Released: March 16, 2010
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Book One of Body Finder
*Debut Author Challenge
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.Of all the books debuting this year, The Body Finder was the one I most anticipated. I loved the premise, and as the reviews came flooding through my reader I knew this was my kind of book. What I didn't know beforehand was that this was yet another dual narrative, which seems to be a theme around here lately. Seeing things through Violet's eyes was obviously what pulled me in: she's such a relatable character. But getting a glimpse at the workings of a serial killer's mind? That's what didn't let me go.
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.
Despite Violet's talent, this was a fairly contemporary story, which made it all the more gripping. Its realness was chilling. To watch Violet go from searching out the killer to becoming his next target was just the kind of suspense that should occur more often in YA. In a genre of too few true mysteries, The Body Finder delivered just what I'd been missing.
Of course Violet has more than dead bodies and serial killers to worry about. There's her best friend Jay who has suddenly become the school hottie. Violet's struggle with her feelings was painfully cute, and I say painfully because it hurts to think about being that inept at that age (which I was). Jay was also a very likeable character, okay... so I kind of loved him, but it was his relationship with Violet that really made me swoon. I raise my shield to Team Edward when I say, THIS is an acceptable kind of protectiveness. It was sweet, enviable, and completely appropriate. It also created a nice balance with the whole serial killer creepiness.
If I hadn't known this was Kimberly Derting's first novel, I would have never guessed it. She told a gripping story that demands a sequel, and lucky for us, it's hitting shelves this March. Typically I only buy hardbacks of books I've read and loved. I took a chance on buying a copy of The Body Finder, and I am so glad that I did. It was a fantastic debut that earned a very special place on my bookshelf. Lucky for you, Cavalier House Books has copies available for your own shelf.