Thursday, April 12, 2012

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Title:  The Last Echo
Author:  Kimberly Derting
Series:  3rd book in the Body Finder Series
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Publication Date:  April 17, 2012
Source:  Southern Book Bloggers ARC tour

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...




Okay, I’m going to get right to it. If you haven’t read the first two books in The Body Finder series, beware that there may be spoilers ahead for those books. I’ll try not to include spoilers, but I can’t promise that something I don’t think is a spoiler for the other books won’t seem spoilery to you. My apologies in advance. You have been warned. :0)

I won my signed copy of Desires of the Dead from the author herself, but I hadn’t really heard much about the series until that point. Of course, I had to go out and buy the first installment because I’m neurotic and can’t read a series out of order. (I wouldn’t want to, anyway, but that’s beside the point.) Anyway, the books hooked me from the very beginning, so to say that this latest book is my favorite yet should really tell you something.

For one thing, the writing – and the story in general – just gets better with each new book this author releases. (If murder-mysteries aren’t your cup of tea, check out her dystopian series, The Pledge.) The writing isn’t fluffy, but it flows so smoothly and keeps you so enthralled with the story that you don’t have a chance to form any expectations about what’s going to happen next.

But Violet’s unusual gift does leave a lot of room for unpredictable situations. And so does her behavior. Violet has remarkable instincts, but she’s impulsive…always rushing into things, usually without a moment’s hesitation to collect her bearings. But she’s determined, resolute in her need to end the recently departed’s suffering by finding their killers. And now she’s working closely with a secret organization that wants to put her skills to good use.

I was afraid for Jay and Violet’s oh-so-sweet relationship, knowing that Violet would be working closely with Rafe on the cases, especially since there seems to be something electric between them, but I needn’t have worried so much. Admittedly, there is still the potential for a love triangle, but it’s not seedy and off-putting like so many out there. The Last Echo gives the reader a much better view of Rafe than the few short glances we were given of him in Desires of the Dead, and from what I saw, I generally liked the guy. Don’t get me wrong…I still love Jay and hope that things remain carefree and lovey-dovey between him and Vi, but should Violet give Rafe more than a cursory glance and decide to take a chance on him, I wouldn’t be distraught. Rafe is deep and troubled and I honestly believe he needs Violet to make him whole again.

Speaking of troubled, the case in this installment is probably the creepiest Violet’s encountered yet, and she’s seen a lot of weirdness already. This time around, she’s trying to help catch a serial killer called The Girlfriend Collector and prevent him from killing again by determining his next target. But, as per usual, Violet’s involvement in the case has put her directly in the line of sight of the murderer, and if Violet doesn’t figure him out quickly, she may become his next victim.

I love all of the characters in this series, but Derting has a real knack for creating sinister, disturbing villains with well-developed motivations and backgrounds. I love the dual narrative of these novels, as well, switching the perspective from that of Violet to the inner-workings of the killer’s mind. Seeing things through the eyes of a murderer really increases the creep-factor.

Fast-paced and hair-raisingly intense, this novel kept me engrossed and inspired any number of frightening dreams. And I’ll never look at lilac nail polish the same. The author has set the bar high for herself and for the next novel in the series, but I have no doubt she’ll surpass my expectations.

Rating:  Photobucket
 
Book-A-Likes:  The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson, Slide by Jill Hathaway



 

4 comments:

  1. This sounds like a great series. It reminds me of Charlaine Harris' Harper Connelly series about a young woman who could find dead bodies and how they were murdered. Great series. Anyway.. I love the premise. I've heard Derting is a great author. I need to check this one out at some point. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Huh, I'll have to check that one out one day!

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  2. I love you for putting that warning in the first line. I didn't read any further, because I'm dying to read this series, and you know how I feel about finding things out before I even get started. I'll be back to read this review once I catch up. Good looking out, BBS! <3

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    1. My pleasure...wouldn't want to spoil it for anyone!

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