Today I’m so delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the stunning new novel by S J I Holliday, Violet.
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…
I absolutely loved The Lingering which I was lucky enought to review last year. It was a brilliantly chilling novel and so I was super excited to receive a copy of Susi’s next novel, Violet. This story is very different but doesn’t disappoint in the slightest. Violet explores the darker side of friendship where obsession and desire become deadly and it will certainly leave you with a deep sense of unease.
Violet and Carrie are both travelling from Beijing to Russia. Both are looking for adventure and fun. But one is looking for something more and she doesn’t like it if things don’t go her way. No, she doesn’t like it at all. The story mostly comes to us through Violet’s viewpoint and it serves well to build a portait of both girls. Both girls have their secrets and Susi does a brilliant job of keeping the tension running throughout. One of them is extremely dangerous though and isn’t who she says she is. I absolutely loved the twists and turns, Suzi’s prose is brilliant and she is master of suspense. We never really know what lurks beneath the surface of anyone and this novel is a prime example that you should always be weary of strangers (and friends). You never quite know what they are capable of.
Absolutely brilliant, Susie is a true master of the psychological thriller. Her stories take us on dark journeys with complex, terrifying characters that you just can’t help feel compelled to follow into the unknown. I can’t wait to see where the darkness of her imagination takes us next.
Thank you so much to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in this blog tour. Thanks also to the lovely people at Orenda Books for my review copy. I always know I’m in for a treat when an Orenda title arrives at my door.
About the author
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 drawingon 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.
You can follow Susi on Twitter at @SJIHolliday
About the publisher
Orenda Books is a small independent publishing company specialising in literary fiction with aheavy emphasis on crime/thrillers, and approximately half the list in translation. They’ve been twice shortlisted for the Nick Robinson Best Newcomer Award at the IPG awards, and publisher and owner Karen Sullivan was a Bookseller Rising Star in 2016. In 2018, they were awarded a prestigious Creative Europe grant for their translated books programme. Three authors, including Agnes Ravatn, Matt Wesolowski and Amanda Jennings have been WHSmith Fresh Talent picks, and Ravatn’s The Bird Tribunal was shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award, won an English PEN Translation Award, and adapted for BBC Radio Four ’s Book at Bedtime. Six titles have been short- or long-listed for the CWA Daggers. Launched in 2014 with a mission to bring more international literature to the UK market, Orenda Books publishes a host of debuts, many of which have gone on to sell millions worldwide, and looks for fresh, exciting new voices that push the genre in new directions. Bestselling authors include Ragnar Jonasson, Antti Tuomainen, Gunnar Staalesen, Michael J. Malone, Kjell Ola Dahl, Louise Beech, Johana Gustawsson, Lilja Sigurðardóttir and Sarah Stovell.