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―her husband killed in a car accident. And so, Kris goes home to the place where she first knew pain―to that summer house overlooking the crystal waters of Lost Lake. 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.
...Violet is a direct, affecting, and psychologically thrilling slice of Midwestern gothic ... Make no mistake: There isn't a shred of originality to Violet. Then again, it doesn't need any. Thomas' scary tropes may be well-worn, but his slowly gathering storm spirals around the poignant relationship between Kris and Sadie...Thomas' deft use of flashbacks and vignettes unveils layer after layer of his characters' psyches, and his employment of everyday details in the service of sheer, skin-crawling fright is masterful. You'll never hear The Beatles' 'Blackbird' or look at a hive of bees the same way ever again. Violet's horror is quiet, an emanation from the shadows rather than an assault of guts and gore. And the book's big reveal is as satisfying as it is soul-wrenchingly unsettling, a peek behind the darkness of grief when it's pulled back like a curtain ... [Scott's] beautifully delineated backdrop of Kansan mundanity only makes his revelations of terror all the more pronounced in comparison. The atmosphere is brooding and foreboding; the foreshadowing is pregnant with suspense. Thomas knows how to smolder, and the misty waters of Lost Lake gape and beckon as ominously as the unknown itself ... Thomas has crafted an indelible story of childhood games and grownup anxieties, all wrapped in a supernatural shroud that unfurls from the heart of America. Whether or not thoughts can breathe, books certainly can, and Violet does exactly that.
...Violet, is a story that will linger with readers long after they turn the last page ... Violet is a slow burn of a book. Really good slow burns are hard to pull off, but Thomas does it with shocking effortlessness. Every small step taken leads somewhere important, and Thomas’s scene building is profoundly effective ... More than just a horror novel (and it is, to be sure), this is a devastating and masterful study of grief and guilt wrapped in scares both shocking and subtly textured, of things seen just out of the corner of the eye. Scott Thomas should be a household name, and I can’t wait for the next book.
Thomas’ second novel tops the reading experience of his breakout debut, Kill Creek ... Kris’ unreliable narration adds a layer of dread to this well-built world that dives deep into otherworldly monsters and real-life tragedies. Every detail matters in this character-centered, psychological suspense story of mothers, daughters, and the lies and secrets we harbor deep within. This is a title that fans of best sellers Sarah Pinborough and Jennifer McMahon will love. Violet also stands as proof that Thomas is a horror novelist who will be camping out on library shelves for years to come.