Published by Orenda Books on November 14, 2019
Also by this author: The Lingering
When two strangers end up sharing a cabin on the Trans-Siberian Express, an intense friendship develops, one that can only have one ending … a nerve-shattering psychological thriller from bestselling author SJI Holliday
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 also 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…
A tense and twisted psychological thriller about obsession, manipulation and toxic friendships, Violet also reminds us that there's a reason why mother told us not to talk to strangers...
✮ My Review ✮
Remind me never ever to make friends with people again and never go travelling, I mean quite frankly the world has gone mad and if you read Violet you will agree! But I think I might quite like this world!!
I really was not sure what to expect from Violet, for one I thought we would have a book told from the point of view from Cassie and it be all about Violet that way. However, the book is told from Violet’s point of view which made the book a helluva lot more darker and intense, with snippets to Cassie with her email exchange to her best friend. Seeing in the mind of Violet, the depths of obsession and love she has led for such a climactic ending. I did have my suspicions with Cassie and her back story and the last chapter was a punch in a gut as I suspected right.
The girls meet by fate, so we think, Cassie’s best friend unable to make the trip and Violet has been cruelly dumped by Sam meet and Cassie offers Violet a lifeline and a train ticket on the Tran-Siberian Express and a chance to do some sightseeing. From the get-go, something is off and then we are thrown into such a claustrophobic situation, two girls in a small train cabin and barely know each other.
I flew through this book in one day (apparently a total of 2 hours 24 mins) like the speeding Tran-Siberian Express, Violet did not relent. There was a lot of partying, drugs, lust, obsession and so much intensity between the girls and not always for the good. The way the girls played each other all through the trip showed they did not have the capability to build a foundation for a true friendship and it really was a passing phase, well for one of them.
I absolutely loved the big fat nod to the Lingering, by mentioning the asylum made me wonder how much, if it all, involvement one of the girls had with the place…Or if it was just a big fat Easter egg for fun. Now I did like The Lingering but, in my opinion, Violet is miles ahead of that. I inhaled, I devoured this book, every word you can think of about being so engrossed and flying through a book, applies to me and this book!
To say that both Cassie and Violet were completely unhinged in their own way is a complete understatement. Both try to hide it yet they both flaunt it, neither knowing exactly who or what they want or need. Everything starts to come to head one night at a drug-fuelled shaman party, one we are not privy to all the information but the snippets we get is enough to know something dark and a little bit wrong happened. There is somewhat a fascination watching two characters spiral completely out of control and what the proverbial shit hit the fan and when it does, it bloody does! I felt there was a time limit on the story, well didn’t help I could see I was running out of pages, but it felt when you got to a point, that time was running out for these girls one way or another, I just was not sure what the fall out would be and how we would get to the end unscathed if at all.
Holliday entices you to come along on this journey with the free-flowing happy beginning. If it was a film, you would picture sunshine, light and flowers, with the film slowly getting darker, toxic and more deathly as we go along but by that point you are doomed. Even if you wanted to, and why would you (!!), you could not get off this breakneck speed journey. You had your chance in the beginning but when things spiral you are in for the complete long haul. I loved that we have two women, neither you can get to grips with liking too much and never quite knowing how much you can trust them.
Violet is delicious, it’s dark, it’s foreboding, it’s toxic and it’s just fantastic to read. I will be forever keeping one eye over my shoulder to who I make friends with now!
Until next time xxx
My biggest thanks to Karen at Orenda for sending me a proof of this book to read in return for my honest and unbiased review
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: