Mystery, Review, Science Fiction

Through Violet Eyes by Stephen Woodworth


As soon as I started this book I was drawn in. It was well written and there was never a dull moment. It’s always a smart move when an author introduces the characters right off the bat, and he did. There wasn’t any excessive or unnecessary detail or inane conversation. These were characters that I genuinely cared about.

First, to describe what a Violet is. Based off of the title, you know they are something special. Sure enough, they talk to the dead and can be taken over by them, as well. Creepy, but useful. They are bald and have tattoos for where electrodes can be attached, since sometimes the spirits have to be jolted out. Strapped to a chair with electric currents running through their bodies sounds downright awful and the author describes it as appropriately disturbing. As a reader, I am very grateful to not be a Violet.

The story starts with Agent Dan Atwater from the FBI’s Investigation Support Unit. To his dismay he’s assigned to protect Violet Natalie Lindstrom from the Afterlife Communications Corp. Normally, her job is to help victims explain how and why they died. Often it’s a hateful experience, such as when her body is suddenly inhabited in a courtroom by a murdered and vengeful wife. The husband apologizes profusely, but she’s already dead. There’s only so much forgiveness that can happen once you’re murdered. Thankfully, he’s carted off in chains and the spirit goes on to whatever lays beyond. Lots of times Natalie goes through a good deal of abuse, but through this she is able to allow a spirit to have its final word. The author did a phenomenal job describing these interactions and they kept me glued to the book.

Now, when Dan meets her he is appalled. Like many people, he is wary of Violets; they’re not like normal people and it’s physically evident. When he watches her face contort in agony and hears her spit hateful words, sometimes in another language, it’s hard for him to be around. Over time, he recognizes that being a Violet is serious business and not something chosen or desired. They are worn out by what they are forced to go through and a little bit of compassion starts to grow inside him.

Regardless of his underlying feelings, he has been assigned to protect her. Someone is going around killing Violets and he doesn’t need to tell her; the dead Violets are already letting her know. She might have to be hooked up to a machine to be possessed, but she can hear the dead at any time. Natalie does her best to make him more comfortable around her, but she eventually comes to the conclusion that it’s just something he’s going to have to figure out for himself. Like I said, it’s not as if she asked to commune with the dead or to never go to sleep. Did I mention that the Violets are being murdered in their sleep? So, not only are they put through hell, but if they try to rest they might die. No wonder she’s so exhausted. It takes a while, but he eventually acknowledges what she is going through and they finally make some sort of personal connection.

His job is officially to provide her with protection, but they quickly get drawn into the murders. While the clues might not seem very deep, they can still lead you down the wrong path. There was more than one instance where I guessed wrong and I had numerous ‘ah-ha’ moments, which was a wonderful surprise. Many books have a fair level of predictability, but Through Violet Eyes is not one of them.

There are a few ‘Eww!’ murder scenes that made me feel sick, but they actually work well with the book. Sometimes books need those nasty moments to really get the feeling across and the author did this very well. The focus was on Dan’s and Natalie’s relationship and the serial killer, but there were several supporting characters who really added to the overall vibe of the book. Of course, they’re Violets, so when they start dropping like flies it can be a bit emotionally trying to read. By the end of the book I was left wondering if she’d have any friends at all. But the story is so intruiging that it’s a crime not to finish it. The ending is phenomenal. By far one of the most surprising I have read in a long time. Suffice it to say, that I never saw it coming.

Now the rating:

  • Genre and general audience – it’s a murder mystery and definitely for mature audiences only. Remember the ‘Eww’ moments I mentioned? They are not for the faint of heart.
  • Level of sexuality – extremely mild and absolutely nothing graphic. Life, love, and trouble were the focus of the story, not sex.
  • Was there graphic language? Not enough that I ever noticed. Perhaps, that’s because I was completely engrossed, so don’t hold it against me if you come across a bit of swearing.
  • Did I cry? Thankfully, no. The story is so fast paced and there is so much going on that I didn’t have time to cry. Even with all the death, my eyes remained dry.
  • Is it part of a group? You bet. It’s book one of The Violet Series.
  • Level of character development – a good deal. They were highly enjoyable to read about. The main characters were very well done and the others were just the right amount of menacing or supportive, depending on the character.
  • Did I laugh? Only a light chuckle a few times. The book is not meant to be funny.

I loved this book and I have to share the good ones. I’m so happy to give it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars. I highly recommend this book to everyone who wants a good read that’s light on the sci-fi and heavy on the mystery.

Available here on Amazon


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