Release Date: February 2, 2017
Format: Audio CDs
Pages: Hardcover: 368 pages | Audio Length: 11 hours 42 mins
Narrators: Alan Smyth , Bronson Pinchot , Suzanne Toren
Rating: 4 bookmarks
Synopsis: 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 ...
*This audiobook was provided by the publisher in exchange for a honest review.
While Sarah is gone, he is bored and not as focused as he should be and decides to send Sarah a text through the WhatsApp app, but she doesn’t respond. He’s not worried at first because she is probably busy with business
meetings. But the plot thickens when Sarah’s parents call to inquire about her whereabouts, her best friend Rose reveals some truths, and she doesn’t show up at the airport gate when Adam arrives to pick her up.
ship that is looking for her adult son. And lastly, we hear from Romi the troubled son of Corrine. When I first read the synopsis, it only mentions the story of Adam and Sarah, so I was very surprised when the narrative of Romi and his troubled past and the relationship with his mother Corrine immediately begins to unfold after Adam’s story. These two stories are as different as night and day, but Howard weaves them together impeccably.
Howard did a magnificent job with character development. Initially, it feels like the development of each character is long and arduous, but it all a part of her master plan.
Adam starts off as a whiny, self-centered and annoying boyfriend that develops into a man that will go to great lengths to find the woman he loves despite what others believe about her. Trouble seems to follow Romi who appears to be misunderstood by his mother. I felt compassion for Romi because terrible things “just happen” when he is around and how his mother treats him. As a mother myself, I had a hard time liking Corrine (at first) because she obviously had no love for her son Romi. No matter, how much he tried to do right, she despised him.
When an author can incite such passion in me about characters, I consider that a win-win. I do not always have to like or relate to a character, but they have to be interesting and these characters are definitely that.
All I can say is Ms. Howard did her homework and I appreciate and respect the time and effort she put into this book. I loved how she incorporated the aspects of the maritime law and the cruise industry in the storyline though the character’s dialogue. If it was written any other way, it would have come off as a Public Service Announcement
(PSA) or a blurb from Wikipedia.
Sarah and Adam’s story takes place in present day Cork, Ireland and on the cruise liner sailing the Mediterranean Sea between Barcelona and Nice. And Romi and Corrine’s narrative is mainly written in the past in Nice. Howard
does a wonderful job interweaving the lives of these three characters with very different back stories into an intricate and suspenseful novel. These three points of views provide many twists that leave you second guessing
yourself throughout the story.
I also enjoyed her use of current technology in Adam’s search for information about Sarah’s disappearance. Adam used the WhatsApp app to chat with Sarah and waited for the double check marks to see if she read the message. He also used reverse Google image search and Facebook to find the email address of a former passenger on the cruise ship The Celebrate.
I almost lost interest because of the ebb and flow vibe to this story. Howard literally takes her time with this story of murder and deception, but this slow crawl is where she draws you in, so PLEASE be patient. The beginning was slow and Adam’s whining and obsessive nature with Sarah who possibly left on her own accord did get on my nerve, but I
wanted to know what happened to Sarah. Did she leave or was she taken? The book also addresses the slow decline of relationships and how the signs are there, but many are oblivious. Catherine Ryan Howard has crafted a multifaceted mystery/suspense novel with accurate accounts of things that happen or could happen on cruises. I highly recommend this book, but you just may reconsider booking that cruise vacation with your family or friends.