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Distress Signals

Narrated by: Stephen Armstrong
Length: 12 hrs and 19 mins
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The day Adam Dunne's girlfriend, Sarah, fails to return from a business trip to Barcelona, his 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.

Adam is puzzled when he connects Sarah to a cruise ship called The Celebrate and to a woman who disappeared in eerily similar circumstances. Adam must try to outwit a predator who seems to have found the perfect hunting ground....

©2016 Catherine Ryan Howard (P)2016 W F Howes Ltd

What listeners say about Distress Signals

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    5 out of 5 stars

Really good Book 📖 and well read

I really liked this book. It was well read and written. I liked the twist and the two stories.

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  • Sophie S
  • 01-08-2016

Interesting story that kept me focussed

The story was as described in the description. Interesting idea and although it was obvious from the beginning that the French side story had something to do with it, the revelation didn't come too soon. The characters were believable and I could identify with them.

Now for the narrator. His accents were just ridiculous! His French was bordering on the German and sounded like he'd watched too many episodes if 'Allo 'Allo! He couldn't make up his mind between Northern Irish and southern Irish accents. If you're going to do such poor accents it would be better to do none at all.
The accents did really distract me and definitely took away from the overall experience.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Murder Mystery Thriller Fan
  • 22-11-2019

FAB 5* Mystery 'til it fell apart like a Clown Car

I adored this amazing thriller with so many twists, turns and intriguing mysteries - I even sailed over a few improbably glitches but I was still very much in love with it until it all fell apart like a clown car towards the end. In fact I thought this might have been my favourite ever whodunnit and I spent a long car journey with my husband telling him all about the intriguing premise, exciting setting, huge shockers and fascinating tightly woven plots.
He too was spellbound and listened to me tell the story without interruption which is possibly a first.
Then i got home and finished the last few chapters and it just felt like such a let down - like unwrapping a gorgeous gift wrapped present only to find a crumpled old paper bag inside. So much promise equal only to the disappointment of the reveal.

Much like a fish ....the older this plot got the more it stank

It was almost as if two people had written it or if the author had run out of time or perhaps the truth is that they had written themselves into an impossible corner.

I think this is the art of writing a great thriller or whodunnit, the solution must be as satisfying as the mystery and this, I know, if the hard part. Relatively easy to write about mysterious things - like where do all those odd socks go or how your car keys ended up in the bathroom .... but creating a solution which is not an anticlimax or too far fetched is the real trick which holds the whole story together.
I have huge admiration for the author to create so much tension, so much intrigue and so many top class twists and turns which had me totally mystified and fascinated - and yes looking back there were cracks in the plot but I had buckled up and was really enjoying this riveting ride - then it just got a bit silly and the errors became glaring and the story unbelievable and yes - it fell apart like the most gorgeous fabulous mysterious clown car ever.

I was gutted.

I will not spoil anyone eles's enjoyment by listing the fatal flaws and I was happy to overlook some at the start as the whole mystery ramped up - but then it just felt like sloppiness.
Plus the superfluous subplot - it was neither one thing or another and it really was quite bizarre. Neither a synopsis or a fully developed story. Voiced with a very very odd French accent which did remind me more of a comedy sketch than serious narration was just odd odd odd and not in the least but credible. It also had a feeling of not happening in the present time plus a few odd things thrown in like a psychologist being struck off due to the behaviour of a criminally insane patient.
Really?

The narration was also very hit and miss leaving aside the comedy French accent.
The guy was meant to be a native of Cork, in the west of Ireland and yet he ranged as far north accentwise as Donegal.
I do suppose this was favourable over a terribly strong Cork accent and I have to say the narrator did a very good job of creating this character and I felt he was very believable.
His English accent came and went, blew hot and cold until it was just hardly noticable as his own Irish accent was all over the place also.

Also did not really feel all the swearing added anything to the book and just made the character seem like a bit of an idiot.
But then there were quite a few idiots in the book like the person who overheard two people talking yet could only hear one of them and continued to go ahead and kill that person without even checking if her presumptions about them and the reason for killing them was true. Hmmmm

This is one of the few examples I can give of plot holes without spoiling the story but the closer you look the more ridiculous it all seems and it just all seemed like a huge waste of time.

My suggestion would be that this book had been edited so it ended at the height of its considerable appeal, intrigue and mystery, the remaining chapters thrown overboard and one line added .... Who knows?

In fact it could have even been turned into a competition to see who could come up with a believable ending which does the rest of the book's excellent mystery justice - it is just such a waste as it could have been my favourite book ever and I wish I had stopped reading about 3/4 way through when Adam retired to his cabin before the whole book scuppered itself.

I also tried Rewind by the same author, which sounded like a brilliant thriller - but was rendered unlistenable to thanks to the worst narration ever - so another one sadly to avoid.

2 people found this helpful

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  • A. McKechnie
  • 05-09-2016

Very silly and completely implausible

The story descended into complete farce in the second half of the book especially. There was also a sub-story which was unnecessary to the plot and went nowhere. I regret the hours of my life spent on this poorly written tale. No redeeming features whatsoever.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ann D
  • 03-05-2017

Not one for a Cruise holiday!

This is a good, original, well written story. There is however a sub-story, which, despite being reasonably interesting in it's own right, was superfluous to the main story and I don't really get why it is there!

The narration is not good. The rhythm and pace are fine, but the accents are terrible, to the point of being laughable if I hadn't been desperately trying to disattend to them whilst staying with the tension created by the story. The English accent changes between nearly English, with a smattering of Irish within sentences and, what I believed to be Eastern European for the first half of the book, is apparently intended as French! It's truly awful, and only recognisable as French because we were told, and also because half way through the narrator began speaking like a cast member from Allo, Allo!

The book must be good. Otherwise, I would have abandoned it part way through due to the poor narration.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jam
  • 13-09-2019

Gripping

Absolutely gripping. The style of the narrator took me a while to get used to and then had me believing every well placed word. I didn’t want to stop listening until I reached the end. So surprising a book.

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  • Maeve M
  • 01-09-2019

Intriguing

really liked it, a bit different and kept you guessing till the end. will try another of her books.

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  • Ken
  • 21-07-2018

not the best

Hard listen was going to put down after 3 chapters but preserved buy skipping some chapters involving Roman which I thought was pointless and was not need. It just confused the plot.

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  • P. Coleman
  • 17-01-2017

Fantastic story brought to life by amazing narration

Either the best or joint best audiobook I've listened to in the 2 years since I joined. Hard to describe the plot without any spoilers but a page turning mystery that had me listening in every spare moment and puzzling over it when I was dragged away to do anything else. Pretty believable most of the way through whilst still exciting. An excellent job by the author to keep us guessing right to the end without getting boring or silly. I find very few mysteries that aren't boringly obvious or totally unrealistic but this couldn't have been better.

I usually prefer female narrators but this book could have been written for this narrator, he managed the accents and gender differences to the point where it was more like a full cast. In fact this story really lends itself to this format as most of it is narrated from the perspective of the main character and most of the larger sections of dialogue involve characters that have different accents so it's very easy to follow. A credit very well spent and I hope this author and narrator can collaborate again soon.

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  • The Earnest Critic
  • 08-09-2016

fantastic novel

really terrific crime thriller. one of the best I've read since I Let You Go and that wasn't as twisty as this.

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  • junem
  • 12-08-2016

brilliant really enjoyed this!!!

first time I've listened to this author. Couldn't stop listening till it finished! will be looking for more by this author!