Throwback Thursday: Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard


This weekly feature is hosted by Renee,  (Its Book Talk). Throwback Thursday offers a way to share some of our old favorites as well  as sharing books that we are finally getting around to reading that were published over a year ago.

Distress Signals.jpgAbout the Book

The day Adam Dunne’s girlfriend, Sarah, fails to return from a Barcelona business trip, his perfect life begins to fall apart. Days later, the arrival of her passport and a note that reads “I’m sorry–S” sets off real alarm bells. He vows to do whatever it takes to find her.

Adam is puzzled when he connects Sarah to a cruise ship called the Celebrate–and to a woman, Estelle, who disappeared from the same ship in eerily similar circumstances almost exactly a year before.

To get answers, Adam must confront some difficult truths about his relationship with Sarah. He must do things of which he never thought himself capable. And he must try to outwit a predator who seems to have found the perfect hunting ground.


Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard is a suspenseful, fast-paced thriller with tension escalating right from the first page. The prologue begins with Adam in the ocean. I was immediately drawn to the narrative and wanted to find out what had happened. Why was he in the waters?

The story is narrated through alternating POVs. There are different story-lines cleverly intertwined with the main narrative with Adam as the main narrator. When readers first meet him, he seems like an ordinary guy at the verge of a career breakthrough. However, his life is soon turns upside down when his girlfriend, Sarah, fails to come home after a business trip.

There is another narrator who I shall not name. Let me just say that their narration was dark, chilling and yet very compelling. I looked forward to this narration with a mixture of anxiety and anticipation. Have you ever felt your heart beat change when you encounter a fictional character? I mean, my heart raced a bit  when I got to the darker narrations and tension went up.

This was a captivating read and I enjoyed all the reveals. I liked the fact that I couldn’t predict any of the twists. I literally had no idea where the story was heading. I liked the details about maritime law although they made me fearful of cruise ships. I enjoyed how the author interspersed details about the crime and the setting with the ongoing mystery of the disappearing women.

Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard is the perfect thriller. It has everything that makes me enjoy this genre. I have no doubt that fans of this genre will love this book!