Title: The Body Finder
Author: Kimberly Derting (site)
Published: February 27th, 2010 by HarperCollins
Pages: 336 pages
Price: $11.49 Book Depository $11.55 Amazon
Series: The Body Finder #1
Synopsis: 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. (Goodreads)
Initial Thoughts: I didn't have high expectations for this one. I'm not really into mysteries and serial killers creep me out. I like my psychos to be a bit less realistic. However, I've read nothing but good reviews of this one and there is a supernatural element, so I gave it a go.
Review: I really, really liked this book. The first pages really grab you, focusing on an event in her childhood that illustrates the problem(s) with her ability. The POV switched between Violet (love that name) and the murderer. I was a bit worried about reading from his perspective, but it was kept short and fairly vague. In fact, everything about the murders was need-to-know. I don't mind gore when the setting/murderer/victim is fantastical, but when I'm reading about normal teenage girls in a small town, I don't want details. These sections were especially terrifying and suspenseful because you never know who the girl is as he stalks her. Is she one of the characters we've met? An old friend from school? Maybe even Violet herself?! I loved the way these chapters added to the tone of the story. Derting did a wonderful job of keeping the story balanced. It was half romance and half murder-mystery. Violet has fallen for her best friend from childhood, who has given her no sign that he feels the same way. So, like any clueless young girl would do, she decides to just ignore her feelings until they go away. I loved this aspect of the story! I'm a big fan of best-friend-turned-soulmate stories in general, but this one was one of the best I've read in a long time. Jay was such a great character, caring and supportive without being an obsessive puppy-eyed love slave. I think that if the romance hadn't been such a big part of the story, this one might have gotten too dark for me. The ending of this one was great! For once, a satisfying conclusion. There's plenty of room to continue with these characters, but I'm not desperate to find out what will happen next. I'll definitely read the rest of the series, It's just a relief to be able to wait patiently. Fantastic book! Run out and get it.
Quick Review: Girl with the ability to sense the bodies of murder victims decides to risk revealing her ability to help catch a serial killer. Half romance and half murder-mystery, this one was suspenseful and a bit dark, but balanced nicely with a sweet romance that just can't seem to get off the ground. The description of the way her ability worked was beautiful, lowering the creep factor of being able to 'sense dead bodies'.