Book Review (ARC): Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard

Damn.

This was an addictive and thrilling read from Catherine Ryan Howard. I’m turning into such a huge fan of hers. The Liar’s Girl was really lovely, and Distress Signals hooked me in with the cruise ship premise (anything on a boat, people!) but this book. Wow. I stayed up till after midnight to finish (could not put it down, and I mean that sincerely – it was so difficult to lift my eyes from my Kindle – the pacing was perfect).

Tense, elegantly written and superbly plotted, Rewind takes place in the Instagram-era, when everything we do is curated on screen, for audiences large and small. The novel is told from varying points of view, and shifts both perspective and time in a way that would have been dizzying in the hands of a less accomplished author.

In one part of the tale, a woman is murdered on camera, and the owner of a series of holiday homes watches from the secrecy of his living room, unable to help, horrified when the killer then smashes the lens. How did he know the camera was there?

Natalie O’Connor, Instagram influencer, visits the holiday homes, intent on discovering the key to a mystery she’s trying to solve in her own life – and she disappears.

Desperate to escape the drudgery of click-bait reporting, an Irish journalist traces Natalie’s footsteps into the dark.

In a run-down guest house in Dublin, a woman plots to be with the man she loves – whatever the cost.

Play. Rewind. Fast Forward. Pause. The book swings back and forth, giving small windows into the picture, letting colours bleed through, frames splice together, static recede, until it’s all there, on the big screen, like a crescendo of sound and light – the final, horrifying truth. What it all meant. What it was all for.

Simply ingenious plotting, with a startling twist at the end, and characters I truly empathized with – like I said before, damn. This is a masterful thriller.

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate it!

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