Catherine Ryan Howard is an internationally bestselling crime writer from Cork, Ireland.
Her debut thriller, Distress Signals (2016) was an Irish Times and USA Today bestseller. The Irish Times hailed it ‘a highly confident and accomplished debut novel, impeccably sustained, with not a false note.’ It was shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association John Creasey/New Blood Dagger award and Irish Crime Novel of the Year.
Catherine’s second thriller, The Liar’s Girl (2018) was a finalist for the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best Novel – an accolade previously won by Stephen King, Ian Rankin and Raymond Chandler – making her only the second ever Irish woman to be nominated for this award. The Irish Independent said ‘solid plotting … propels The Liar’s Girl forward at a terrific pace … Howard has certainly pulled off, with remarkable confidence, the notoriously difficult task of surpassing a debut novel that was met with critical acclaim and garlanded with awards.’ It was named a Best Book of 2018 by the Irish Independent and Crime Time (UK), and a Best Audiobook of 2018 by Library Journal (USA). In May 2019, it was included in The Guardian’s list of 50 Great Thrillers by Women written since 1945.
Catherine’s third novel, Rewind (2019) debuted at No. 2 in the Irish bestseller chart and was shortlisted for Irish Crime Novel of the Year. ‘[A] top-class thriller, fast-paced and vividly rendered’ (Irish Times), ‘[this] third novel from the precociously talented Howard … confirms her position as a major new talent in thriller writing’ (Daily Mail). Clerkenwell Films (Misfits, Lovesick, The End of the F***ing World) are currently developing it for television.
Her fourth novel, The Nothing Man, was published on both sides of the Atlantic in August 2020. Inspired by Catherine’s own experience of reading Michelle McNamara’s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark just days after Joseph James DeAngelo was arrested and charged with the Golden State Killer’s crimes, this novel is half a (fictional) true-crime memoir and half the killer’s reaction to it as he reads. Hailed as a “well-paced … intelligent [and] painstakingly crafted thriller that deserves to be a huge hit,” (Irish Independent), “one of the summer’s most ingenious mysteries” (RTE Culture) and “an astute examination of our problematic modern obsession with serial killers and the importance of truth as well as thrills” (Sunday Times), The Nothing Man debuted at no. 1 in the Irish bestsellers chart and was shortlisted for Irish Crime Novel of the Year.
Her next novel, 56 Days, will be published in autumn 2021. It’s set in Dublin during the first lockdown and follows a new couple who decide to move in together to get around the ‘no mixing between households’ rule. She sees it as a way to avoid the scrutiny of family and friends, but he sees it as a way to hide who and what he really is. It’s a thriller set during lockdown in Dublin that Catherine wrote while she was locked down in Dublin.
Previously, Catherine worked as an administrator for a travel company in the Netherlands and a front desk agent in a hotel in Walt Disney World, Florida. She was once obsessed with the idea of becoming a BSL4 virologist and she still hopes to be a NASA astronaut when she grows up. (She’s 38.) She’s a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and, alongside internationally bestselling authors Carmel Harrington and Hazel Gaynor, a founding member of The Inspiration Project.
Catherine is based in Dublin where she is binge-watching Netflix, drinking copious amounts of coffee and working on her next novel.
(Author headshot credit Steve Langan at CityHeadshots.ie)