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56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard
Thriller

56 Days

Early Release

This is an early release that's only available to our members—the rest of the world has to wait to read it.

by Catherine Ryan Howard

Quick take

Shack up with your quarantine bae, they said. It will be totally awesome and not terrible, they said...

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Psychological

    Psychological

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MultipleNarrators

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Unreliable

    Unreliable narrator

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Murder

    Murder

Synopsis

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?

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Content warning

This book contains mentions of suicide as well as scenes containing violence directed at minors.

Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of 56 Days.

Why I love it

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.

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Member ratings (26,704)

  • Carey O.

    Medina, OH

    Whoa! This book took me here, there and everywhere! I went in thinking one thing, got led to believe something, learned a thing and then got smacked in the face. What a journey! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Devon F.

    Clermont, FL

    I loved how this book jumped between “now” and “then” and also between both characters’ POVs. Interesting to read what some of us expected from this pandemic (short lived) vs reality! Kept me guessing

  • Adrienne S.

    Sharon, PA

    I loved this book. It kept me on my toes - every time i thought I knew what was happening, something would happen that made me second guess. Kept me intrigued up through the end. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Aubrey M.

    Waterford , MI

    I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel with this book considering it’s playing on the pandemic but WOW I couldn’t put it down. I needed to know the end! First time reading this author and I’m hooked.

  • Mikala T.

    Cheyenne, WY

    So good! I loved all the lil twists that didn't feel out of place and the way everything ended up being flipped. It wasn't the happiest ending, which I also LOVED because nothing is perfect irl. ⭐⭐⭐⭐