Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard is a murder mystery about Sarah, a young Irish woman, who seems to disappear off the side of the earth. Her boyfriend, Adam, who has been pursuing a screenwriting career unsuccessfully for ten years while Sarah pays the bills, realizes after Sarah does not call him days after she arrives in Spain for what Adam thought was a business trip and does not arrive on the return flight home that he does not know his girlfriend as well as he thought he did. He discovers that Sarah has an American lover and has boarded a cruise ship for a vacation that Adam didn't know anything about. Not receiving help from the local police, Adam begins an investigation of his own.
I enjoyed the twists and the turns in this book and the wonderful surprises at the end. It definitely wasn't your typical ending to a mystery novel. I also learned a lot about maritime law and how it can effect investigations on a cruise ship. I can now see that it would be simple for someone to disappear on a cruise ship and for them to be lost to the ocean forever. It really makes one think about booking that vacation! The characters were not completely one-dimensional but they were not as complex as I usually like. They were not the black-and-white, good or evil characters either, though, which I really appreciated. While Adam is trying to save the day, he is still a bit of a dud and many will see why Sarah felt the need to stray. This is a very quick read and it does hold one's attention from the very beginning. This was a great mystery novel but part of the story reminded me a lot of We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver which really intrigued me as a big fan of complex family and psychological thriller stories. This book is definitely one that will be enjoyed by any reader of mystery novels.
This book will be available on February 2nd and can be purchased from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Read more reviews on this book on Goodreads.
received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher in order to
review it but that did not have an effect on my review of the book.
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