Published by Crooked Lane Books ( 22nd August 2019)
My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Crooked Lane Books, and the author via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Violet Is Blue. That’s the name of Violet’s YouTube channel. A channel where millions of people connected with her over her honesty about the struggles of her Post Natal Depression, and just general life in trying to raise children to be kind, healthy and happy little humans. However, when overnight, all of Violet’s social media sites disappear, two women find it difficult to grasp.
Lily, a widowed, single mother who struggles to make ends meet and sees Violet’s vlogs and blog as an escape, doesn’t know what to do now that Violet is not around to help her forget about her struggles. She becomes increasingly obsessed, and worried, that something serious has happened and that Violet is in trouble, or worse, dead. She is determined to get to the bottom of it all, she has to, for her own sanity.
Yvonne, a successful, married woman who is struggling to fall pregnant. Her obsession with Violet is quite different to Lily’s. It’s almost become a love/hate thing. As she struggles to let go of her past, Violet was a way for her to escape, and now she is left wondering how bad things are that Violet has disappeared.
As the story unfolds, secrets, lies and deceptions come to the surface. What happened to Violet? Why has she gone radio silent? And does someone know more than they’re letting on?
I’m a sucker for a psychological thriller, I really am. This one appealed to me because in today’s world, social media platforms are IT. It’s very rare to meet someone that doesn’t have some form of presence on the world wide web, whether it be Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, or any number of sites that are now readily available at our finger tips. And having a story where an influencer disappears overnight? Well sign me up, Scotty, I am here for it. And let me tell you, it was quite a ride.
The book is told in different POVs between Lily, Yvonne, and Violet’s husband, Henry. The story itself is fast paced and kept me glued. I just HAD to know what was going on and what on Earth was going to happen next. I found myself thinking about how CRAZY these two ladies were. Yvonne is trying to fall pregnant, and is having difficulty due to her husband’s sperm (we find this out extremely early on), when this woman thinks she MIGHT be pregnant she actually goes a bit loopy. She starts buying baby clothes, and telling people she is pregnant even though she has no idea if she is or not. And Lily! Oh my Lily. She stalks children just to try and find out what’s going on with Violet. At first I was blown away with how crazy they sounded, and in Lily’s case, I realised how people like this actually exist. Some of the in between parts of the book, well, the bits between chapters, we’re treated to a layout of a web discussion on a mummy forum of sorts. The speculation and obsessiveness that these people have for someone they don’t know is astounding, and I realised that there are actually people out there like this. Take for example, I think it was the end of last year, I love a certain makeup brand, and when the creator who is also an influencer on YouTube, disappeared for a couple of weeks, the speculation from the fan base that I was seeing in different groups on Facebook was insane. These people are just THAT obsessed with someone that they don’t even know and it was kind of scary. Yes I like the IDEA of this person, and their product as well as their content. But I don’t claim to KNOW them. So it goes to show that there are really people out there who are actually like this, and it is TERRIFYING. That someone’s world can be so consumed by a person that they don’t know is scary to me. So I feel that this really added to the dynamic of the story because it is actually real and does happen, it made the story feel INCREDIBLY real to me. As for Yvonne, I’ve got no doubt that there are women out there who want a baby bad enough that they will start doing the things that she did, and ultimately the reveal near the end, I believe it.
The characters were really well rounded, I actually really disliked both women but also felt a bit of pity towards them as well. And if I met these women in real life? Yeah, I’d be running the other way for sure haha. I feel like it really shows that Duckworth is brilliant at her craft, being able to create characters that have a lot of depth, so many flaws, characters that I really didn’t like but I still NEEDED to know what happened to them.
The mystery itself was really well thought out an executed, I honestly didn’t know things were going to turn out that way at all. So this is a win for me because I hate it when I work stuff out way earlier than the characters, it takes the fun out of it. Even though we were reading chapters from Violet’s husband’s POV, it didn’t really give anything away and honestly created more twists and turns than I had been expecting.
If you love a good psychological thriller that really keeps you guessing, give this one a go, you won’t be disappointed.