VIOLET is the second major release from Scott Thomas. The first being KILL CREEK, which I adored. I liked this book as well, but not quite as much.
Kris Barlow and her daughter Sadie have recently suffered a tragedy that will change their lives forever. Sadie has now gone from a lively young girl to a quiet withdrawn one. In an effort to take their minds off things, Kris decides that they will spend their summer at a cabin on Lost Lake where she used to go as a child with her parents. They discover the home in a serious state of disrepair which keeps them busy for a while and Kris begins to see positive changes in Sadie's behavior. When they go into town, though, they get strange looks; one townie even tells Kris she needs to keep a close eye on her daughter in this town. Not long after that, back at the cabin Kris hears Sadie talking and giggling and thinks she is finally on the road to recovery. But is she really? Will they get the emotional healing they were seeking? Why were the townsfolk acting so strangely? You'll have to read VIOLET to find out!
I love a slow burning story, (see my reviews of Straub's GHOST STORY and/or Thomas Tryon's HARVEST HOME), and this one does start off slowly-but I was all hey, no worries, it's cool. But about 100 pages later I wasn't finding it so cool. Don't get me wrong, time was spent describing the town and its residents, (fine) the complicated goings on within the Barlow family, (fine), but the incredibly detailed sanding of the deck and the cleaning of rooms? Not so much.
If I set that aside and just focus on the family mysteries and how they unfurled, I feel more satisfied. Mr. Thomas had me intrigued with the story, which is why I kept going, but even in that area, I felt like it took too long for anything of substance to happen. Lots of teasers and a little foreshadowing will only hold me for so long. When the action did start though, I was glued and I dug the denouement in a BIG WAY(!), I just felt like it took too long to get there and It pains me to say it.
One thing that worked for me on all levels is the music featured. (Kris finds an old mix tape and plays it almost continuously when working on or in the cabin). For me, even when the music wasn't mentioned, I was still hearing it in my mind, playing behind the scenes I was witnessing. I thought that was done deftly and I appreciate the skill required for it to blend in the way it did.
I seem to be in the minority on this book as most of my reviewing clan seem to have loved it. All I can say is, please remember this is just my opinion, and if you were thinking of giving VIOLET a try, please do! I probably just read it wrong. I DO recommend this book, in spite of the things I've mentioned, but I was hoping so hard to LOVE it, and it just didn't happen.
*Thank you to Inkshares and to NetFalley for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*