Book Review: Violet

VIOLET | Scott Thomas
09.24.2019 | Inkshares
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

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When Kris Barlow was ten years old she experienced the tragedy of saying goodbye to her dying mother. Unknown to Kris for many years, her mother was fighting against cancer. Away at their family lakehouse the moment finally came after many days of suffering to say goodbye to her mother. The pain was unbearable and Kris had many issues coping with this loss.

Three decades have passed and Kris is yet again facing loss. This time around Kris has lost her husband who was killed in a car accident. Kris, now a mother to eight-year-old Sadie, is faced with finding a way for her family to grieve. She chooses to head back to the lakehouse where she first met this type of excruciating pain. Instead of finding a place to help her cope, she finds a house that has started to rot and a town that has lost its charm. The quiet lake town of Pacington, Kansas has changed over the years and an evil presence has grown in Kris’ absence. Inside her former home an old friend awaits her return.

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VIOLET is a slow-burning, intricately plotted trip into one woman’s darkest times. This is a horror book focused on the impact that grief and loss can have in someone’s life. This is not a book filled with jump scares or random twists to keep the reader terrified. What one will find within these pages is subtle horror that will keep you thinking long after you’ve set the book down.

Scott Thomas is a masterful writer of details. There was never a second when reading VIOLET that I could not vividly imagine the scenery or characters as they moved throughout the plot. While at times I do think Thomas got a bit too wordy, I think that the main intention was to always fully immerse the reader into Kris Barlow’s story. The closeness that the reader grows with this type of writing style really helps to bond them to the character’s experiences and what is happening in the plot. It’s almost like when you’re watching a show and you know something is going to happen, you can feel the tension brewing. I do see some readers finding this to make the story too slow instead of simply making the story methodical, which is the approach I believe Thomas was aiming for. Would I have liked more action? Sure, but I don’t think it would have fit this story.

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I don’t want to give away too many details to the plot with my review of VIOLET, but I do want to expand a bit on my overall feelings for the story. Thomas creates this mood or feeling surrounding the story where you aren’t certain if what Kris is telling the reader is fact or fiction. Kris has an undeniable unreliability and at times it can make the reader second guess if they choose to believe her claims or not. I appreciated that every once in a while we would hear from Sadie or meet a Pacington resident who would add their perspective to events. These tidbits helped me to formulate my theories about what was truly happening at the lakehouse.

Perhaps my favorite part of this story is how Kris’ past ultimately ended up impacting the future of Pacington. The evil presence that has overtaken the lakehouse and impacted the town is mesmerizing and the origin story is completely unique. I think one could likely guess what this presence is from the synopsis, but I won’t be spoiling it here! 

This book is perfect for those looking for a book that will give you chills. The story is emotional, as well as unsettling. Do yourself a favor and take some time this spooky season to add this one to your TBR!


This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

Disclosure: A huge thank you to Inkshares for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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