Thursday, October 19, 2023

Finished: Ryan Howard's '56 Days'

 At first glance I thought this book was written by former Phillies player Ryan Howard but I guess not. It was good anyway. Nice job, Catherine Ryan Howard.

It does the flashbacky thing quite a bit, which I don't usually like, but the author made it work; and cleverly so in some instances where she replayed the same scene but from the viewpoint of the other main character. I hadn't run into that before. Kudos for making Haugen jealous he didn't come up with that idea.

No one even knew they were together. Now one of them is dead.


Ciara and Oliver meet in a supermarket queue in Dublin and start dating the same week COVID-19 reaches Irish shores.


When lockdown threatens to keep them apart, Oliver suggests they move in together. Ciara sees a unique opportunity for a relationship to flourish without the scrutiny of family and friends. Oliver sees a chance to hide who -- and what -- he really is.


Detectives arrive at Oliver's apartment to discover a decomposing body inside.

Can they determine what really happened, or has lockdown created an opportunity for someone to commit the perfect crime?

The book starts just before the COVID pandemic hit in Ireland and then continues as they went into lockdown. I was skeptical I was going to like that too, but Ryan Howard did a good job. She was on point with how the pandemic was handled early on, the confusion, the fear, and wasn't preachy about face masks and didn't get into the vaccine argument. Again, kudos for deftly handling that.

The best were the twists. Not just one, but two or three. They whapped me alongside the head like those tortilla challenges on Tik Tok. Impressive.

I'm feeling generous today and going to give it an 8- on the 10-point Haugenometer. That's pretty much in line with the 4.1 of 5 by the Amazonians. And I didn't bother to check those goofy Goodreaders.

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