Distress Signals – Catherine Ryan Howard

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…

The description of the book caught my attention, the idea of a something different piqued my interest, I had yet to read a physcological works set in such a different location to the norm. I wanted to read this and I couldn’t read it fast enough.

A tale of twists and turns and intertwining of stories coupled with an original plot, a daring storyline and a heartbreaking story all whilst trying to find a serial killer out at sea.

I found the beginning of the book a slow burner it took me to nearly half way for the plot to really thicken and things get going, it was worth the wait though and once the pace was set it ran at speed pulling everything along with it drawing all the characters together and reader along at breakneck speed uncovering all the mystery and uncertainty around Sarah and how all of the characters fit together.

The main story, the one of Sarah and Adam, was the one that kept me gripped.

I was desperate to know what had happened to Sarah and for his faults I really felt for Adam. I struggled with Sarah’s deceit and wanted nothing more than for her to be found to make everything right again with Adam once again.

The intervention with Peter and his search for Estelle was brilliant and the whole aspect of the story was gripping reading. I wasn’t keen on Romain, I understand why he played his part and how he fit into the story but his storyline only merely hummed alongside the main event. Cleverly written though throwing suspicion and accusation at every turn on every character and his story had an important part to play.

I ‘gasped’ out loud with the turn of events, when characters were revealed and when the plot thickened, twisted and turned rapidly. I enjoyed the way the end of chapters became cliff hangers forcing you to continue to read on with the need to find out more to find Sarah.

My favourite character was always Adam. He tried to move mountains to make everything right again, he was willing to sacrifice his dream to bring everything back and unfairly he was fighting against the world all in the name of love.

I wouldn’t fancy a holiday cruise, admittedly it has really put me off but sparked some very interesting discussions about people who do go missing and the crimes that are claimed to happen on board.

I would recommend this book and even if just for the fact that it is different thriller with plenty of detail and clever writing, not really one to be missed.  

 

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