Book Review: 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard

‘56 Days’ is a crime novel by Catherine Ryan Howard, set in Dublin, Ireland in and around the dates of the original Covid19 lockdown. It is, in essence, a theoretical locked-door murder, with an assumed adherence to the lockdown rules as they came into place at the time.

I read this as an audiobook and loved how the narrator, Alana Kerr Colins, told this story. It was gripping and exciting, I loved how she narrated the story. It was my first ever audiobook and I really enjoyed feeling like this story was being whispered to me, for my ears only.

The story follows two young professionals, Ciara and Oliver, meet in the queue at a Tesco self-checkout just weeks before lockdown begins. As their relationship begins to bloom, they decide to move in together, lest they have to spend the supposed two-week lockdown in complete isolation. But, only one comes out alive. 

The story is told in split narratives and in the third person, allowing the readers inside the heads of multiple characters at different points in time, so you as a reader can theorise and speculate what happened behind those closed doors, along with the police offices, Leigh and Carl who are investigating the discovery of a decomposing body in one of the apartments.

I loved that with each glimpse into the different characters minds, new pieces of the puzzle were unveiled and the characters that you thought you had known shift instantly under your feet. It was a great exploration of motives and gave readers an intimate look into the different peoples minds. I really enjoyed reading the book, and the second I had put it down, I wanted to read it again, knowing the whole story and being able to go back over the sequence of events with the bigger picture in mind. I loved it!

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