So, I’m really excited for my stop on the tour organised by Anne Cater for Violet by S.J.I Holliday, a big thank you to Anne for inviting me to join in.
It also happens to be the books publication day!
Let’s get started…
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…
– Goodreads –
Oh boy what a ride that was!!
I was a little concerned at the beginning as I found the first 30% a little slow, backpacking through countries on my own has never appealed to me so I think that’s why I was struggling to connect with the story. However, once we started unravelling Violets dark and mysterious personality things were definitely taken up a notch.
It is frightening to think who you could meet while travelling alone and in a split second decide to invite them along with you on a train where you have to sleep in the same room and you can’t leave until the scheduled stop. At least Violet is nice, she’s a bit weird but harmless isn’t she?
This story is told from Violets perspective except for the emails which Carrie sends back to her family and friends. I really loved this insight into Carries thoughts which also reveal that she may have a few dark secrets herself.
I finished this book in two sittings as I just had to find out what dark secrets Violet as well as Carrie were hiding, the ending was really satisfying and I actually really enjoyed it.
SJI Holliday created an addictive and almost claustrophobic setting for our two main characters. This is the first book that I have read from the author and it definitely wont be the last!
So who is SJI Holliday?
S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday is a scientist, writing coach and the bestselling author of five crime novel, 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.
See you in the next one…