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Distress Signals

UK Publisher: Atlantic Books
US Publisher: Blackstone audio

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 the 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 murderer who seems to have found the perfect hunting ground…



‘Distress Signals is a highly confident and accomplished debut novel, impeccably sustained, with not a false note. The exploration of the often murky backstage workings of the luxury liner world is fascinating, and there is a psychologically acute portrait of a killer that is genuinely moving. We will hear a great deal more of this author.’ The Irish Times

‘An excellent debut thriller from Cork’s Catherine Ryan Howard, which may give cruising executives some sleepless nights. – The Irish Independent.

‘Life and death aboard a cruise ship prove very mysterious indeed.’  Publishers’ Weekly 

‘A debut novel with a cracking plot and satisfyingly, eerie writing throughout.’ – Women’s Way

‘Absolutely gripping… her debut is superb.’ Crime Fiction Lover

‘Catherine Ryan Howard’s thriller debut is something special… ideal for fans of Harlen Coben, David Baldacci and James Patterson… A page-turned that should be packed in every suitcase this year.’ Bleach House Library

‘Absolutely gripping… her debut is superb.’ Crime Fiction Lover

‘Incredibly well-plotted tale with realistic and likeable characters.’ Cleopatra Loves Books.

‘A fantastic debut… A great novel that I absolutely sped through.’ A Crime Reader’s Blog

‘Very much recommended.’ BR Maycock’s Book Blog

‘The Verdict: Clever and compulsive. I read it in one sitting.’ The Irish Examiner

‘Catherine Ryan Howard has written a great novel in Distress Signals. It is a tense, fast read with a really great story.’ – Bibliophile Book Club

‘It’s hard to believe that Distress Signals is a debut novel – it is so confident and assured and I can’t wait to see what comes next.’ For Winter’s

‘Distress Signals is an incredibly accomplished, intelligent compelling thriller.’ Random Things Through My Letter Box

 ‘A twisty, gripping read that will keep you guessing right until the very last page.’ Rea Books Review

‘A brilliantly crafted mystery/ thriller.’ –

‘This was very good indeed.’

‘First class maiden voyage for this cracking thriller set on a cruise ship.’

‘Distress Signals is a compelling read that not only looks at the ‘who done it’ but also the ‘why.’ The Very Pink Notebook.

Full of twists and turns, clues and red herrings, it’s an all round gripping read that is sure to be a bih hit in 2016.’

‘A tightly plotted debut thriller.’

‘Distress Signals is a formidable debut.’ Louise Phillips Writer

‘I devoured it in one marvellous sitting.’ The

‘Pacey, suspenseful and intriguing… (A) top class, page turning read. Catherine Ryan Howard is an astonishing new voice in thriller writing.’ – Liz Nugent, author of 2014 IBA Crime Novel of the Year Unravelling Oliver

 ‘An exhilarating debut thriller from a hugely talented author. Distress Signals is fast-paced, twisty and an absolute joy to read.’ — Mark Edwards, #1 bestselling author of The Magpies and Follow You Home]

‘I loved the voice… [An] engaging, unusual and believable thriller – Sinead Crowley, author of Can Anybody Help Me?

‘Twisty and gripping’ – Claire McGowan, author of The Silent Dead

‘I loved this book. It hooked from the beginning and didn’t let go.’

‘Intricately plotted… and a blast to read… I look forward to more from Catherine Ryan Howard.’ – Renee Reads Books.

‘This book is one that will be enjoyed by any reader of mystery novels. – Reviews of Books on my Nightstand 

‘Howard weaves an intricate web of suspense chapter by chapter… and before you know it, you’re trapped inside.’ – Brian Freeman, bestselling author of Goodbye to the Dead.

‘[A] gripping, smart and fast-moving read. [Catherine Ryan Howard’s] insights and thoughtful writing immerse you in a fascinating world of cruise ships and the mysterious, perfect crimes committed at sea. The compelling mystery at the heart o this debut novel is engrossing and [the] clever plotting makies this a terrific debut..’ – Christine Carbo, bestselling author of Mortal Fall. 

A thriller that allows us to believe we can second guess it before the conclusion shows us how wrong we are… Loved it! –

A tense, fast read with a really great story. – Bibliophile Book Club

[A] very cleverly written book and an excellent start into writing, I couldn’t believe this was a debut! Howard has set the standard now and if all her books are as good as this I think she would fast become one of my favourite authors. – The Book Corner

[An] incredibly accomplished, intelligent compelling thriller. This is one of those page-turners, the kind of book that is difficult to set aside for very long, and when you do, you’ll find yourself thinking and wondering about what the outcome is going to be. – Random Things Through My Letterbox

A brilliant, clever and gripping psychological thriller … Beautifully paced and with a fascinating suggestion of the darker underworld of the cruise industry, Distress Signals is a compelling read that not only looks at the ‘who done it’ but also the ‘why’.- The Very Pink Notebook

It’s one book I’ll be hounding everyone read because it’s that good. – Just Book Talk

The suspense and tension mounts with every page … I was suspicious of everyone but could never have imagined the brilliant ending. Full of twists and turns, clues and red herrings; it’s an all round gripping read that is sure to be a big hit in 2016. – The Book Magnet

A stunner of a crime debut … Distress Signals is unique, clever and incredibly well written. It’s definitely one of the standout thrillers of 2016. Catherine Ryan Howard is a major new crime fiction talent and breathes new life into an overcrowded genre. – Jess Hearts Books

The books grips from the very first disturbing, exhilarating chapter … Catherine Ryan Howard is a fine writer and it’s hard to believe that Distress Signals is a debut novel – it is so confident and assured and I can’t wait to see what comes next. – For Winter Nights

Catherine Ryan Howard is a master storyteller. She beautifully crafts a narrative full of tales of relationships gone wrong, missed opportunities, secrets and intrigue. [Questions raised by maritime law] add an extra layer of intrigue to [this] confident debut. – Cornflake Girl’s Musings

[A] great debut novel from Catherine Ryan Howard …  I don’t doubt for a second the beginning of a very glittery, literary career. – Swirl and Thread

Howard delivers the classic page turner elements in Distress Signals. Just when I think I will put it down, she drops a clanger which has me wanting to read more. – The Happy Scribbler

[A] well plotted and characterised story that will keep the reader guessing well into to the third act … an effortlessly entertaining [novel]. – The Novel Project Chronicles

[A] well written début novel that establishes Catherine Ryan Howard as a suspense writer worth watching. – Between My Lines

Every chapter drops a bomb. And that last, final OMG moment! – ChickLit Pad

[A]  fast-paced rollercoaster ride, with believable and likeable characters, very readable narrative and a carefully constructed plot. I had NO idea what the ending was going to reveal and it was fascinating to see all of the jigsaw pieces slot carefully into place. – Off the Shelf Book Reviews

Unputdownable… [One] of those stories where you keep thinking: what if this hadn’t happened? Coincidences, fate… Read this book. – The Misstery

I didn’t like Distress Signals, I absolutely LOVED it. I can’t recommend it enough. – Celeste Loves Books

The main setting was brought to life so well, and the plot so deftly executed, that it’s tempting to suggest that the author is invited to write a series of thrillers aboard cruise ship. But wherever her next thriller is set, I’ll be keen to read it. – Debbie Young

Distress Signals has got to be my favourite read of 2016 so far. Each chapter left on a cliff-hanger and told you something new. – Louise Mullins

‘Though this is Howard’s debut novel, she writes with a complete command of language, plot and the thriller genre.’ –