The front cover of the book has the words Play. Pause. Run. REWIND. Not just words, 4 words that conjure up a lot of possibilities in the world of crime fiction, but the more you read the book the more significant they become, not just in the story as it unfolds, but also in the way the story is narrated.
When Dublin Instagram Influencer Natalie disappears nobody is really worried. After all she had posted that she was going off line for a few days, but why did her husband, Mike, not report her missing until she had been gone for a week?
Audrey is a wannabe journalist. Actually she’s already a journalist on an online newspaper, but to her dissatisfaction she is an entertainment journalist working on the “sidebar-of-shame” looking for clickbait stories.
Her ambition is to move upstairs and work with the serious journalists on real news. So when her boss offers her a job, a bit of a crossover story, she doesn’t hesitate. The rumours of Natalie’s disappearance have started to circulate, and reports are reaching the news desk that her husband has reported her missing. Audrey is given the job of looking to see if there is more to the story than an Insta-celeb going off in a huff or looking for publicity.
What she doesn’t realise is that she is about to start a journalistic investigation which is always half a step in front of the Police. It’s just that neither, she, or the Police, know exactly what they are investigating.
Play, pause, run, REWIND is exactly how this story is narrated.
It is no spoiler to say that a murder has taken place and that somebody has caught it on a webcam, but who has been murdered, by who, and why? All these usual questions asked in a crime thriller, are laid out in the ways of the command on a video recording
Having set the scene of the murder the story rewinds to before it to set the scene, runs ahead of the murder to look at Audrey’s investigation, and pauses at all points in between.
Each chapter is set either before, during, or after the murder and is written in such a way that the end of most chapters are cliff hangers that don’t get resolved until the story returns to that piece of the timeline. There is so much suspense in this book that it is impossible to put down.
Catherine Ryan Howard is a new author to me but looking at Amazon I can see she has written two previous books, and if they are as good as this one, I have no idea how she has been off my radar.
Usually a book that jumps backwards and forwards chronologically would have me giving up on it within the first 50 or 60 pages; but REWIND had me hooked within the first 20 and kept me there all the way till the end.
2019 is turning into a stela-year for crime fiction. So far this year I have read some of the best books to be published for years. This one is right up there with the best of them.
Publishing Date: 5thSeptember 2019