Thursday 26 May 2016

Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard

Did she leave or was she taken?
The day Adam Dunne's girlfriend, Sarah, fails to return from a Barcelona business trip, his perfect life begins to fall apart. Days later, the arrival of her passport and a note that reads 'I'm sorry - S' sets off real alarm bells. He vows to do whatever it takes to find her.
Adam is puzzled when he connects Sarah to a cruise ship called the Celebrate - and to a woman, Estelle, who disappeared from the same ship in eerily similar circumstances almost exactly a year before. To get the answers, Adam must confront some difficult truths about his relationship with Sarah. He must do things of which he never thought himself capable. And he must try to outwit a predator who seems to have found the perfect hunting ground .... 

Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard was published on 5 May 2016 in trade paperback and ebook by Corvus.

The last two years really have been excellent for fans of good, psychological thrillers. I've read some absolute corkers and most of them have been from female authors. It's probably a difficult time to enter this genre, but Catherine Ryan Howard has certainly entered with a bang. Distress Signals is an incredibly accomplished, intelligent compelling thriller.

Adam and Sarah are a pretty average young Irish couple. They've been together for ten years. Sarah works in recruitment whilst Adam is a writer. Sarah's been the rock in the partnership, earning the money, paying the bills and allowing Adam to achieve his writing goals.

At long last Adam is tasting the success that he has craved for so long. He's sold a script and once the re-writes have been completed, the cheque will appear, and he can begin to spoil Sarah and let her know just how much he appreciates everything that she's done for him. Adam's going to complete the re-writes whilst Sarah is away for a few nights in Barcelona, on business.

Sarah doesn't return. Adam's world is tipped upside down when he discovers that Sarah had not been away on business at all, and his desperate attempts to find out where she is uncovers more and more secrets. Frustrated by the lack of interest from the police, Adam is determined that he will find Sarah and when he discovers that Sarah was last seen on board a cruise ship called Celebrate he decides to take action.

Distress Signals is a multi-layered, very cleverly written story. The oppressive and almost foreboding atmosphere on board the ship is so well done and there is a feeling of unease running throughout the story. I didn't really like many of the characters but I was engrossed by their story. This is one of those page-turners, the kind of book that is difficult to set aside for very long, and when you do, you'll find yourself thinking and wondering about what the outcome is going to be.

A very cleverly constructed plot which is well thought out, pacy and thrilling. Be sure to read this one when you are firmly on dry land!

My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

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 Walt Disney World, Florida, and most recently was a social media marketer for a major publisher.
She is currently studying for a BA in English at Trinity College, Dublin

Find out more about the author and her writing at
Find her Author page on Facebook
Follow her on Twitter @catherineryanhoward


1 comment:

  1. It is interesting how there are SO many female thriller writers at the moment. This is a good one, the cloying atmosphere at sea really adds a good level of unease.....