Narrated by Megan Tusing, Eric G. Dove, Sophie Amoss & Shannon McManus
Everyone thinks fourteen-year-old Violet is a murderer. After a summer-night swim with her best friend, Ainsley, Violet is found confused, wandering in the forest – and Ainsley’s never seen again. But without a body, murder charges won’t stick, so Violet is sent away.
After more than a decade in a psychiatric ward, Violet returns to her broken-down hometown of Normal, Alabama, to claim her dead mother’s inheritance and help her overworked sister care for their unstable, alcoholic father. Violet, still haunted by that night eleven years ago, endures horrific flashbacks and twisted hallucinations while townsfolk spit accusations – and for all she knows, they’re right.
As the summer heats up, details of Ainsley’s fate appear like a beast’s wild eyes, watching in the darkness, and grim revelations about Violet’s family threaten to devour her. Already on the edge of madness, Violet must fight to keep her sanity long enough for the terrible truth to burst from the cold, dark waters.
The relationship dynamics and their psychological effect on the characters are my favorite part of this story. The sisters with no common blood. The father who has always had a mean streak. And Violet who seems to just be a pawn in a dark-hearted scheme. You can’t help but feel for Violet, having just come out of a psychiatric institution. It’s a wonder she has any courage at all. She returns to a home where she is hated, hoping her memory of the last night with her friend will come back. This book has four different narrators which enables the listener to easily track the different perspectives and the timeline. For the most part, I found the narration to be well done and compelling. The story moved along very nicely with the flashback sections adding dimension to the narrative. I found the inclusion of the dead mother as a character to be a really interesting way to convey the story. Overall, this was an enjoyable listen, with compelling psychological thrills and a very dark mystery.