The double unsettling of a good thriller set in the time of a pandemic

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angela c Avatar


Another great thriller by Catherine Ryan Howard. Short sharp chapters quickly allow the reader to see the main characters develop and there are only two main characters -Oliver and Ciara, until we meet detectives at the scene of a crime at Oliver’s apartment.

Oliver and Ciara meet, not yet known by chance or planned, in a supermarket 56 days ago as news of the Coronavirus spread is breaking. After a couple of dates and Ireland sets a curfew and eventually lockdown Ciara moves in to Oliver’s spare room to stay together.

There feels an unease here, it doesn’t feel like a whirlwind romance, more of a practicality so why is Oliver so desperate to keep Ciara in his sights?

The chapters are in three timeline sections 56 days ago when they met, 35 days ago when they move in and today where detectives are at Oliver’s flat and it is thrilling to find out what happened over these times.

The undercurrent of the growing virus spread makes it relatable too and links with the story well. Oliver has a very good reason for avoiding the virus obsessively as he can’t risk getting treatment and his identity being revealed, so who is he?