Distress Signals by 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…
I really enjoyed Distress Signals. It was something different in the crime genre with a huge chunk of the setting aboard a cruise ship.
A cat and mouse within a contained area.
But, within that setting and that crime is the relationship between Adam and his missing girlfriend, and this is played out beautifully as Adam learns more about her and more about their life as he searches out answers for himself. It gives the book a solidity, a real grounding, because you know Adam and feel for him and the circumstances he finds himself in. You care as you follow the trail with him from her failing to return, to note, to cruise ship.
He is well drawn and emotional and not just a prop to get you to want to know what happened on board the cruise ship. The whole story is well structured, thought out and developed which takes some doing when you read it and realise the different laws that apply at sea or maybe lack of laws!
There are also a couple of other points of views running throughout this book which really have you turning the pages because you don’t quite know how they are going to link into the main story. One of them is more obvious, you’re just not sure in what way it’s going to work and the other one is less so, but it’s a really gripping read on its own, which keeps you attached to the book, unable to look away. When they coalesce it is beautifully done. I loved it and can’t wait to read the next book by Catherine Ryan Howard.
With thanks to the publisher and author for my copy.