Title: The Body Finder
Author: Kimberly Derting
Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.
Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.
Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.
I got this book from the library at the same time as Kim Harrington’s Clarity, which I already reviewed. I noticed how similar this books seemed in concept – both about girls with unusual abilities who used those abilities to solve a murder, or murders. Romance is involved in both, and they both had promise. Maybe, if I hadn’t read Clarity before this, or at least so soon before this, I would have enjoyed this book even more than I did, but as it was, I couldn’t quite love it as much as I did Clarity. Despite that, I did still enjoy this book.
Though the book strove to be a dark murder mystery with romance woven in, I found a tad too much attention focused on the romance. While I found it interesting, I got tired of it a tad and wished there had been more focus on the mystery. I am glad that the relationship seemed a bit more realistic than many in the genre, though – at least they were already friends when the book started, so it seemed much more likely that they would end up together by the end.
I think one of my main problems was that Violet, the protagonist, often annoyed me. Not in the same way that some do, always making me want to hit them rather than cheer them on, and it didn’t ruin the entire book for me, but it was a tad bit of a problem always on my mind when I was reading it. Sometimes I felt like she was a bit contradictory – I feel like the author attempted to portray her as a plain, normal girl, but she spends a lot of time partying with friends, gossiping about everyone who she’s not friendly with, and being viewed as beautiful by other characters, most notably the mysterious serial killer on the loose.
As for the mystery aspect of the book, it had the be my favorite part. Although I felt like it too often ignored realistic consequences like the emotional reactions of those affected by it – even when someone that Violet knew personally was abducted, presumably by the killer, she didn’t seem quite as broken up about it as a normal person would – other than that the mystery allows managed to keep me on the edge of my seat, trying to figure out who the killer was and what was going to happen next. Though it may not have given me nightmares, it still made me nervous during the tense, dangerous scenes, and had me quickly turning the pages to discover what would happen next.
So, despite my minor problems with the book and slight disappointment, I truly did enjoy this book. I’ll certainly give the sequel a try, in hopes that Derting will take all the great parts of this book and make a follow-up that surpasses this book.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars