Violet by S.J.I. Holliday #blogtour @OrendaBooks @annecater

Today I’m absolutely thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour celebrations for Violet. Many thanks to Anne Cater and Karen Sullivan for my blog tour invite and review copy of the book.

What’s this book about?

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…

Here’s what I thought…

I adored this book! It’s the perfect psychological thriller-dark, brooding and utterly chilling with untrustworthy characters that you really want to hate but find yourself succumbing to their charismatic persona no matter how hard you try not to. Violet and Carrie meet accidentally in a Beijing hotel. Both are travelling alone so it seems fate that they are both travelling in the same direction. What follows is a journey on the Trans Siberian Express that delivers a beautifully descriptive narrative, bringing the stunning settings to life perfectly. But as the girls travel further into their once in a lifetime experience, underlying tensions start bubbling to the surface. And I was transfixed!

Susi Holliday has created an horrific scenario that made me glad my daughters never went off travelling! I know that meeting like minded people whilst travelling independently is supposed to be a great way to spend a gap year before settling down into a life of work or university but this book really brought it home to me that people can be whoever they want to be when no one knows the real them. Travelling independently gives you the opportunity to reinvent yourself and become someone you would never be at home, doing things that are so far removed from your usual persona that nobody from your usual life would recognise you. Scary thought eh?!

This book lived up to my expectations totally. I’m a huge Hitchcock fan and I know he would have been knocking on Susi Hollidays door if he were still alive demanding the screen rights! It would make a brilliant movie so I hope that one day I do see Violet and Carrie on the big screen.

Violet is disturbingly dark and so chilling I developed goosebumps. A fascinating storyline so highly recommended by me.

Meet the author…

S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday grew up in East Lothian, Scotland. A life-long fan of crime and horror, her short stories have been published in various places, and she was shortlisted for the inaugural CWA Margery Allingham prize. 

She has written three crime novels set in the fictional Scottish town of Banktoun, which are a mix of police procedural and psychological thriller. They are: “Black Wood”, “Willow Walk” and “The Damselfly” – all featuring the much loved character, Sergeant Davie Gray. 

Her serial killer thriller “The Deaths of December” (written as Susi Holliday), featuring Detective Sergeant Eddie Carmine and Detective Constable Becky Greene was a festive hit in 2017.

Her spooky mystery “The Lingering” was released in September 2018.

Her latest book “Violet” – a psychological thriller set on the Trans-Siberian Express is out in September 2019.

You can find out more at her website: and on Facebook and Twitter @SJIHolliday. Sign-up for updates and giveaways here:

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

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