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.
Whoa, a book about a girl who finds dead bodies? Believe it or not, that wasn’t enough to put this book at the top of my TBR pile. However, once I heard that the story had a bit of romance, I had to get my hands on it. A lot of reviewers have raved about how great this book is, so I went in thinking I’d love it. Derting did a fantastic job of creeping me out, but in other respects this book fell a bit short for me.
This is going to sound creepy, but my absolute favorite part of The Body Finder were the chapters from the perspective of the serial killer. They were exceptionally well done and incredibly well done. Derting’s best writing was definitely tucked into those chapters.
Otherwise, though, I have to say that I didn’t fall in love with Derting’s writing. It was a bit too bland for me, and in some places tired too hard to make its point. The plot, however, had me turning the pages late into the night. Sure, I could take a vague stab at who the killer was (no pun intended), but I didn’t nail it until it was spelled out for me.
What really didn’t work for me, though, was the characters in The Body Finder. Violet and Jay seem to have a pretty big fan base for their relationship, and I did think that they were sweet together. My biggest problem was that Jay didn’t seem to have much have a character--it was obvious right away that he loved Violet and wanted to protect her, but there wasn’t much too him besides that. Does he play football? Collect Star Trek memorabilia? Read in his spare time? I love a character with passions, interests and hobbies and Jay lacked those.
All of the books I’ve read and reviews I’ve written for this blog have taught me that I’m a very picky reader. I care about the writing and characters, and Derting’s story didn’t do as much for me in those respects as I hoped. However, I think that this story is perfect for anyone looking for a quirky, quick and disturbing read.
Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book.