Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard – a review

I was sent a copy of Distress Signals from the publisher. This is Catherine’s first novel, and a fantastic debut it is.

Adam’s girlfriend Sarah has supposedly been on a business trip to Barcelona, but doesn’t return to their home in Ireland. He starts to panic especially when the police are not particularly helpful. Days later he receives her passport in the post with a note on in saying ‘I’m sorry-S’. As he tries to find her he connects her to a cruise ship called the Celebrate. He then finds out that a woman named Estelle disappeared previously in similar circumstances, and she is not necessarily the first to go missing from the ship.

This was a great novel that I absolutely sped through. The disappearance of Sarah is intriguing, and throughout the story there are twists and turns that keep you guessing.

Within Distress Signal you get to hear from three different main characters all with their own stories. The character of Corinne who works on the cruise ship is clearly hiding something, and you wonder why someone of her age and health is still working. There is the young Romain who lives in Paris. Then there is Adam who is the main narrator. It’s not until the end of the novel that the stories all intertwine.

The characters are all well written. Adam is likeable and on the whole I felt sorry for him. However you can’t help but think he brings some of it on himself. He is a struggling writer, but is definitely more struggling than writing. His girlfriend has supported him for years seemingly without getting any support herself. It was interesting to follow him as it slowly dawns on him that his life wasn’t necessary as perfect as he thought it was. The writing was good and I can honestly say I now know more about maritime law than I ever realised I would do.

I would thoroughly recommend this novel, although if you are setting off on a cruise any time soon I would maybe leave Distress Signals until you come back. An excellent debut and I look forward to reading more from Catherine.



Filed under book review, Uncategorized

4 responses to “Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard – a review

  1. A great review of a book that is quite different to many in this genre

  2. Pingback: Book One/Two Episode 6: Distress TV Signals (See What I Did There?) – CATHERINE RYAN HOWARD

  3. Pingback: The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware – a review | acrimereadersblog

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