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!

27 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard

  1. Excellent review! We have been thinking about a cruise next Spring, so maybe I’ll wait until we get back.

    1. haha, yeah, probably that would be best. I have always loved the idea of a cruise though. It sounds like something that would be so much fun and relaxing. Enjoy yours:-)

      1. Problem is…I hate boats and get panic feelings not being able to get off! It is a wedding we are supposed to attend (family), but I just haven’t said yes yet!

        1. Is the wedding going to be on the ship? I have never heard of that before.

          And I am sorry about the panic. I know what you mean though. I have never been on a ship but I have had to cross the ocean on a ferry a couple of times. I don’t know how to swim so panic sets in as soon as the ferry moves away from the land. I can understand the panic of not being able to get off.

          If you decide to say yes, then I hope you will enjoy the trip and the wedding.

          1. Yes! The ceremony is on the ship and I don’t want to miss it, but I don’t want to be panicked either. I’ve had a few panic attacks just on a boat.

  2. I don’t generally read many thrillers, but I’ve definitely enjoyed the ones I’ve read, so I have no idea why I don’t read them more often haha. This one seems so good, I’m glad you liked it! 😊

    1. haha that’s my experience with contemporary and literary fiction. I enjoy them but I don’t read them often because I tend to pick thrillers most of the time.

      Thank you Analee 🙂

    1. It was really interesting. I liked the setting especially. It reminded me of Woman in Cabin 10 which is also set on a cruise ship.

  3. Sounds like a great book! But my hubby and I are going on a cruise next month to celebrate our anniversary, so I think I might not want to read it now, LOL! It definitely sounds like my kind of book though! Excellent review, Diana 🙂

    1. haha, first enjoy your cruise, Stephanie 🙂 And happy anniversary in advance. A cruise trip sounds like such a wonderful way to celebrate.

      I hope that you will enjoy the book when you get a chance to read it. Thank you.

      1. Lol! Thanks, Diana!! I hope we will; it will be nice to relax. And thank you 🙂 It is! We had other plans to travel over seas, but they had to change for now-maybe next year! It’s the celebrating and being together that counts ❤

        Thank you! I'm sure that I will, and you're very welcome!

    1. It certainly is interesting and I like how the author gave details about maritime law explaining some of its complexities. Its an good read Laurie.

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