Review: Catherine Ryan Howard – 56 Days

56 Days
Catherine Ryan Howard

Ciara and Oliver bump together in a seemingly-innocuous moment of time – both waiting to buy their lunch. Ciara seems shy, and is surprised that Oliver would pay her any attention. Oliver is worried about getting her attention, but it’s not clear why. When lockdown against COVID-19 occurs, Oliver invites Ciara to move in with him. 56 days later, there’s a body in Oliver’s apartment.

This was gripping! For a while, I wasn’t even sure which character was the one who had ended up dead. I was even vaguely hoping that it was a total stranger dead in there, but then I noticed the blurb, and that ruined it for me. So trust me, just pick up the book and read it, don’t read the blurb. I stayed up late and got told off – but I just needed to know what happened next!

This novel keeps twisting, but not in a way that is at all predictable. You think that you know everything about all three of the perspectives, but it turns out that 2/3 of them are only telling the reader a partial truth. I had forgotten how much I can enjoy an unreliable narrator when it’s a three-perspective novel (even though normally multiple perspectives isn’t my thing).

I’m absolutely raving about this novel. Go out and buy it. You’d think that a novel set in our current pandemic would be depressing or gloomy, but instead we see people making the most of the opportunities they have – even if it might be to get away with murder. I’ll be interested to see crime patterns in the real world in years to come too!

I can’t wait to unleash this book on others in my life. I’m going to make sure they don’t read anything about it first, and go in blind. Then I’m going to pick their brain at each step to see if they can work out the TRUTH. It won’t be quite as good as a reread for me, but I think it’s still worth it. 5 stars from me.

Allen & Unwin | 5th January 2022 | AU$29.99 | paperback

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