Andrew, the manager of Shanamore Cottages, watches his only guest via a hidden camera in her room. One night the unthinkable happens: a shadowy figure emerges on-screen, kills her, and destroys the camera. But who is the murderer? How did they know about the camera? And how will Andrew live with himself?
Natalie wishes she’d stayed at home as soon as she arrives in the wintry isolation of Shanamore. There’s something creepy about the manager. She wants to leave, but she can’tnot until she’s found what she’s looking for …
Psycho meets Fatal Attraction in this explosive story about a murder caught on camera. You’ve already missed the start. To get the full picture you must rewind the tape and play it through to the end, no matter how shocking …
|Product dimensions:||9.10(w) x 6.00(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Catherine Ryan Howard was born in Cork, Ireland. Her debut thriller, Distress Signals, was an Irish Times and USA Today bestseller and was short-listed for the Crime Writers’ Association John Creasey New Blood Dagger and the Irish Crime Novel of the Year. Her second novel, The Liar’s Girl, was a finalist for the 2019 Edgar Award for Best Novel. She lives in Dublin.
Read an Excerpt
In a room of shadows, a woman sleeps.
She is the bulge on the right side of the double bed. Strands of dark hair splayed across a pillow. One bare arm outside the sheets, a wedding band visible on her ring finger.
Unaware that she isn't alone.
This room is an unfamiliar one for her, even more so in the dark. Were she to wake up right now she might lift her head, prop herself up on her elbows, and turn her head to look around it. Gradually her eyes would adjust and shapes would emerge from the dark.
After a moment, she would remember where she was and why she had gone there.
How long would it take her to see the shape that doesn't belong?
The shape that stands stock still in the corner, arms down by its sides. The clothes are dark and bulky — layers, perhaps against the winter cold. Gloves on the hands, a balaclava on the head. The balaclava is twisted slightly to one side so the eyes are barely visible and the slit for the mouth shows only some cheek.
Watching and waiting.
Waiting to use the knife with the long, serrated blade pressed against the side of one leg.
The sleeping woman stirs — her legs move; she turns over; the arm slips beneath the covers — but she does not wake. The dark figure moves closer to the bed until it is standing beside it, looming over her. She does not wake. The gloved hand that isn't holding the knife reaches out and gently strokes the woman's face and still, she does not wake.
The intruder makes a circle with a thumb and middle finger and flicks the woman's cheek, hard, because — it's clear now — she is supposed to be awake for this.
A moment's delay.
Then a frenzy of motion.
The woman's eyes open. Her body rises, head and shoulders lifting from the pillows, legs rising beneath the sheets. She opens her mouth as if to scream but the figure clamps a hand over it, pushing her back down. The hand that's holding the knife lifts to pull back the sheets with a finger. The woman is wearing a pair of shorts and a camisole top. Her pale limbs are bare, exposed now. She sees the blade and her efforts to get away instantly intensify. Now her arms are flailing wildly, her legs kicking, her whole body jerking and contorting and squirming in the bed, fingers clawing at the balaclava — The knife rises slowly in the air and then comes back down quickly, with force, plunging through the thin material of the woman's clothing and disappearing into the concave flesh of her stomach.
Lifts again. Down again.
Into the chest.
Lifts again. Down again.
A slash across the woman's forearm. Lifts again. Down again.
Deep into the right side of her neck, just under the jawline. The intruder steps back.
The woman's hands go to her neck and almost immediately her fingers are stained by the blood that flows from the wound there. Her mouth is open as if in a silent scream.
Dark, spreading stains.
She turns, rolling on to her right side. Her uninjured arm reaches out, past the edge of the bed, towards the intruder, as if asking for help.
The figure in black bends to lay the knife on the bedside table before going to the chest of drawers pushed against the wall opposite the foot of the bed and destroying the camera hidden there.
It took Natalie most of the day to get away from Dublin City. From all cities. Cork was the last one she'd seen. She'd taken the train there first thing this morning, then transferred to this bus. It had snaked through Midleton — goodbye towns, too — and onwards, ambling along narrow, winding roads, the kind where the single white line painted down the middle was already more gone than still there. By the time she caught her first glimpse of the sea, she was 300 kilometers from her own front door. The traffic had thinned to the occasional passing car but the road twisted so much that the driver felt the need to blast the horn before each and every bend.
Natalie watched the bars signaling reception in the corner of her phone's screen disappear one by one. She'd already lost her mobile data; it had dropped out somewhere between Castlemartyr and Ladysbridge. The device in her hand was now rendered almost useless. She pushed through the urge to connect to the bus company's Wi-Fi for the last few minutes of the journey and let the phone slip into the depths of her handbag instead.
For all of a minute it felt like peace, a welcome release.
Then her fingers started to twitch and her palms grew clammy.
Natalie turned to concentrate intently on the view out the window. There was a stretch of smooth, gray sea wedged between the horizon and the darkening sky, marred only by two blots, one large, one small. Islands. She could just about make out the lighthouse sitting atop the larger one, looking like the nib of a fine pen from this distance. Then the bus took a hard right and there were only fields and trees and neat, old-fashioned bungalows, all surrounded by low pebble-dashed walls and set close to the road.
Then a sign for the kiln design store & café 500m. Another one right behind it: welcome to shanamore. She was here.
For the entire journey, a burning heat had been rushing against the back of Natalie's legs from a grille beneath her seat. She was desperate for some cold, fresh air but also to stay on the bus, to let it take her back out of here again, to go home and talk to Mike and to forget about this while there was still time to.
But when the bus lurched to a stop, she got up and got off it. She wasn't prepared for the icy blast of late November air that pricked at her skin and instantly infiltrated her clothes. Gasping at the shock of it after the thick heat of the bus, Natalie hurried to pull on the coat she'd carried outside draped over an arm.
The train journey from Dublin to Cork had been just under three hours and she'd spent it obsessing over images of Shanamore she'd found online. This was having a disconcerting effect now that she was here. It was as if she was touring the set of a movie she'd watched a hundred times: everything was strangely familiar and yet totally foreign at the same time.
The bus had stopped outside the entrance to the car park of the Kiln, a trendy design store shaped like a barn that presumably sold its locally produced crafts to well-heeled foreigners and its flat whites to local farmers. Its car park was the only smooth stretch of blacktop in Natalie's line of sight. There was the church, rising up behind her, the tallest thing for miles. There was the small public park alongside it, although in real life the rubbish bins had beer bottles in them and the picnic tables were liberally spotted with dried bird crap. The dull, sparse grass sloped away from her, falling to the level of the next bend in the road. Beyond it, the logo of a service station glowed bright against the dark sky. Directly opposite was a row of squat terraced houses bookended by two pubs. One of them was perfect Instagram fodder, the other was in dire need of knocking down.
Next to the picturesque pub was the mouth of a small road. Natalie could see a giant pothole at its start, concrete crumbling at its edges, the crater filled with murky water. When she lifted her eyes, she saw a cardboard sign had been tacked to the nearest telephone pole: shanamore cottages, 1km. It pointed down the potholed road.
Everything else in her eyeline was hedge or tree or sky.
The light was fading. Natalie didn't wear a watch but she figured she'd turned off her phone ten minutes ago, at the most, and it had been just after five o'clock then. She needed to get to the cottages before it got actually dark.
She set off, pulling her case behind her.
Plastic wheels against crumbling blacktop produced a hollow, rumbling noise. In the dead quiet, the noise she was making seemed to grow louder and louder. At least, she thought, the road was relatively straight, so any oncoming cars would see her before they hit her — she hoped.
When Natalie finally spotted the sign marking the entrance to Shanamore Cottages, she guessed it was fifteen minutes since she'd got off the bus. Pretty much the length of the walk that Google Maps had promised, then. The cottages, however, were not entirely as advertised.
Individually, the six of them were identifiable from the images she'd seen online. Which is to say, they didn't look much like cottages at all. Each one was an identical assembly of cubes. Some smooth, unpainted cement and some thick, greenish glass. The smallest cube was the entranceway, a space about the size of two telephone boxes, where the only nonglass piece was the wooden slab of a front door. A larger cube behind it formed the home's ground level, with mini cubes making a couple of postmodern bay windows, one at the front and one at the side. Another cube half its size formed the second story, pushed a few feet to the rear. The entire front section of that cube — the master bedroom, from what Natalie remembered of the website — was made of glass.
But it was obvious now that the photos online had been taken at carefully considered angles. Their frames had conveniently omitted the breeze-block shell of an unfinished McMansion sitting in the overgrown field next door, and they didn't convey at all just how close together the cottages were. They were sitting in two rows of three, facing each other, with only the narrowest of laneways separating each one from its immediate neighbor. Natalie suspected that if you stood in one of those lanes and stretched your arms out, you'd touch cottage on each side. She'd found an old newspaper article online, property section, which suggested these were the work of an ambitious young architect who'd qualified at the height of the Boom and had been gifted a swathe of Daddy's land. Crowding it with cottages must have been him trying to get as much bang for his buck as he could. If that was his plan, it hadn't worked. The cottages had stood empty for years, no buyer willing to be the first, until some foreign investment firm had bought the lot for a song and turned the entire estate into a holiday "village" of short-term lets instead.
A man had emerged from the nearest cottage and was striding towards her. The house had a sign in the front window that Natalie couldn't read in the dim but she thought it might say reception.
He waved, called out, "Marie?"
He must be Andrew, the manager.
Natalie waved back. "That's me."
Marie was her middle name. She'd made the booking over the phone just a few hours ago, giving her first name as Marie and her last as Kerr — Mike's last name, her married one, which she never used. If she had to produce a credit card now or show some photo ID the jig would be up, but maybe the check-in procedure at Shanamore Cottages was more of a casual operation. She'd only needed to give a name and a telephone number to secure her reservation, after all.
There was a red hatchback sitting in Andrew's driveway and he met her at its rear. The car's license plate was almost completely obscured by a thick layer of dried mud.
"Welcome to Shanamore," he said.
It had a streak of apology in it.
They shook hands, limply, Natalie conscious of the fact that hers was warm and damp from dragging her case.
Andrew was wearing dark corduroy trousers and a thick, Aran-style sweater that seemed much too big for his wiry frame; he gripped the too-long cuffs of it in his palms with the tips of his fingers. His dark hair was long and flopped in front of his eyes, the kind of style the boys at school used to have back when Natalie was in it. (Curtains? Isn't that what they called it?) It all conspired to create a first impression of youth and boyishness but here, up close, Natalie could see that this man was easily her age, late twenties, early thirties.
"You found us all right?" he asked.
"No problem at all."
He looked around, behind her. "You didn't walk here?"
"Only up the road," she said. "The bus dropped me off by the Kiln."
"You've been here before? To Shanamore?"
"And you're not here to make pottery — right?"
He'd already asked her this on the phone. There was a local potter who offered week-long classes and had some arrangement whereby attendees got a discount if they stayed here.
"No." Natalie smiled. "I'm just after a few days" peace and quiet, that's all."
"Well, let me show you to your cottage."
They started walking, him leading the way.
"You live on site?" she asked.
"All year round?"
"All year round."
"And you said on the phone you only keep one or two of these open at this time of the year?"
"It's easier that way," Andrew said. "Makes more sense."
"So can I ask which one ...?"
Andrew pulled a key from his pocket and held it up to the light. It had a large "6" printed on its plastic tag.
Natalie tried to keep her expression neutral while her entire body flooded with relief.
SHE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT SHE WOULD'VE DONE if he'd shown her to a different cottage. She'd had vague notions of finding a way to get inside No. 6 by other means, later, or making up some complaint that would necessitate a move there first thing in the morning. But mostly she'd tried to not worry about this detail. Now, finally, she could stop.
No. 6 was the cottage directly opposite Andrew's, No. 1. He unlocked the front door and hurried inside ahead of her. There was no hall or foyer; you were immediately in the living room, facing the foot of the stairs. The entire ground floor of the cottage was one big, open space.
"Meant to do this earlier," he muttered as he scurried about the room, turning on lights. Two floor lamps, the pendant hanging over the dining table, spots recessed in the ceiling positioned strategically over faded prints of Shanamore Strand in cheap IKEA frames. He pushed a button and transformed the pane of black glass stuck low on the (fake) chimney breast into a scene of (fake) glowing fire. He fiddled with the thermostat until the nearest radiator started to splutter and click. Plumped a sofa cushion. Straightened the coffee table.
Natalie stepped inside, closing the door behind her, and watched him move around the room. He reminded her of an air steward in the galley before trolley service: practiced to the point of automation.
"Oh," he said suddenly, "I forgot your welcome basket."
Before Natalie could respond, he was gone and the front door was closing with a thunk for the second time in as many minutes.
She parked her suitcase and advanced into the room.
Two three-seater black leather couches and a matching armchair were arranged in a U-shape around the fire and the flat-screen TV that hung above it. Behind the furthest couch, at the rear of the ground floor, was a solid wood dining table with space for eight and beyond that, the clinically white cabinets of an ultra-modern kitchen. Their glossy finish made them gleam in the lights.
The only walls were the exterior ones. The one at the rear was made entirely of glass, a huge window with one door inset. The staircase clung to the side wall and had only air between its steps and no railing; Natalie felt nervous just looking at it. Floor-to-ceiling windows interrupted the remaining two walls. It was dark enough outside now for all the glass to be showing only interior reflections.
Natalie touched a hand to one of the cushions on the armchair and felt cold with a hint of damp.
And a lump forming in her throat.
A squeeze of heartbreak in her chest.
This can't be the place ... Can it?
The door swung open. Andrew was back, carrying a small wicker basket. The air swirled and changed, suddenly charged with the presence of another person, chilled with the draught the open door was letting in.
He looked at her, eyebrows raised, awaiting a verdict.
"It's nice," she said. "Lovely."
"Good. Glad you like it. Sorry about the cold. I should've put on the heating earlier. It should warm up pretty quick." He set the basket on the coffee table. "So — any questions?"
"No, no. I think I'm all set."
She smiled. His eyes met hers and she realized it was for the first time. Eye contact, evidently, wasn't his thing. Andrew proved this by looking away again almost immediately.
Then he gave a little wave, turned on his heel and left.
The thunk of the front door locking shut echoed around the house again and then everything was quiet and still.
Too quiet and still.
Natalie cast about for a remote control but couldn't find one, so she went to the TV and randomly pressed the slim buttons hidden on its side until loud voices boomed into the space, banishing the silence.
She took a quick inventory of the contents of the wicker basket. A box of Irish soda bread mix; six mismatched eggs; a bag of Cork Coffee Roaster's "Rebel" blend; a bar of chocolate with a pencil sketch of Shanamore Strand on the label; a single bottle of beer from the Franciscan Well; a small carton of milk.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Rewind"
Copyright © 2019 Catherine Ryan Howard.
Excerpted by permission of Blackstone Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
sub- In...Rewind 0:00:17sub- She...sub- The...Fast-Forward 0:00:41sub- Audrey...Rewind 0:00:30Pause 0:00:38Rewind 0:00:20sub- The...sub- There...Fast-Forward 0:00:44Pause 0:00:47Rewind to Start 0:00:01sub- The...sub- In...sub- Almost...sub- A...Fast-Forward 0:00:52sub- The...sub- There...sub- Audrey...sub- She...Pause 0:00:54Play 0:00:57sub- Shanamore...sub- He...Rewind 0:00:04sub- The...sub- Crazy...fast-forward 0:01:00Fast-Forward 0:01:00sub- Audrey...sub- Audrey...Pause 0:01:05Rewind 0:00:13sub- Right...sub- Natalie...sub- She...Fast-Forward 0:01:08sub- Richard...Rewind 0:00:07sub- The...Fast-Forward 0:01:11Rewind 0:00:27Fast-Forward 0:00:33sub- He...sub- Much...sub- His...Fast-Forward 0:01:21sub- We're...sub- A...sub- Sandra...Fast-Forward 0:01:25sub- Good...Rewind 0:01:16Fast-Forward 0:01:31sub- She'd...sub- It...sub- Andrew's...sub- Natalie's...sub- There...sub- She...sub- Mike...Play 0:01:35sub-Andrew...sub- Richard...
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Thank you to NetGalley, Blackstone Publishing and Ms. Catherine Ryan Howard for the opportunity to read this Advanced Readers Copy of "Rewind" Publishing September 3, 2019 A pulse pounding story that you can't put down. Irish Instagram star "Natalie" is missing. Last seen staying at Shanamore Cottages. Her husband "Mike" is appealing to the public for help in finding his beloved wife. Audrey, young Irish journalist who is hot for her own bi-line, investigates Natalie's disappearance. In an age of social media and instant gratification, everyone is weighing in on where Natalie might be. This is the Natalie's story told through numerous windows of time by characters who are dysfunctional, self absorbed and seriously creepy. Play: Natalie rents a cottage in the Irish Countryside Pause: It's a creepy place and Natalie definitely regrets going here but she needs to know. She has to know. Rewind: Mind games, half truths and jealousy...Wait, what just happened? Fast Forward: More lies, horrible choices and explosive hatred... Oh! Didn't see that coming! Plot twisting from "play", this is one psychological thriller not to be missed. Well Played Ms. Catherine Ryan Howard!
At first, I was unsure if I would like this book. The first chapter describes a bloody and vicious murder on a sleeping woman, all captured on a hidden camera. Honestly, I dislike opening with such violence before I know or care about either character. Even then, I understood that Howard had a master plan and that there were valid, good reasons for this opening, but it was still a risky strategy. My notes mentioned this, adding, Hope the payoff is worth it. I’ll tell you straight out: it was worth it. Here’s why: 1. That strategic opening As I’d suspected, this opening was strategic. It’s the event that every other event revolves around. The chapters are labelled rewind, pause, fast-forward, and play. The narrative skips around in time. Sometimes it fast-forwards into the future, presumably after the death. At other times, it rewinds into the past before the killing. Then it plays, once more, bringing us closer to the central events. And sometimes, it pauses to dwell on a particular character. The changes in time are effective at building suspense. She knew exactly when to cut away from a scene, at the exact moment when I didn’t want it to end, and force me to fast-forward or rewind or pause. And of course, I kept reading. I had a migraine and I’d read the ending first (as I always do), but I still had to keep reading Rewind. 2. The perception versus reality theme Another thing I loved was how Howard used Instagram-era obsessions. Natalie is revealed as a social media junkie. She judges scenery by its potential for Instagram-worthy shots, gets the jitters without her phone, and knows the exact moment when she lost her signal. She’s absolutely lost without the internet. She judges all “real” things by their Internet counterpart: her walking time versus Google maps’ estimate, the scenery of Shanamore versus the images of it on the web. No surprise, though. She’s a rising micro-influencer on Instagram with thousands of devoted and sometimes crazy followers. She makes a living off the differences between perception and reality. 3. A creeping sense of dread Howard is good at developing a sense of impending doom. Dread creeps throughout the lines. The book feels claustrophobic, with the characters trapped in a warped reality that blurs with perceptions, even when describing the vast world of the internet. The plotting is well-paced. 4. Realistic, sympathetic characters I liked Audrey immediately. She’s being forced to find a new place to live in less than a month, her job pays almost nothing, and her ambitions outsize her experience. When she begins investigating Natalie’s disappearance, it’s obvious that she’s out of her depth and feels awkward interviewing others. But she’s smarter than others think. 5. And some creepy characters Richard Flynn, Shanamore Cottages’ “handyman” with a tendency to ignore personal space conventions. Jennifer, a bed-and-breakfast manager, whose love for a married man is outsized only by her arroganceAnd Andrew, of course! This was a thrilling read. It’s guaranteed to keep you reading. It might also make you rethink your social media accounts (or at least what you share on them). Thanks to NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
You had me at Psycho meets Fatal Attraction as I'm a huge Hitchcock fan! Then I realized I'd read Distress Signals and The Liar's Girl and loved them both so here we go! The premise was interesting as well; start at the end and "rewind" to find out who is stalking Natalie and who killed her at the cottage where she escaped to unravel the mystery of where her husband had been. Because Natalie is an Instagram Influencer, of course it is likely she will have followers who go a little manic, but how does one ever know who is a real friend and who wants to get closer to you believing everything online is not just posed for added fandom? Many suspects including the creepy handyman and Andrew, the manager (who I swear I heard as Norman Bates as I was reading)! Great mystery that sucks you in! Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
Fast-paced thriller set in Ireland, told in multiple perspectives. A popular influencer on Instagram disappears from her home, seemingly without a clue. An online gossip writer-turned-investigator starts a case that will change her career. Timelines jump around, settings include Dublin and a small ocean-side town. Plenty of creepy characters lead to multiple suspects and scenarios. Where did she go? Is she alive? Did someone murder her? A stalker, a pedophile and a bank robber make for some interesting theories. A quick and entertaining read. ***I received an ARC from NetGalley for an honest review of this book***
Taking a page from a couple of classic thrillers, this one begins violently and was almost too graphic for this gentle bedtime reader. Still, intrigued, I proceeded. Then the well-plotted thriller settles into another classic well-known timeline switch back. Usually, that meant delving into the backstory of another of the main characters. Which also meant a switch of POV and really the storyline carries no major protagonist. The characters are well-developed, giving us more clues each switch back to the individual. The victim Natalie O'Connor becomes more sympathetic, and Andrew more loathsome. Audrey Coughlan is struggling to find a niché and determines that this is it. Sean, the newly installed, unseasoned garda of the village is appealing. Indeed, the Cork village itself becomes a character; dark, cold, the people tight and mistrusting, unwilling to share a pint but more than willing to share the latest gossip. Andrew is the manager of Shanamore Holiday Villages, a failed development of exclusively odd cottages; Icky Dickie, who should have moved on. Natalie, a major Irish Instagram personality has disappeared. Audrey is looking for the story and finds herself in the same unit as Natalie. Working through the timeline, the reader is gradually caught up to present day and conclusion, which has snuck in quietly and without a whimper. We knew who it was all along but needed the full explanation and reveal. Also it was necessary to wait for Audrey and the police to ferret out the truth, dropping crumbs and red herrings along the way, to finally name the heinous antagonist(s). It's a tale about privacy given away, truth bent for stats, perhaps too freely in social media, and the following the media attracts. It is an intense and engaging, fast-paced suspense-filled thriller. I was given the ARC download by the publisher and NetGalley and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Recommended for any who enjoy a disturbing thriller. 4.5/5 stars
This is a very suspenseful and kind of complicated book as it is done in a then and now format with several different plots and characters to follow. It was fascinating and really creepy at times. Natalie is an Instragram success and she suspects her husband, Michael, might be cheating on her. She goes to Shanamore Cottages to spend a couple of nights of nights to try and find out if he had been there previously with another woman. The cottages are managed by Andrew who is creepy and has his own problems. Meanwhile, Audrey is living with her sister Dee and needs to find her own place. Audrey is a reporter and ends up doing an article about Natalie disappearing. There are lots of twists and turns along with some creepy characters which adds to this very suspenseful story. Thank you NetGalley and Blackstone Publishers for the ARC of this really good book.
Andrew, the owner of Sanamore Holiday Cottages watches his guests via a hidden camera. One night a shady figure appears in the room of a sleeping guest, violently murdering her and destroying the camera. Natalie O'Conner, online celebrity and owner of And Breath mysteriously disappears leaving her husband, fans, and police questioning her whereabouts. Audrey, a reporter for The Paper is given the chance to write a expose on the events surrounding the missing celeb. Rewind is a mystery/thriller in which the disappearance of an online celebrity leads one reporter to the Shanamore Holiday Cottages to discover what really happened to her. This novel has lots of creepy and unstable characters, a small town with secrets, and a reporter who will stop at nothing to get her story. The premise of this book sounded right up my alley but for some reason it just didn't wow me. I really didn't care for any of the characters and the way the chapters were laid out (rewind, play, pause, etc.) felt a bit confusing at times. This is not to say I didn't like the book or that other readers will not really enjoy it. Overall the story was entertaining and would the perfect book to curl up with for a weekend.
Twisting turns, suspense, whodunit, story. What a thrill ride reading this fantastical story about a popular Instagram star, a beautiful woman with thousands of followers. I couldn't help but think about so many people I know, on the internet with a large following that always get some kind of psycho stalking them. This story made me realize how things could and probably have become dangerous for people. But the story weaves flawlessly between different point of views, with an ending that leaves you quiet satisfied. Intricate detail about each character's personality. It successfully adds just enough information at each segment leaving you in limbo wanting to know more. What a fun ride. The rewind, pause, and so on did confuse me a bit.
Okay, I’m definitely in the minority on this one! (Please don’t hate me!) A popular Instagram celebrity is off to a nightmarish secluded seaside resort. And I use the term resort loosely! It's downright creepy! And soon she fears for her life...and maybe with good reason! I was excited to see all the five-star reviews being given for this book! I launched into it fully expecting a five-star read too! But I kept thinking, I must be reading a different book than everyone else. Usually I love a book told in multiple timelines. It’s much like working a puzzle, watching all the pieces come together. But in this case it all felt very choppy and I found myself lost on more than one occasion. And yet, I had most of the plot deciphered early on. The WHO was obvious. The HOW was a bit convoluted. And the WHY just felt weak. Overall it fell short of my expectations. I kept waiting for it to pull me in, and it just didn’t happen. Again, I’m very much in the minority here. So if this book is on your shelf or reading radar, don’t let this review sway you! There are some fantastic five-star reviews out there. Thank you to NetGalley, Blackstone Publishing and Catherine Ryan Howard for an ARC to read and review.
Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard is a very highly recommended mystery set in a remote holiday town in Ireland that opens with a video of a woman being killed in a bedroom. Andrew is the socially awkward manager of Shanamore Cottages, a set of six holiday cottages near Cork, but he's also a voyeur who watches his guests via a secret camera in the bedroom. Natalie O’Connor Kerr is a social media influencer on Instagram. She suspects her husband, Mike, is having an affair and clues point to him staying at the Shanamore Cottages. When she tells her followers she's taking a few days off to relax, what she is really doing is going to spend a few nights at Shanamore to try and uncover proof of Mike's affair. When she isn't heard from in a week and has seemingly disappeared, Audrey, a reporter for an online gossip rag, is assigned to try and find out some information about what happened to the Instagram star. Audrey, who wants to move up to the newsroom and do some actual reporting, digs deep into the story and becomes a part of the investigation. Adding to the suspense is a mystery woman who is in love with Mark and hates Natalie. Opening with the murder encourages readers to follow the action and look carefully to clues in this clever whodunit mystery. The narrative jumps back and forth in time, using rewind, fast-forward, play, rewind to start, and pause, all with timestamps, as chapter headings. It also alternates between the points-of-view of the different characters. And there are several appropriately creepy suspects moving around whom all have had encounters with Natalie before she disappeared. The pacing of the plot is steady, allowing the tension to slowly build as you try to piece the clues together. Interwoven into the plot is the backstory of Andrew. Characters were introduced and developed as needed within the plot. I appreciated the carefully controlled release of information and clues. It kept me glued to the pages, trying to figure out who was the creepiest of the assorted creeps. With the alternating points-of-view and timelines, you do have to pay attention to who is narrating the chapter, but as the characters are so different that is relatively easy to do. The setting of Shanamore is like and additional character and richly described, making the setting seem even more sinister. Rewind is a good choice for readers who like solid mysteries with an interesting cast of characters. 4.5 rounded up. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Blackstone Publishing.
Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for allowing me to read an ARC of Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard. Rewind grabbed my attention for the beginning and never let go. This book was written in an unique way and it worked! It had me guessing how it was going to end the whole way through. This was my first book by Catherine Ryan Howard and I can't wait to read another one.
Rating: 4.5 / 5 I received an advanced digital galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Blackstone Publishing and Netgalley for the chance to read and review! REWIND by Catherine Ryan Howard begins with a gripping scene, a woman is seen sleeping unaware that there is someone looming over her in the dark. As the reader we witness her murder and apparantly so does someone else because the opening concludes with the killer destroying a camera recording the whole thing. From here, REWIND takes the reader on a journey, rewinding to prior events and fast forwarding to events yet to play out . There are no typical chapter numbers, but instead each jump in the story is marked with your typical symbols for rewind, fast-forward, pause, etc. along with time stamps. There's Andrew, the manager of the Shanamore Holiday Cottages in Ireland where this event has taken place. He's the guy watching behind the camera, but he's clueless as to who the masked figure is and how they knew the camera was even there. There's Natalie, an Instagram influencer who's used to living in the spotlight but now trying to fly under the radar. There's Audrey, a reporter who doesn't typically follow the real news, but she senses there's a story behind Natalie's Instagram hiatus. I hadn't read anything by Catherine Ryan Howard, but she has received a lot of acclaim, including a Edgar Award nomination for Best Novel on her last book, THE LIAR'S GIRL. The premise and the author made me very excited to pick this one up and I was not disappointed! The opening of the book immediately had me hooked and I couldn't tear myself away from the story to determine what exactly happened! I would say that the jumps in time caught me a little off guard in the beginning. I wasn't sure how much attention I needed to be paying to the timestamps given (i.e., Fast-Forward 0:00:44 vs. Rewind 0:00:17), but I realized that if I just paid attention to the story, it was easy enough to get into the pace. I would say that if you are a reader that wants things to happen sequentially and do not enjoy time jumps, this likely isn't the book for you! Overall, I found the mystery compelling and the story very engaging. Some things I saw coming (I mean, you do get the murder in the first couple of pages), but there were little elements of the story that the author dropped in that kept me guessing on how the different timelines would all meet up! You will want to check out REWIND when it releases on 9/3/2019! For me, I will be adding Catherine Ryan Howard's prior novels to my TBR!
Rewind is a psychological thriller with a twist. The story, chapters, are structured like playback features on a DVD. Play, fast forward, rewind, etc. These features transfer you back and forth in time and to different characters. It's like smaller stories within a larger story. It doesn't begin at the beginning. The plot is intriguing and suspenseful and unpredictable at every turn. I'm reminded again of the ever present yet often overlooked dangers of social media platforms like Instagram. And, characters making bad decisions that lead to worse things. The story moves well, and it's a little confusing at times. Overall, I did enjoy reading this story. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
I want to thank NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for an advanced digital copy of Rewind, a psychological thriller, in return for an honest review. The plot was a promising one which laid out a compelling puzzle for mystery fans. There were a number of unforeseen twists along with several suspects. The conclusion was a satisfying and believable one. I regret to say the structure of the book did not work for me. The arrangement of the chapters which were out of time sequence (pause, rewind, play, fast forward) was a distraction for the build-up of suspense as I read. This lack of sequence also kept me from feeling much connection with the characters or emotional involvement with the mystery. None of the characters seemed likeable, and I only came to know them as props in the story. I hope prospective readers will not be influenced by my misgivings. I have read many enthusiastic reviews, and feel many others will enjoy this story of psychological suspense. This is my honest reaction. It just didn’t work for me. 2.5 stars rounded up to 3.
Clever! Natalie went to the holiday cottage because well......Andrew, the cottage manager, is a deeply creepy and and he films people in their rooms. And then there's Audrey, a reporter. The story is told by these three in chapters headed Play, Pause, and Rewind. It's hard to review this because the format is unusual and more importantly without spoilers but trust me-this is well done. It's a cautionary tale about Instagram, among other things. All three main characters are well done (as are the people in the village- not a place you'll want to visit!). Thanks to the publisher for the ARC. An unusual and well written page turner.
Hmmm... This story begins with a horrific murder. Natalie, is an online "celebrity" on Instagram. Her life is fading after moving house and she is curious about her husband's behavior. Natalie travels to Shanamore Cottages for a "time out" and to quell her curiosity about her husband...Hmmm... This story begins with a horrific murder. Natalie, is an online "celebrity" on Instagram. Her life is fading after moving house and she is curious about her husband's behavior. Natalie travels to Shanamore Cottages for a "time out" and to quell her curiosity about her husband... Meanwhile, Audrey, a tabloid reporter who is on the lowest rung of the paper, has nowhere to go but up. Her manager, Joel, gives her a story to pursue. Natalie O'Connor has been missing for a week and her husband just now called the police. Audrey checks Natalie out online and gives Natalie's husband, Mike, a call. He agrees to an interview - this turns out to be more of a coup for her than she imagined. Rewind; In Shanamore, Natalie meets both Andrew, the cottage's manager, and Richard - a handyman? All of the cottages are deserted. She has to be in cottage #6 - and she is led there by Andrew! Most of the cottages are glass and some mirrors. Strange... Through a series of rewinds, pauses, and a few fast forwards, spins a riveting tale that is sure to be an enjoyable read for all thriller/suspense book lovers! Just when you think you have everything all figured out, a twist is in sight ! Many Thanks to Blackstone Publishing and NetGalley for a thrilling ride! Meanwhile, Audrey, a tabloid reporter who is on the lowest rung of the paper, has nowhere to go but up. Her manager, Joel, gives her a story to pursue. Natalie O'Connor has been missing for a week and her husband just now called the police. Audrey checks Natalie out online and gives Natalie's husband, Mike, a call. He agrees to an interview - this turns out to be more of a coup for her than she imagined. Rewind; In Shanamore, Natalie meets both Andrew, the cottage's manager, and Richard - a handyman? All of the cottages are deserted. She has to be in cottage #6 - and she is led there by Andrew! Most of the cottages are glass and some mirrors. Strange... Through a series of rewinds, pauses, and a few fast forwards, spins a riveting tale that is sure to be an enjoyable read for all thriller/suspense book lovers! Just when you think you have everything all figured out, a twist is in sight ! Many Thanks to Blackstone Publishing and NetGalley for a thrilling ride!