An Irish Times and USA Today Bestseller

An Amazon UK’s ‘Rising Star’ Best Debut of 2016

Shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger

Shortlisted for the Irish Crime Novel of the Year

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The day Adam Dunne’s girlfriend, Sarah, fails to return from a Barcelona business trip, his perfect life begins to fall apart. Days later, the arrival of her passport and a note that reads ‘I’m sorry – S’ sets off real alarm bells. He vows to do whatever it takes to find her.

Adam is puzzled when he connects Sarah to a cruise ship called the Celebrate – and to a woman, Estelle, who disappeared from the same ship in eerily similar circumstances almost exactly a year before.

To get answers, Adam must confront some difficult truths about his relationship with Sarah. He must do things of which he never thought himself capable. And he must try to outwit a predator who seems to have found the perfect hunting ground…

‘Pacey, suspenseful and intriguing … [A] top class, page turning read. Catherine Ryan Howard is an astonishing new voice in thriller writing.’ Liz Nugent

‘An excellent debut thriller which may give cruising executives some sleepless nights.’ Irish Independent

‘This is Catherine Ryan Howard’s debut thriller, and what a tense, tight, original page turner she’s delivered…Writing a thriller which doesn’t leave readers with a sense of deja vu isn’t easy these days, but Catherine Ryan Howard has managed it triumphantly. Definitely a new, exciting and original author to watch.’ Sunday Independent

‘Clever and compulsive. I read it in one sitting.’ Irish Examiner

‘[Story] lines eventually connect … in surprising ways, as life and death aboard a cruise ship prove very mysterious indeed. Publishers Weekly

‘An engaging thriller written with authenticity and aplomb from a writer who knows her craft.’ Books Ireland

‘Distress Signals is a highly confident and accomplished debut novel, impeccably sustained, with not a false note. The exploration of the often murky backstage workings of the luxury liner world is fascinating, and there is a psychologically acute portrait of a killer that is genuinely moving. We will hear a great deal more of this author.’ Irish Times

‘A debut novel with a cracking plot and satisfyingly eerie writing throughout. We read it in one sitting.’ Woman’s Way 

‘An exhilarating debut thriller from a hugely talented author. Distress Signals is fast-paced, twisty and an absolute joy to read.’ Mark Edwards

‘This isn’t just another Gone Girl wannabe … The plot twists, roiling like the sea. Hold on, you’re in for a wild ride.’ Bookpage

‘All the more impressive when considering that Distress Signals is author Catherine Ryan Howard’s debut as a novelist, this exceptionally well crafted and compelling read is very highly recommended.’ Midwest Book Review

‘Howard weaves an intricate web of suspense chapter by chapter…and before you know it, you’re trapped inside.’ Brian Freeman

‘[A] gripping, smart, and fast-moving read. [Catherine Ryan Howard’s] insights and thoughtful writing immerse you in the fascinating world of cruise ships and the mysterious, perfect crimes committed at sea. The compelling mystery at the heart of this debut novel is engrossing, and [the] clever plotting makes this a terrific debut.’ Christine Carbo

‘Skillfully plotted, with well-paced suspense, each segment pulls you further into unravelling this jigsaw of secrets. A warmth and empathy for the principle protagonist and sundry characters is skilfully woven in this tale, forged with vibrant dialogue that brings each of the principle players wonderfully to life. A perfect holiday read.’ Louise Philips

‘I loved the voice… [An] engaging, unusual and believable thriller.’ Sinéad Crowley

‘Twisty and gripping.’ Claire McGowan