Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard
Rewind is a compelling, time-shifting thriller about voyeurism, obsession, and the dark side of the internet
Instagram star Natalie has gone missing and wannabe-serious reporter Audrey is determined to find out why. Tracing Natalie’s last movements to the mysterious and remote Shanamore Cottages, where creepy manager Andrew has installed cameras in the guest bedrooms, Audrey begins to uncover much more than she bargained for.
Rewind is a story about voyeurism, obsession and the dark side of the internet. The chapters, instead of being presented in a linear past, present and future format, are divided into 'Rewind’, ‘Fast Forward’, ‘Play' and ‘Pause’, jolting the reader back and forth within the narrative. The POV switches between characters (primarily focussing on Natalie and Audrey), building palpable suspense as the reader is drip-fed snippets of the full picture.
Although the video-mimicking format is well-executed and falls in line with traditional thriller timeline jumping, the constant shift in POV has the downside of making the characters feel like plot-propelling props, just there to provide red herrings. Natalie and Audrey at times feel indistinguishable and, with a small character pool, the whodunnit aspects are limited. Overall, this doesn’t detract from Catherine Ryan Howard’s clear skill for story weaving and suspense building, and Rewind is a compelling and thoroughly enjoyable read.
Corvus, 5 Sep, £14.99