Book Review: 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard

By Katy Thornton

October 15, 2021 at 12:11pm


As always, slight spoilers ahead!

I know we're all sick of hearing about (and living with) Covid-19. Entertainment outlets became an escape during the pandemic - in many tv shows, Covid-19 simply doesn't exist. This is all well and good for a bit of escapism, but where some authors were stunted by the arrival of Covid-19, others were inspired. 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard came out in August, and now we're here to report it is well worth a read.


Ciara and Oliver are at the beginning of a budding romance when a nationwide lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic hits Ireland in March 2020. Unwilling to break the rules, but not wanting to be separated, they decide to move into Oliver's apartment for the duration of lockdown. Their hope is to give their relationship a chance - but will they like what they get to know about each other? Somewhere along the way, something goes terribly wrong. 56 days after meeting, a body is found in Oliver's apartment.


This novel is brilliantly paced. It jumps back and forth in time, between past and present, feeding its reader answers slowly and deliberately. Covid-19 is the perfect setting of this novel and Howard uses it brilliantly to weave her tale. Both Oliver and Ciara are well rounded characters, and their relationship and circumstances are believable. Generally, my main issue with thrillers is that they sacrifice good writing for the sake of an over convoluted plot, but Howard does not succumb to this. Instead, she creates a well written story that keeps the reader engaged and eager for more. I applaud the move of including Covid-19 in the plot - the risk pays off entirely.


Final Thoughts

If you love thrillers, or even if you don't, I would highly recommend 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard. I can't say much more without spoiling the novel but I will say is that you won't be left unsatisfied.

Header image via Instagram/cathryanhoward

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