The #1 Irish Bestseller

Winner: An Post Irish Book Awards Crime Fiction Book of the Year 2021

New York Times Best Thrillers 2021

Washington Post Best Thriller & Mystery Books 2021

Irish Times Best Crime Fiction of 2021

NYPL Best Books for Adults 2021

Barnes and Noble Monthly Mystery & Thriller Pick August 2022

Longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award 2023

Could this be the perfect murder?

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?

Out now in print, ebook and audio in the USA, UK and Ireland

[A] twisty tale of suspense … It’s a thriller, a bloody good one, that kept me guessing as I turned the pages at a furious clip.

New York Times

A blossoming attraction between two young Dublin professionals in the days before COVID-19 reaches Ireland’s shores is the departure point for Howard’s stunning new thriller.

Library Journal

56 Days is staggeringly accomplished at a technical level, but it is its sustained emotional power that raises it to the first rank.

Irish Times

Dark and dazzling, funny, sinister, and oh-so clever. I read 56 Days in a breath held right up until the final, mesmeric pages. Catherine Ryan Howard is ridiculously talented.

Chris Whitaker

[A] bravura piece of storytelling.

The Quietus

[With] this captivating tale … Howard continues to impress.

Publishers Weekly

I’ve been waiting a long time for a book that blows me away and 56 Days is that book. I genuinely feel quite breathless at how extraordinarily good it is. Absolutely faultless … crime writing perfection.

CL Taylor

Magnificent, even by Catherine Ryan Howard standards. [A] high concept thriller executed with panache and heaps of emotion.

Caz Frear

The queen of high-concept crime fiction.

Jane Casey

Another absolute belter from the high priestess of high concepts. Claustrophobic, thrilling and fiendishly clever in both its structure and its twists.

Sarah Hilary

Wow. Original, twisty, and oh so clever – each time I thought I knew what was happening, I was wrong. I loved it!

Andrea Mara

I absolutely loved it. I was sucked in at the start by the brilliant premise and slick writing and then I couldn’t put it down.

Marnie Riches

The lockdown thriller you didn’t know you needed. An utterly brilliant and completely satisfying pageturner.

Catherine Kirwan

At or near the top of any list of superb Irish thriller writers these days is Catherine Ryan Howard. Her fifth stand-alone [is] the masterly 56 Days. Timely, surprising, emotionally alive, this is about as good as suspense fiction gets.

Washington Post

56 Days is a terrific novel written by an author who is certain to become a distinguished voice in crime fiction. You won’t want to stop reading until the very end.

Karin Slaughter

The Nothing Man was my favourite crime read of last year and 56 Days is even better … mind-blowingly brilliant.

Irish Examiner

I was surgically attached to this twisting lockdown thriller. Clever, tender and all too convincing, it’s the kind of book you read in one breathless sitting to get to the truth, and then again, slowly, to see how the author did it.

Erin Kelly

[A] terrific, chilling premise, elevated by the plot’s sophisticated architecture. Like a game of Jenga, the chapters pile up with subtle clues and layered twists—until one final piece is revealed, causing everything to come crashing down. This is a first-rate thriller not to be missed.

Sarah Pekkanen for Book of the Month

The plot is riveting, the writing seamless and the characters very convincing. [The] perfect – despite the pandemic setting – escapist novel … probably her best yet.

Sunday Independent

Anything Catherine Ryan Howard writes will always go straight to the top of my reading pile … 56 Days is her best yet. It’s a spectacular piece of plotting but also a tender, immersive character study that had me completely gripped. ⁣

Phoebe Locke

Catherine Ryan Howard has become my go-to writer for utterly absorbing, original stories with a killer twist and 56 Days delivers all this and more.

Jo Spain

56 Days? I read it in 24 HOURS because it was so compulsive, intriguing and fantastically entertaining. I could not let it go.

Liz Nugent

Addictive and very smart.

Sarah Vaughan

There’s plenty of suspense in this wonderfully atmospheric and paranoid psychological thriller … Brilliantly creepy.

The Guardian

I thought that I had the twist figured out for a relatively long time while reading the novel, but I was upended completely by the final act in the drama: Ryan Howard’s plotting is second to none. The novel also has the virtue of precise, vivid and efficiently delivered prose – Ryan Howard writes with an economy of style that brings to mind the work of Lee Child.

Business Post

There will be many novels written about 2020 but this is not a lockdown novel, it’s simply one of the best crime novels I’ve read this year.

RTÉ Culture

Each new twist, dispensed with surgical precision, will keep you hooked, nostalgic for the days when Covid-19 was the worst threat.


Catherine Ryan Howard takes on one of the most disturbing types of crime we know about and treats it with both intelligence and sensitivity.

Literary Review

56 Days will engage, it will enthral, and it will most definitely surprise. Easily one of my favourites for 2021, and one I’ll be recommending to everyone in need of a good book.

Mystery and Suspense magazine

Don’t want to read a lockdown novel? Neither did I. Then I read 56 Days and changed my mind. Absolutely brilliant!

Cass Green

This is likely to be the definitive lockdown thriller. Absolute genius … So many twists and turns, beautifully constructed, great characters and atmosphere.

Mark Edwards

Beautifully written, ingeniously structured, a knockout thriller that doesn’t just encapsulate lockdown but disentangles it. I can’t recommend it enough.

Chris Ewan

Catherine Ryan Howard is one of the best crime writers around.

Sinéad Crowley

Just when I think Catherine’s books can’t get any better, along comes another work of genius. I absolutely devoured 56 Days … It left me guessing up to the end. Brilliant!

Patricia Gibney

56 Days is brilliantly plotted, darkly humorous and utterly unexpected.

Sam Blake