Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard

Hello Kittens! I hope you and yours are all doing well as we enter the 15th year of Quarantine. Just kidding! Things will be getting back to the new normal soon and I hope that if you, like me, are going to be forced back into the real world, that you can do so in as safe a manner as possible. For today, I have a murderous distraction of a book for you. If any of you read Adrian McKinty’s The Chain last year, then I think you will really like this story. There’s a murder, there’s a recording of the murder, there’s a creepy Irish setting, and plenty of suspects to keep you guessing. This one first hit my radar when it was reviewed over at Crime By The Book, which is any excellent blog for mystery/thriller/nordic noir fans. Enjoy and take care!

Title: RewindRewind

Author: Catherine Ryan Howard

Author website: https://catherineryanhoward.com/

Publisher: Black Stone Publishing

Publish date: September 3, 2019

ISBN: 9781538519684

Buy the Book: Amazon, Barnes and Noble

 

Summary

It all begins with a gruesome murder. Picture it: a woman is sleeping in a dark room and suddenly a figure appears along the side, obviously intent on harm. But wait, you don’t have to picture it, because it is all on tape. Why is it on tape? Who is she? Why is she being murdered? All of these questions will be answered in good time, but two questions are going to chill your bones as you finish the first chapter: why does the killer destroy the camera and how did they know the camera was there?

In Rewind, the reader is going to meet Natalie, a social media influencer who appears to be living her best life. But looks can be deceiving, especially on the internet. In reality, strange things have been happening around Natalie, seemingly as a result of her fame. Her husband won’t take any of it seriously and questions her commitment to her job. Her best friend thinks her work is a hobby and that her life is a breeze.

We also meet Audrey. Audrey is a wannabe serious reported who is currently trudging her way through an assignment in the Entertainment department of an online magazine. Her soul crushing job everyday is to create short, pithy, click-baity stories regarding celebutantes. She is aching to be promoted to the hard news division, and with her living situation deteriorating and her finances draining fast, she could really use the extra money. When her boss tasks her with looking into the social media disappearance of a well-known star, she jumps at the chance.

We are also going to meet Andrew. Andrew runs a set of vacation cottages in a remote area. It’s the kind of place that doesn’t get cell reception and where wi-fi spots are limited. Andrew is a loner who local townspeople regularly gossip about and who fails to put his latest guest at ease. Andrew is a man with many secrets and we learn a good bit about his life in all of this.

Why I liked it:

A really compelling story. Fast-paced plotting. We start at the end of things and work our way back and forth in a way that makes it hard for the reader to piece everything together too quickly. I also loved the way the story ended with the structure of a published news article. I thought that was a particularly nice touch given how most of the story plays out.

***Spoiler alert: I will say this, I called a major twist really early on…like 4 chapters in early. That being said, I absolutely loved the story anyway.***

What I would like to change:

I actually didn’t love the structure of the story as much. It reveals itself as though it was a videotape, with chapter headings such as “Fast-Forward”, “Pause”, etc. I loved that we started with the murder, but the non-linear structure was hard for me to follow at times, and since it had non-traditional chapter titles, it was even harder. I think I would have liked all the “before” chapters grouped together and all of the “after” chapters grouped together just as much.

Disclaimer: No disclaimer needed. I borrowed this title digitally for free from my local library.

My library rating:

lemonade_iconlemonade_icon2 glasses of lemonade= a book that you could probably recommend to family and close friends.  They may not like everything that’s in it, but they’re not going to start sending you cards with holy scripture written in them as messages to get you back on the path of righteousness after reading them either.

There are scenes involving child rape, pedophilia, sexual blackmail, gaslighting, and we get a fairly graphic description of a murder. That’s a lot in one book, but the majority of the scenes involving those first two take place off the page or using a fade-in technique.

My personal preference rating: I gave this one 5 stars. I was totally hooked on this one from the first chapter and basically flew through it in a day and a half (Goodreads will say it took me 5 days, but I was a little behind on my reading and didn’t really start until a few days later). I’ve already added Howard’s backlist to my TBR.

Notes: Billed as Pyscho meets Fatal Attraction. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen either movie so I can’t comment on the accuracy of that. 😦

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