Shack up with your quarantine bae, they said. It will be totally awesome and not terrible, they said...
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Why I love it
Author, You Are Not Alone
When COVID first struck, several authors I know grappled with the question of whether to acknowledge the pandemic in their upcoming novels. At the time, a lot of novelists decided against it: The global crisis was so rapidly-changing and immense that they feared it would overpower all other storylines. But into that conundrum stepped Catherine Ryan Howard, who took the opposite approach and with great success: Not only did she capture the bottled-up emotions and literal confines of quarantine, she also wove them into a pitch-perfect thriller that presents new revelations on page after page.
56 Days situates itself in the jittery, almost otherworldly setting of Dublin just as the virus begins to seep ashore in Ireland. We meet a young couple—Ciara and Oliver—who decide to enter lockdown together, even though they've been on only a couple of dates and each secretly feels a bit wary of the other. Cue the goosebumps, because within a few weeks, someone is dead.
It's a terrific, chilling premise, elevated by the plot's sophisticated architecture. Like a game of Jenga, the chapters pile up with subtle clues and layered twists—until one final piece is revealed, causing everything to come crashing down. This is a first-rate thriller not to be missed.
No one knew they'd moved in together. Now one of them is dead. Could this be the perfect murder?
56 DAYS AGO Ciara and Oliver meet in a supermarket queue in Dublin the same week Covid-19 reaches Irish shores.
35 DAYS AGO When lockdown threatens to keep them apart, Oliver suggests that Ciara move in with him. She sees a unique opportunity for a new relationship to flourish without the pressure of scrutiny of family and friends. He sees it as an opportunity to hide who—and what—he really is.
TODAY Detectives arrive at Oliver's apartment to discover a decomposing body inside.
Will they be able to determine what really happened, or has lockdown provided someone with the opportunity to commit the perfect crime?
Read a sample →