Distress Signals: An Incredibly Gripping Psychological Thriller with a Twist You Won't See Coming Paperback – 5 Jan 2017
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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. Pacy, 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 * An excellent debut thriller from Cork's Catherine Ryan Howard, which may give cruising executives some sleepless nights. * Irish Independent *
When Adam's girlfriend fails to return from a business trip, he sets out to find her - putting him on a collision course with a deadly predator. A deeply compelling, cleverly plotted thriller in the vein of The Girl on the Train and I Let You Go.See all Product description
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- Why did he jump? - Where did he jump? - Who’s after him? - Did he kill her? - Is he trying to escape? - If so, from who?
I think you get the gist of it.
I was so gripped by the prologue, I tweeted the author: “Only 6% into this book and I love it already, it’s so exciting!” A brave move I know, as I then thought ‘oh gosh I’ve tagged her in this tweet, she knows I’m reading her book, what if I don’t like it, this could be awkward?’ I needn’t have worried as this book was breath of fresh air, and easily a contender for the best psychological thriller I have read this year!
The thing about books with great plot twists is it’s difficult to accurately portray how good it is without giving anything away. The main storyline in this book, set in the present, Adam (a very likeable guy) is aboard the cruise ship looking for his girlfriend, unsure if she’s missing, hiding or dead. Every so often the chronology switches to the past and we are given a glimpse into the childhood of Romain, a young boy whose mother also happens to be on board the cruise ship. These two storylines come to together to create an unforgettable ending.
This is not one of those books where you have to wait until the plot twist is revealed to be wowed. There are so many great twists and turns along the way, Howard really keeps you gripped from the first page to the last! A face-paced read, that’s exciting and easy to follow.
There’s a great part in this book where Adam explains what people really mean when they say “I didn’t know what to think” and what it really means to go “weak at the knees.” After finishing the book, this stuck with me as we all use comments like these without really thinking what they mean and I like how Howard explained these two phrases in the literal sense.
Now should anyone suggest I go on a cruise ship at any time in the future, I will simply reply, “no thank you, I need land and I need witnesses, in fact I don’t even want to take a sailing boat out into shallow waters, no thank you!”
Adam and Sarah are your typical young couple who have stuck together through thick and thin whilst he was a struggling screenwriter and she was the one paying the bills, but things are about to change as Adam has finally hit the big time and has been offered a big Hollywood deal. Whilst Adam is busy at home finishing writing drafts, Sarah has to go away to Barcelona on a work trip for a few days but they can celebrate his big success on her return. But Adam and Sarah's parents soon start to worry when they don't hear from her and she doesn't return home when expected as it's totally out of character for her, what has happened to her?
The premise of this book really intrigued me as it's true what they say that sometimes people are not who they seem and that certainly appeared to be true about Sarah once Adam and the police start to investigate why she has not returned home. She certainly hadn't been telling the whole truth about her trip abroad but even so it certainly looked like there was something more sinister at play here about her whole disappearance. Will they ever discover the truth?
Well Adam is certainly determined to do so, especially when the police decide that they don't think she's a missing person, so he takes matters into his own hands and decides to retrace her steps even if it could uncover secrets about Sarah that he'd rather not know. Although the main focus of Distress Signals is about Adam's search for the truth, there are also a couple of other narratives alongside his story which added to the drama and intrigue as we got to know these characters a little more and their thoughts and worked out how they fit into Sarah's story.
Once I started reading Distress Signals I literally could not stop reading, it was definitely one of those 'just one more chapter' type of reads and before you know it you're halfway through the book and are hooked. It's hard to believe that this is the author's debut thriller as her skilled writing certainly pulls you in wanting to know what's going to happen next so I'm definitely looking forward to reading more books by her in the future and hopefully won't have too long to wait for news of her next novel which should be out later this year.
I had added this book to my wish list after hearing some great things about it from fellow bloggers. Having finally getting round to buying myself a copy and reading it, I can now understand what all the fuss was about.
This is one of those stories that has quite a dramatic start and then we go back to events leading up to where the main character finds themselves. Doing this the author ensures that she has the readers attention straight away.
The story also, though mainly told from Adam’s point of view, flicks between Adam and someone called Romi (Romain). I had no idea where Romi fitted in with the story line. Most of his story is told as he is growing up and I have to say it does make for some emotional reading. I would have loved a whole novel dedicated solely to his character as I was instantly drawn to him.
Adam is someone on the brink of hitting the big time. He has been so wrapped up in his work that he has slightly neglected his girlfriend of ten years, Sarah. When she goes missing though he is frantic as she has been the one to hold him together and look after him, there is also no doubting that he loves her very much.
Due to the circumstances of Sarah’s disappearance, the Garda don’t take it seriously and are reluctant to putting any effort into finding her so it is left to Adam to play detective to try and solve things.
Distress Signals is a gripping psychological thriller that certainly kept me guessing right up until the very end. It certainly holds plenty of surprises for the reader and I couldn’t turn the pages quick enough to see what was going to happen next. Will certainly read more books by this author.
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