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Extended Audio Sample Distress Signals Audiobook, by Catherine Ryan Howard Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Catherine Ryan Howard Narrator: Alan Smyth, Bronson Pinchot, Suzanne Toren Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2017 ISBN: 9781504757485
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A debut thriller that channels Gone Girl, from the newest writer to watch, Catherine Ryan Howard

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 …

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An exhilarating debut thriller from a hugely talented author. Distress Signals is fast-paced, twisty, and an absolute joy to read.”

    Mark Edwards, bestselling author of The Magpies

  • “If you like stories brimming with suspense and plot twists you’ll never see coming, you’ll want to grab a copy of Distress Signals immediately.”

    Pop Culture Nerd

  • "[A] fast-paced debut thriller…This isn’t just another Gone Girl wannabe…Hold on, you’re in for a wild ride.”


  • “Alan Smyth narrated Adam’s confusion, desperation and determination brilliantly. Bronson Pinchot and Suzanne Toren narrates the dual story line that keeps you just as invested as the major story going on to the heartbreaking end. A superb listen that has me wanting to pick up this author’s other works.”

    Under the Boardwalk

  • “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 for both personal reading lists and community library general fiction collections.”

    Midwest Book Review

  • “This novel has become one of my favorite psychological thrillers to date…Catherine Ryan Howard went outside the box and really brought a unique and interesting setting to Distress Signals…I absolutely loved, loved, LOVED this book, I cannot recommend it highly enough!”

    Rose Reviews

  • “Distress Signals is a highly confident and accomplished debut novel, impeccably sustained, with not a false note.”

    Irish Times (Dublin)

  • “Writing a thriller which doesn’t leave readers with a sense of déjà 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 (Dublin)

  • “I loved this book, it hooked from the beginning and didn’t let go. It was so easy to read, I finished it within a day of starting it. The pace was really good as it kept the story constantly moving along. The characters felt real and so did the situation. It kept me guessing and had me coming up with different theories as to what was going on. It’s not a dark thriller, unless of course you are a regular cruise goer with a vivid imagination. I thoroughly recommend it to thriller/mystery lovers and will definitely be looking out for the author’s next book.”

    The Secret Library

  • “An excellent debut thriller which may give cruising executives some sleepless nights.”

    Irish Independent (Dublin)

  • “Clever and compulsive. I read it in one sitting.”

    Irish Examiner (Lapp’s Quay, Ireland)

  • “[A] solid first novel…Life and death aboard a cruise ship prove very mysterious indeed.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • Distress Signals is a gripping, smart, and fast-moving read. Catherine Howard expertly weaves together two main story lines as she skillfully builds the voices of three main characters. Her 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 Catherine Howard’s clever plotting makes this a terrific debut.”

    Christine Carbo, bestselling author of Mortal Fall

  • “Howard weaves an intricate web of suspense chapter by chapter…and before you know it, you’re trapped inside.”

    Brian Freeman, bestselling author of Goodbye to the Dead

  • “Pacey, suspenseful, and intriguing…[A] top-class, page-turning read. Catherine Ryan Howard is an astonishing new voice in thriller writing.”

    Liz Nugent, author of Unraveling Oliver

  • “I loved the voice…[An] engaging, unusual, and believable thriller.”

    Sinéad Crowley, author of Can Anybody Help Me?

  • Distress Signals is a well-written, page-turning read, with a number of red herrings and some surprise plot twists…An engaging thriller written with authenticity and aplomb from a writer who knows her craft, and who clearly has a bright future.”

    Books Ireland

  • “Atmospheric, character driven, and cleverly plotted, Distress Signals had me hooked from the very start and captivated me until the final reveal. I loved the setting, which added a claustrophobic feel to the story, and threw Adam an extra curveball when his back was already up against the wall and his world as he knew it had gone up in flames. Adam’s despair was tangible on every page, adding that emotional connection that kept me reading much too late into the night.”

    But Books Are Better

  • Distress Signals is a debut novel that packs a wallop of a punch…[a] complex plot…perfectly executed…page turning and twisty.”

    Its Book Talk

  • “This one is a standout and one I can highly recommend for fans of the genre…a remarkable debut.”

    Novel Gossip

  • “[Howard] writes with complete command of language, plot, and the thriller genre…The chapters alternate among the points of view of three characters…Romain’s narrative is the most moving and resonant—his soul may be distressed but his humanity comes through loud and clear.”

    Shelf Awareness

  • “Three voices narrate Distress Signals…All did a stellar job of capturing the characters. Their voices added layers to this already rich, and well-written suspense…Fans of Harlan Coben and Clare Mackintosh will enjoy Distress Signals. This was a stunning thriller that kept me guessing, and I will certainly be looking for more from this author.”

    Caffeinated Book Reviewer

  • “Highly recommended to thriller fans…I am beyond excited to see what Catherine decides to write next, as it likely will also be filled with in-depth research translated into an exciting, fictional read.”

    The Suspense Is Thrilling Me

  • “Realistic…build up of tension…leading up to a surprising twist…Wonderful performances all-around for the audio version of Distress Signals.”

    Book of Secrets

  • “Howard totally hooked me from the first chapter, and I loved how the plots and subplots became tangled together. The story moves quickly, and I found myself swept up into the drama. If you enjoy plot twists, you are going to love this one! I can’t wait to see what Howard writes next. Some books are ideally suited to audio, and this is one of them. The narrators gave an exceptional performance, especially Alan Smyth who portrayed Adam. His narration alone kept me on the edge of my seat because of the fear, desperation, and tension in his voice. He had me riveted. Both Bronson Pinchot and Suzanne Toren were wonderful as well, but Smyth stole the show! He made me wish that my work commute was longer. For me, this audiobook was unputdownable!”

    Darlene’s Book Nook (5 stars)

  • An Amazon.com Bestseller
  • USA Today Bestseller
  • Longlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger Award
  • A Library Journal Audio-in-Advance Pick for November 2016
  • Shortlisted for the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Award
  • Winner of the 2017 Independent Press Award for Mystery
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About the Author

Catherine Ryan Howard was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1982. Prior to writing full time, Catherine worked as a campsite courier in France and a front-desk agent in a hotel in Walt Disney World, Florida, and most recently as a social media marketer for a major publisher. She is currently studying for a BA in English at Trinity College in Dublin.

About the Narrators

Alan Smyth, an audiobook narrator, has worked as a professional actor for more than fifteen years. He has toured extensively in Ireland and the United States and has worked with such companies as the BBC, Paramount Pictures, and Showtime Productions.

Bronson Pinchot, an Audie Award–winning narrator, received his education at Yale University, which filled out what he had already received at his mother’s knee in the all-important areas of Shakespeare, Greek art and architecture, and the Italian Renaissance. He restores Greek Revival buildings and appears in television, film, and on stage whenever the pilasters and entablatures overwhelm him.

Suzanne Toren has recorded over nine hundred audiobooks. She has performed on Broadway and in regional theaters in works penned by Shakespeare, Molière, and Arthur Miller. She has also appeared on Law & Order and in various soap operas. She was awarded the Narrator of the Year Award for her audiobook recordings for the Library of Congress and has earned more than two dozen Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine.