Book review: 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard

Thursday, January 27, 2022 Permalink

56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard is the first book I’ve read to centre around the Coronavirus. I mean, it’s not specifically about the virus but its plot turns upon the arrival of the virus in Ireland in 2020 and its resulting upheaval.

Of course many other novels have started to reference Covid in some way or another. Generally it’s a reflection on recent concerns or extra cautions required, but 56 Days is very much about the early days of the virus and I was surprised at how evocative this was. I quite enjoyed being reminded of our thoughts and feelings back then. When we knew so little.

Having said that this is also a murder mystery so… Covid really only provides the opportunity.


Book review: Shadow Man by Alan Drew

Friday, January 26, 2018 Permalink

I’ve commented before on the number of books set in the not-too-distant past. Obviously for some – like Bloody January which I read recently, Adrian McKinty’s Sean Duffy series and Lynda LaPlante’s young Jane Tennison books – the time is almost another character in itself – the setting pivotal to the plot; but others just remind us of when things were different. A couple of my favourite series, the Robert B Parker Spenser series; and (the late) Sue Grafton’s alphabet series area (were, in the case of the latter) set just a couple few several decades ago. (Seems like yesterday but time flies, I mean… weren’t we worried about the Y2K bug just a couple of years ago?!)

Anyhoo, it’s a time before technology (as we now know it) was rife, before we had facts and information at our fingertips and, in some ways (given what we’re often exposed to), the opportunity for innocence was lost.