot twists and tension, Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard is a must-read for summer 2016.

After living the ‘struggling artist’ lifestyle for too many years, screenwriter Adam Dunne has finally hit the big time. Hollywood beckons, and so too does a happy-ever-after with his long-term love, Sarah, who has been there for him through thick and thin. First though, Sarah must leave for a work trip to Barcelona. It’s a short trip, only a few days, and so despite being mildly irritated by his girlfriend’s lack of communication while she’s away, Adam doesn’t think too much of it. But then Sarah doesn’t return from her trip. And now her phone has been turned off. Frantic with worry, Sarah’s parents, along with Adam contact the police for help – and that’s where things get really interesting. It soon becomes clear that Sarah has been living something of a double life. The police are convinced that Sarah has left Adam to set up a new life with a new love. But Adam is not so sure. And when Sarah’s passport is sent to him along with a mysterious note, he’s determined to find out the truth.

If you like your crime fiction sun-dappled and multi-layered, then this one is for you. Adam’s investigation into Sarah’s disappearance takes him aboard the Celebrate, the cruise ship where Sarah was last seen with her new man. It’s a double-whammy for Adam; not only does he have to deal with the fact that his girlfriend has seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth, he also has to face the realisation that she’d been indulging in affair on board a fancy Mediterranean cruise. Heartbroken and alone, Adam wants answers.

On board the Celebrate the plot thickens.
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Format: Paperback
If you've ever watched a series of Damages, you will know what I mean when I say that this book started with a glimpse of the ending and I couldn't read fast enough to find out how it got there. The first sentence sees Adam jumping off a cruise liner and my heart rate immediately began to speed up. After a few paragraphs, you realise that he wasn't the only one to go overboard...from then on, I was caught hook, line and sinker!

Adam thinks his girlfriend, Sarah, has gone on a business trip to Barcelona but when she doesn't return he starts to get worried. Sarah's friends and parents have not heard from her and then Adam receives an envelope containing Sarah's passport and a post-it note saying that she's sorry. I had tingles up my spine when Adam got this - has Sarah disappeared to begin a new life or has something more sinister happened? Engage thrusters: increase reading speed.

As if that wasn't intriguing enough, interspersed chapters introduce us to Corinne and Romain. Corinne is working on the Celebrate, a luxury cruise liner, and she appears to have something to hide. Romain's story begins when he was a young boy and trouble seems to follow him around. His story, although disturbing, was really sad at times and I thought he might have had a better life if he had got some help early on. So what do Corinne and Romain have to do with Sarah's story? I'm not going to tell you but it's all part of the mystery of the Celebrate.

Adam starts to dig around to find out what happened to Sarah and his search leads him to the Celebrate. Sarah is not the only person to go missing on that ship and Adam enlists the help of another man searching for his wife. The suspense and tension mounts with every page as the mystery is gradually revealed.
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Format: Paperback
Catherine Ryan Howard has produced a brilliant, clever and gripping psychological thriller in Distress Signals with a high body count, wealth of unreliable characters and clever use of maritime law to muddy the investigative process to such a level I am pretty sure I will never be boarding a cruise ship in my lifetime.

Hooked from the very first page, where our narrator, Adam, is plunged into the dark depths of the sea I found myself needing to continue to read and discover. I loved the way this novel was written, mostly in the first person voice of Adam, the long term boyfriend of the missing Sarah but punctuated with the third person narrative, almost as a completely separate story, of both Corrine and Romain. I knew the three would eventually come together but until they did I could only guess as to how. All three viewpoints were intriguing and at times heart-wrenching - particularly those of Romain and Corrine.

Although there are quite a lot of characters within the story it never got confusing, and they all had a hint of the unreliable in them so I was never quite sure who I should be trusting - is Rose really 'telling all' given she is Sarah's best friend and not Adam's, or does Adam's best friend Moorsey have an ulterior motive given he has recently started dating Rose and everyone says how alike she is to Sarah? Then of course there is the mysterious Ethan and the staff at the cruise company who are clearly lying... let's just say my detective skills were sent in all sorts of directions and I didn't work out what the end result was going to be which made the finale all the better.

Beautifully paced and with a fascinating suggestion of the darker underworld of the cruise industry, Distress Signals is a compelling read that not only looks at the 'who done it' but also the 'why'.

(This review was first published on my blog [...])
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