56 Days, a review by Cat

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56 Days
Catherine Ryan Howard

Published August 19, 2021
By Corvus Books
450 Pages

Find it on Amazon | Goodreads

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How would you commit the perfect murder? Could you do it – and get away cleanly? This question sits high on the minds of the characters within 56 Days.

56 days ago, Ciara and Oliver had the perfect meet-cute. They found each other in the supermarket, and it was all thanks to one item she was carrying. Now, they’re talking about moving in together. Just short-term, while they try to cope with the early days of Covid-19.

Now? Now the police are investigating a body, and I’ll give you three guesses where it was found.

56 Days wins the honor of being the first thriller novel I’ve read that was actively set during the pandemic. Having 56 Days set during the earliest days of the pandemic was chilling. Literally, it gave me the chills, as this setting was borderline too real for me, and it certainly added to the impact of the story.

I know that this is probably not something all readers will appreciate, though! Sometimes we want an escape, and a reminder of the past year is not precisely that. Still, I have to give Catherine Ryan Howard so much credit for what she did here.

56 Days is told through three different perspectives and unfolds at a cautious pace. Ciara and Oliver’s story primarily takes place in the past (granted, it’s not a distant past – only 56 days ago), while our good detective is stuck in the present, trying to work her way through what happened.

This shifting nature allowed the mystery to hang in the air than it otherwise could have. It kept me on the edge of my seat, trying to guess the who, what, why, and how. It kept me perfectly entertained for the evening.



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