Latest Reads

VIOLET – S.J Holiday – Blogtour

As always, I would like to extend my thanks to Anne Cater, for organising this blog tour for Violet by SJI Holliday, published by Orenda Books. It has been a real pleasure to read and be part of the blog tour for this truly brilliant book.

Carrie’s best friend has an accident and can no longer make the round-the-world trip they’d planned together, so Carrie decides to go it alone.

Violet is also travelling alone, after splitting up with her boyfriend in Thailand. She is desperate for a ticket on the Trans-Siberian Express, but there is nothing available.

When the two women meet in a Beijing Hotel, Carrie makes the impulsive decision to invite Violet to take her best friend’s place.

Thrown together in a strange country, and the cramped cabin of the train, the women soon form a bond. But as the journey continues, through Mongolia and into Russia, things start to unravel – because one of these women is not who she claims to be…

Author: S.J. Holliday

S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday is a scientist, writing coach and the bestselling author of five crime novels, including the Banktoun Trilogy (Black Wood, Willow Walk and The Damselfly), the festive chiller The Deaths of December and her creepy Gothic psychological thriller The Lingering. Her short story ‘Home From Home’ was published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and shortlisted for the CWA Margery Allingham Prize. Encapsulating her love of travel and claustrophobic settings, her latest novel, Violet, explores toxic friendships and the perils of talking to strangers, as well as drawing on her own journey on the Trans-Siberian Express over 10 years ago. All of her novels have been UK ebook number-one bestsellers. Susi was born and raised in Scotland and now divides her time between Edinburgh, London and as many other exciting places that she can fit in.

My Review: Violet

Violet has fallen out with her boyfriend Sam, they were meant to be traveling, they had a route, a destination all planned out. But he wanted to stay on longer in Thailand, so they went their separate ways.

Carrie was meant to be going with her friend Laura – but Laura fell and ended up in plaster a week before they were due to leave. So has a spare ticket, shes trying to get a refund and it so happens Violet overhears this and soon steps into Laura’s shoes. After a ‘chance’ meeting with Carrie at the train station they bond over a few drinks and the next morning are both in on the train to Moscow, with a few stops along the way.

Carrie has her own story, Suzi has a subtle way of dropping in tit-bits if information about her characters, that slide under the radar and it’s not until the story develops deeper and more is revealed that we find the true story.

Now, Carrie and Violet seem similar – to begin with, they both want to enjoy the journey but want different things from it.

They go to the desert and get a reading from a Shamen, but they have both taken part in a ritual that has left them both in a haze, neither is sure what’s happened, Violet has flashbacks, and tries to piece the evening together. The Shamen tells Violet she has a bad soul. There are rumblings of her past, but no details enough to piece it all together. But the same can be said of Carrie, she writes and deletes emails to laura, saying she had done a bad thing, but no details are given.

Are these two equally as bad and both have dark souls? It appears so, Violet leaves a trail of bodies in her wake and seems to manage to avoid any kind of confrontation regarding these incidents.

Even after Violet and Carrie go their separate ways, Violet appears exempt from blame. She travels to Moscow as planned, unscathed by any of the events that have occurred and continues on her path of destruction.

The fact that this book is born from Suzi’s own travels means the scenery and surroundings seem more authentic and this adds to the atmospheric feeling of fear I felt for Violet and Carrie.

Yet another superbly written thriller from Susi Holliday, I love Suzi’s writing style and how easily she breathes life, word by word into this amazingly clever story that becomes a monster that can’t be tamed.

Brilliantly planned, compelling and gritty.

When I met Suzi at Capital Crime Festival October 2019, London

I had the best time at Capital Crime, meeting and making friends with fellow bloggers it’s a festival full of authors and anyone involved in the crime genre, all there for the same reason, to meet and socialise with their audience, it was a great event and I think we may have fan girled Susi at this point and scared her slightly.

To purchase and you know you want to – https://bertsbooks.co.uk/product/violet/

@SJIHolliday @annecater @OrendaBooks #Violet #RandomThingsThroughMyLetterbox

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