Book Review: Violets & Violence by Morgan Parker

Violets and Violence Cover

5 riveting Stars

Secrets. We all have them. Some are little, benign little things that stay hidden from a sense of embarrassment or lack of interest. But some are sharp around the edges; potentially lethal in their consequences and ramifications. Some stay buried out of desperation. A lingering panic that arises whether bidden or not with the thought that they may one day come to light. Those secrets are the ones that are truly dangerous and luckily they make for the very best stories.

Violet is a magician, or more to the point, an illusionist. She can disappear at will. She can walk through plate glass. She can meet an outwardly unremarkable man and show him what magic really means just with her smile. She is vivacious, stunning and much of the time, larger than life.

Carter is an outwardly unremarkable man. He has a high pressure, but relatively boring office job working numbers within the stock market to make his clients as much money as he can possibly wring from the highly fallible and unpredictable system. He’s also dead honest, slightly broken, impossibly smart and utterly charming. And from the moment he lays eyes on Violet, he is ridiculously smitten.

Luke is steel wrapped in charisma. He is ruthless, wickedly smart, manipulative and always striving to rise just a bit further off the ground. He is the eye of the storm, the keeper of the passwords and the vault where all of Violet’s sharpest secrets live. His inner monologue is so much fun to read because of how smart he is and how he not only uses wit to highlight his intelligence, but keeps it caged and takes it out to play only when it really matters.

The characters in this book are impossibly complicated, even when it looks like they’re finally letting down their guards and giving you answers. There’s always one more corner to turn before you finally get the full landscape laid out before you.

Morgan Parker has used the razor’s edge inherent in his characters and used it to finely hone his writing in this book. His writing is always simultaneously laced with humor, heat and hope, but he’s filed those down to their finest points and then threads a threat through the entire book that is entirely new to his writing. And it is drop dead gorgeous to read. By the time I reached the end of this book, I was so tightly strung I thought for sure I would snap. And then I did. It took me two days to be able to write this review because of how completely I snapped. It’s a break I will willingly sign up for every single time, especially as crafted by Parker.

This book is absolutely riveting. Thoroughly infused with a sense of magic so menacing that you don’t know if you want the grand finale after all, but you keep reading because you just have to see how it all comes together.    And the payoff is huge and supremely fitting to the setup.

Morgan Parker just keeps getting better. If you’ve not yet picked up one of his books, let me say (again) that this is a perfect book to start with. It’s the consummate magic trick – beautiful, endearing, dangerous and in the end, you look back at the whole thing and smile slowly as it all sinks in exactly how grand of a trick you were just fortunate enough to witness.


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