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The fall season is my favorite time of year to curl up with a creepy, suspenseful novel. The Violent Season caught my eye with the cover, piqued my interest with the synopsis, and grabbed my full attention right from the first page.
This is a riveting debut novel that pulled me in quickly and didn’t want to let me go. Wyatt had suffered through an unimaginable loss, but then again, Wolf Ridge, Vermont was accustomed to loss. Every November, people in this sleepy little town end up dying. For such a small blip on the map, Wolf Ridge has had more than its share of tragedies. People are murdered, commit suicide, and die accidentally. Wyatt thinks that there’s a “sickness” that occurs in Wolf Ridge, an inexplicable darkness that consumes people and forces them to act violently. While Wyatt can’t get the images of her own mother’s death from her mind, she is also aware that this November is apt to bring more death and brutality to the town, and she’s seen the threat of this “sickness” begin to darken her own best friend’s eyes.
The Violent Season is a coming-of-age novel that deals with loss, grief, and letting go. It surprised me with how deep and introspective this novel went. It ended up being so much more than just the mystery of the town. While I was completely enthralled by the happenings of this community, I was also invested in Wyatt. She was an interesting character. She was a teenager who was filled with an abundance of hurt. She tried to shield herself from any additional pain by building up walls and toughness, but underneath it all, she was just a girl, trying to navigate through adolescence, wondering what she could believe, who she could trust, and what exactly happened to her mother.
Coming from a small town, and having visited Vermont several times, I could visualize every detail of this fictional community. It was the ideal setting for this thriller. I felt as if I were right there, feeling the chill in the air, witnessing the strange phenomena, and trying to figure out what was going on in Wolf Ridge.
The Violent Season was a great novel to kick off the fall season with. It satisfied the craving that I had for a thrilling, mysterious novel, and kept me glued to the pages from beginning to end. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for the next book by Sara Walters.