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56 Days (2021)

de Catherine Ryan Howard

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Here's a very twisty Dublin-based mystery set at the beginning of pandemic lockdown. There are alternating chapters from Ciara, a newcomer to the city, who cute-meets Oliver, a very good-looking but nervous architectural engineer, and a team of detectives who find a body wedged into the shower in a corporate apartment. Each chapter is dated, "78 days before", "22 days ago", etc, and the reader needs to give those hints his/her full attention. Everyone's got something to hide, except the Garda (police), who describe the condition of the body in sickening detail. It's those nifty twists and the black humor and character development that make this an irresistible thriller. ( )
  froxgirl | Jan 14, 2022 |
This is crime fiction but also, this is a story about the legacy of tragedy and loss. We have what looks like a romance - until it becomes an investigation into a death, perhaps a brutal murder, and we begin to reevaluate everything...there are several mysteries at the heart of the story, from who exactly are the two main characters, to what happened years ago, and of course what happened to the body in the apartment?
The detectives are well drawn, the relationship between Ciara and Oliver from their first meeting to the dangerous revelations that follow is very well handled. I liked the alternating POVs, even those that went over the same scene we've seen from the other person's perspective because the insights were handled with such nuance.
Another huge plus for me was the effortless and authentic rendering of Dublin, my home, without going into longwinded descriptions or sounding like a travel guide. Similarly the backdrop of Ireland entering Covid lockdown, from the initial "two weeks" and "not a lockdown" to the realization that this was not going away, is authentic and accurate. Non Irish readers can be confident that Howard is presenting an accurate picture.
I haven't read her other book, but am sufficiently impressed to go look for it now. Highly recommend. ( )
  Germoorkensbyrne | Jan 4, 2022 |
Catherine Ryan Howard was a new author for me ~ I'm greatly impressed by her approach to writing. This novel effectively showcased how to switch between scenarios that occur in different time frames and from the perspective of more than two characters. Too frequently writing with time and perspective changing back and forth is muddled and yanks the reader right out of the narrative. Not this author.

Having said that, I rated the story no more than 3½ stars. Towards the last quarter of the book, there was an extremely annoying deception. After re-reading the build-up to this point (to be sure I had correctly absorbed the way facts were presented), the duplicity was apparently intended. Why did the author deliberately mislead the reader? As the story was reaching its big twist in the plot, I still believed that Ciara was Paul’s sister, not Shane’s. Since this was an e-book, I couldn't even throw the book across the room in frustration.

Despite what was a glaring flaw for my liking, it was a heck of a good read. Suspenseful. Bravely set in the beginning of the Covid panics with lockdown in Ireland. Conveyed the main characters' developing relationship believably. Yet you simply *know* there's something subtly weird going on. The author does an amazing job of making the reader feel the sense of waiting for the other shoe to drop. The supporting characters are skillfully drawn with realistic flaws and strengths, to the point each person felt so genuine I wondered if CRH actually knew these people. Were it not for the flaw in plotting, this could have been a strong 4½-star read. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Dec 15, 2021 |
My second Covid pandemic book! And this one was really good. Oliver and Ciara live in Ireland and decide to live together, just days after meeting, really, in order to keep their fledgling relationship going. The book goes back and forth in multiple timelines, so it was fun keeping track of whose voice I was hearing and from when. It wasn't ever so complicated, though, that I had to go back and reread anything. The main characters were all likable. I liked Detective Inspector Lee from the get-go. I wouldn't mind reading more of her adventures in policing. It was a little annoying, at first, that the case wasn't solved, but I ended up liking it more that way, knowing Lee isn't letting it go, even though she doesn't have any hard evidence to proceed. ( )
  relorenz1064 | Nov 21, 2021 |
A young couple gets to know each other during quarantine, but everything may not be what it appears. ( )
  dcoward | Nov 1, 2021 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Catherine Ryan Howardautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Collins, Alana KerrNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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