Review: Violet by Scott Thomas

For many children, the summer of 1988 was filled with sunshine and laughter. But for ten-year-old Kris Barlow, it was her chance to say goodbye to her dying mother.  

Three decades later, loss returns when her husband Jonah is killed in a car accident. And so, Kris decides that the best thing to do for herself, and her eight-year-old daughter Sadie, is to go home to the place where Kris first knew pain. To that summer house overlooking the crystal waters of Lost Lake. It’s there that Kris and Sadie will make a stand against grief. 

But a shadow has fallen over the quiet lake town of Pacington, Kansas. Beneath its surface, an evil has grown, and inside that home where Kris Barlow last saw her mother, an old friend awaits her return.


After reading the synopsis for Violet on NetGalley, I knew I had to read it. I love a good psychological horror, and this book seemed extremely promising.

The story starts off at an excruciatingly slow pace, and was packed full of unnecessary detail. I mean, did we really need an in depth description of how Kris brushed her teeth? Definitely not. For the first half of the book, I really struggled to get in to it, and was desperate for it to improve.

Well I certainly got what I hoped for with the second half. Once the story picked up, I really struggled to put it down. It became increasingly tense and unsettling with every single page, and was sending constant shivers down my spine. I also think that being a parent made Violet so much more difficult to read, because you see some of your biggest fears as a parent lived out in the book, and it certainly makes parts of the story rather difficult to read. However, there was one thing that did bother me throughout the entire book , and that was the way that adults were referring to parents as mummy and daddy, it had me totally cringing.

The characters were very well written, and explored in great detail. Kris was particularly well written, and the style of writing really made you feel as though you were inside her head, and experiencing the entire terrifying ordeal with her. The way Thomas portrayed the emotions of grief in Violet was better than any that I’ve ever read, and he really captured what it is like to lose someone who you love so much.

Although the start of Violet was a struggle to get through, the book definitely redeemed itself, and as a whole, it was a rather good read. The slow start will be reflected in my rating.


Thank you to NetGalley and InkShares for my ARC copy of Violet, in exchange for an honest review.

I give Violet 3.5/5 rating.

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