Book Review: Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard

Andrew, the manager of Shanamore Holiday Cottages, watches his only guest via a hidden camera in her room. One night the unthinkable happens: a shadowy figure emerges onscreen, kills her and destroys the camera. But who is the murderer? How did they know about the camera? And how will Andrew live with himself?

Natalie wishes she’d stayed at home as soon as she arrives in the wintry isolation of Shanamore. There’s something creepy about the manager. She wants to leave, but she can’t – not until she’s found what she’s looking for…

This is an explosive story about a murder caught on camera. You’ve already missed the start. To get the full picture you must rewind the tape and play it through to the end, no matter how shocking…

‘Then Natalie saw the very last thing she was expecting to see here, in The Kiln, in Shanamore.
     A picture of her own face smiling up at her.’

‘Rewind’ is my second Catherine Ryan Howard book but it certainly won’t be my last based on my experience with her work so far. This book was tremendously well written and pretty hard to put down due to its twisty, compelling plot. What really stood out to me in this book though was the characters.

There was quite a variety of people in this book – more than I’d expected, in fact, before picking the novel up – and each and every one of them felt real. In some of these cases this was actually pretty disturbing considering what the people in question were like. There were a number of creepy and unsettling characters in this book and that, in itself, was enough to keep me guessing. Several people had the potential to be the killer who’d been captured on tape and each of them had some sort of motive too. It honestly was a little bit unnerving how realistically written some of these people were but it wasn’t just the more disturbing individuals who felt fleshed out and believable, everybody in this book did. The central character was well written with an interesting backstory and the same applies to the reporter involved too. I honestly didn’t feel like there was a weak character in the book which definitely added to the story.

Considering the unusual way that ‘Rewind’ is written I’m not sure if some people would struggle slightly although if this is the case, and you do feel a little lost when starting the book, I honestly would urge you to carry on. There are a fair few points of view to follow, in varying timelines, but each of them is vital to the story and just incredibly well written. The odd timeline involved really works for the story that is told and I really enjoyed it. It allowed for twists and turns from several points in time to be revealed at various places throughout the story. The way that social media is portrayed in this book was also quite unsettling at times. It felt spot on, considering Natalie’s background, but it really highlighted some of the dangers of sharing too much of yourself online.

As a whole everything came together really well and was tied up wonderfully. I did guess who the killer was but at the same time I wasn’t entirely confident in my guess. I had several theories and there were quite a few big reveals along the way so this didn’t particularly take away from the overall enjoyment of the novel for me. The one thing that did lessen my enjoyment slightly however is a slight continuity error towards the end. There were two, technically, but one was pretty minor and I would have overlooked. The second of these, though, didn’t really impact upon the overall story or change the fact that everything came together well but it did grate on me slightly. It basically comes down to someone claiming not to have a phone and then, several pages later, stating that they do have one. In the circumstances of the conversation it did irritate me that this wasn’t picked up on; especially as, to avoid such an error, all that had to be said instead in the first conversation was that they didn’t have their phone with them (and I did go back to check that I wasn’t mistaken about this not being the case). Still as I said this didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the story too much, hence the still high rating.

Overall I’d definitely recommend this book for its compelling storyline and incredibly well written characters. It was a very hard book to put down pretty much from page one and I can’t wait to see what the author writes next; whatever it is I’m sure I’ll be reading it.

Check out Rewind on Goodreads here.

Trigger Warnings:Violent/Graphic Murder Scene, Pedophilia and Stalking.

I strive to keep my reviews completely spoiler free but if anyone wants to discuss anything about the book in more detail (or just give me an excuse to gush about it) then feel free to contact me in the comment section below.


9 thoughts on “Book Review: Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard

  1. This sounds great! I’ve been reading slower paced books lately, so I’m definitely in the mood for something fast paced and un-put-down-able. I usually do ok with weird timelines and different POVs. Thank you for reviewing this book, I hadn’t heard about this title until today!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review, Charlotte! I really enjoyed the book and can appreciate the point you’re making about the characters being one of the best features of this well-written novel. Were you surprised by how trivial the ‘original’ reason was? Also, did you find the time counters helpful?

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    1. Thank you. I didn’t realize you’d reviewed it too, I’ll go and look at yours now (: I started to ask which you meant but do you mean from the very end, the reason that you get in the extract? If so definitely. I wouldn’t have thought of something so small leading to such a major event. And not particularly. A few of the headings above them yeah but not so much the specific timings. Did you find them helpful? Also have you read anything else by the author?


      1. Yes, I meant the one mentioned at the very end. I pretty much ignored them 😁 The story was surprisingly easy to follow for such complex structure.
        It was my first book by her, but definitely won’t be the last as it was so good!
        I find it so difficult to write spoiler-free reviews- it’s great to be able to chat with somebody who”s just read the same book!❤🤗

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      2. It kind of made me think of the butterfly effect – how the tiniest thing can lead to something totally unexpected. I did for the most part really. I found it easier just to start reading each section as after a few lines it was easy enough to tell whose chapters you were now in. I’m really looking forward to seeing what she writes next ☺️ yes I agree, it’s really hard to explain your feelings about some stories without saying too much. And it is nice to discuss books afterwards with someone else whose just read them (: then you get to talk about some of the things that you can’t say in the reviews. Share theories if it was a thriller and just generally discuss what you did and didn’t like. If you ever want to discuss any books that we’ve both read feel free to contact me about them (: whether I’ve loved or hated (which is rare) or just found a book ok there’s usually something that I want to talk about concerning it 😊

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