The Plot (from Goodreads):
No one knew they’d moved in together. Now one of them is dead. Could this be the perfect murder?
56 DAYS AGO: Ciara and Oliver meet in a supermarket queue in Dublin the same week Covid-19 reaches Irish shores.
35 DAYS AGO: When lockdown threatens to keep them apart, Oliver suggests that Ciara move in with him. She sees a unique opportunity for a new relationship to flourish without the pressure of scrutiny of family and friends. He sees it as an opportunity to hide who – and what – he really is.
TODAY: Detectives arrive at Oliver’s apartment to discover a decomposing body inside.
Will they be able to determine what really happened, or has lockdown provided someone with the opportunity to commit the perfect crime?
This isn’t the first book I have read that mentions Covid, but it’s the first that uses it as a main plot point. I have to admit I was nervous about reading a Covid-based book while we’re still in the middle of dealing with the pandemic, but actually thought the plot was handled very tastefully. I loved the way lockdown was used as a catalyst to force the characters into close proximity. What a risky decision to move in with someone without telling anyone, though! As scary as it is to think about, I’m sure something like this happened somewhere in the world.
Surprisingly, I enjoyed the trip down memory lane to the first days of lockdown. CRH did a good job of describing how odd it was to walk around empty streets and not hear any traffic. Especially driving down the Las Vegas strip with all of the casinos boarded up–it was eerie!
The plot is told in an overlapping fashion, as you can tell from looking at the chapter titles. We read a scene from Ciara’s perspective and a few chapters later read it again from Oliver’s perspective, and vice versa. I liked this as a method to show both character’s reactions, but do admit that it got a little repetitive at points. The book could have been slimmed down by not repeating so much of the dialogue, which didn’t change between scenes. The plot also jumps to present day and the officers’ investigation of the body found in Oliver’s apartment. I enjoy when books tackle a storyline from both directions like this, and it was very well done.
Both characters have secrets, and I thought they all came out at the perfect pace. This is certainly a thriller I would recommend, even to people unsure if they’re ready to read about Covid.
I’m very glad I listened to the audio of this one, because I don’t think I would have realized how Ciara’s name was pronounced. Now that I’ve heard it I realize it’s the Irish pronunciation, but I certainly didn’t make that connection by just reading the book. I know how to pronounce Siobhan, at least! The audio production was perfect, and I especially loved it because I have a definite weakness for Irish accents. (Have I mentioned how disappointing it is that Pat doesn’t have an Irish accent, given that his father does?)
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