Go to Homepage   Stephen Woodworth: Through Violet Eyes


Crescent Blues Book Views Dell (Paperback), ISBN 0553803379

Let me begin by stating that usually I don't like horror or dark fantasy. That said, I enjoyed Through Violet Eyes, the debut novel by Stephen Woodworth. The novel unfolds in an alternate America in which Violets, humans born with violet eyes and special psychic abilities, help solve crimes by channeling the dead. Yet an unknown, faceless killer stocks the Violets one by one. Even with their ability to speak from the grave they can't stop him.

Book: wstephen woodworth, through violet eyes
FBI Agent Dan Atwater takes up protective custody duty for Natalie Lindstrom, one of the remaining Violets. Together they cross the country from Los Angeles to New Hampshire in a desperate attempt to stop the killer before he finds Natalie and the rest of the Violets.

Woodworth builds his alternate world through a sharp use of details, from the echoing halls of a Violet training school to the ramshackle store of a Violet who renounced his calling. The world portrayed is a dark one. The Violets lead painful, unhappy lives, and always the reality of death looms large for them. Yet Woodworth balances the starkness of their existence with a delicate friendship shared among the Violets, who support each other in their grim work.

The novel begins with the death of a young girl, a Violet, and rarely slows down from there. Woodworth introduces enough suspense to keep suspicion rolling from target to target until the final, unexpected conclusion. The plot picks up fast enough to cover a slight lack in characterization, for while Dan and Natalie play out their roles, I never got a sense of them as distinct individuals. In fact, a few of the secondary characters came more alive for me than Dan and Natalie. Still, I found the book to be an unexpected delight, with a strong plot and a rich sense of setting. Fans of dark fantasy and horror will enjoy this one.

Kathryn Yelinek

Click here to share your views.