A foul odor causes residents of an apartment complex to call the police. The officers responding discover the body of a man that has been dead for about two weeks. Investigators must piece together the scant number of clues to figure out what happened.

Rewind 56 days. Ciara and Oliver meet in a supermarket in Dublin, Ireland and soon begin dating. Shortly after they meet, COVID-19 begins to infest Ireland, causing businesses to close and employers to keep their employees home. When the government imposes a lockdown, Ciara and Oliver want to continue to see each other. Oliver suggests that Ciara move in with him. Ciara agrees but does not get rid of her own apartment. The restrictions provide a great opportunity to see where the relationship will go without pressure from family members. However, it also prevents them from verifying anything that they tell each other.

The reader finds out that Ciara and Oliver each have a past that could lead to less than honorable intentions for the relationship. Ciara wants to find answers about her brother’s death and Oliver was convicted of murder when he was young. Oliver’s real identity is a secret and protected, but someone has let him know that they know who he really is and where he lives. He begins to suspect that Ciara has is not who she says she is just as Ciara realizes that Oliver is not who he says he is. When secrets are revealed, Ciara walks out of Oliver’s apartment and possibly his life. A distraught Oliver has difficulty sleeping, so he takes a sleeping pill, but then Ciara stops by to talk. Can he get through their conversation? Is she coming over to tell him that everything will be okay? Or does she have something sinister on her mind?  

56 Days is a classic who-done-it mystery written in a present-day pandemic time. Vivid details to Dublin as a locked down city provide the reader with a real sense of what it was like when a bustling city went quiet. The chapters alternate between narrators – Ciara, Oliver, the investigators – as well as different times. It becomes a bit difficult and disjointed at times to jump between three different time spans. Narration also shifts between Ciara and Oliver within chapters, making it even more choppy to read. There are several grammatical and spelling errors, which get under my skin. If you can get past that, the storyline is fantastic. It has a sort of Alfred Hitchcock feel to it. Ciara and Oliver both have interesting and connected backgrounds that are completely revealed by the end of the book. The author does a great job in creating twists and turns in the plot that the reader will not see coming. In my opinion, this is a great story, but needed just a little more time in editing.

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