Monday, August 20, 2012

The Body Finder Series ~ Kimberly Derting

The Body Finder debuted March 2010. It was originally recommended to me by a co-worker. So I read it and holy crap. My mind was blown. It was absolutely fantastic. The story was original, it was fresh, and it never let up.

From GoodReads: 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 that 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 the dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping 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.

What I loved the most about The Body Finder is that unlike most novels, Violet does not keep her "gift" to herself. She has a support system of her family and her friend Jay. This shocked me and I think is one reason I was drawn to the book. I get so tired of heroines who have a power/gift/ability and they A) hate it and wish they never had it or B) have no one to lean on and keep it to themselves to the point of destroying friendships, etc. So Violet is not a stupid girl. And I love it!

And then there is Jay. He has been friends with Violet since childhood. And she has realized she is in love with him. This is something else in novels that usually irks me. Usually the strong female becomes all gooey and simpering when a guy she loves enters the picture. But Violet didn't. Sure she was a little gooey around Jay but she wasn't annoying. It was sweet. It was natural. It was Violet & Jay. It was nice :)

We come now to book 2: Desires of the Dead.
GoodReads: Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger

 So things are heating up. Violet and Jay are official. There is a new friend in the mix and Violet is targeted by the FBI. Is this good or bad? Violet finds a murdered child, and begins to receive threatening messages from a killer.
To be honest, Violet was not my favorite in this book. It was like she second guessed herself too much. But that is okay. Why? Because next comes

Book 3: The Last Echo which, holy crap, blew books 1 and 2 way out of the water! Starting off, I had trouble getting sunk into the book, but only because of past experience in my life with one of the character's names. But once I got over that BAM! I literally stayed up to 2am reading the book. I could not stop. And more than a couple times I got a little creeped out sitting in the near dark. 

From GoodReads: In the end, all that’s left is an echo.

Violet kept her morbid ability to sense dead bodies a secret from everyone except her family and her childhood-best-friend-turned-boyfriend, Jay Heaton. That is until forensic psychologist Sara Priest discovered Violet’s talent and invited her to use her gift to track down murderers. Now, as she works with an eclectic group of individuals—including mysterious and dangerously attractive Rafe—it’s Violet’s job to help those who have been murdered by bringing their killers to justice.

When Violet discovers the body of a college girl killed by “the girlfriend collector” she is determined to solve the case. But now the serial killer is on the lookout for a new “relationship” and Violet may have caught his eye...

The Last Echo was chock full of suspense and even a MINOR love triangle. But yay, I was not bothered by it at all. It fit the story beautifully and Violet did not let me down. We also are introduced to Violet's new team of psychics. They were fun to get to know, and even more fun was learning about their individual gifts. And all of their gifts intertwined and worked together to solve murders, etc. 

Be prepared have your socks knocked off. The ending is frikking amazing and now I am so excited to see where Violet's story will go in Dead Silence. 

And after finishing book 3, I have come to a conclusion. Kimberly Derting is a master of psychological ickiness. Yes, I'm referring to the interludes provided by the serial killers. Love it! And a nod to the cover designer-I don't know if they read an advance version of the book, or if it was requested, but I love how the lavender flower fits in with the story. Genius cover imo. 

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