Friday 21 May 2010

Book Review: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting.

Product details:
Publisher: HarperCollins
Hardcover, 336 pages.
Release date: March 16th 2010.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Target age group: Young Adult.

Product description from Amazon:

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.

The Body Finder has joined the list as one of my favourite books of 2010. Simply put, I picked up this book one evening, and didn’t put it down until I was done with it.  I loved it from start to finish, and can’t wait to read more from Kimberly Derting.  This is a total page turner, a fast-paced murder mystery, with a great female protagonist, and a wonderful romance to boot. 

We first meet Violet when she is eight years old and discovering the ability which allows her to sense dead bodies.  It’s morbid, but she pretty much takes it in her stride, as apart from one gruesome discovery, she only occasionally has to deal with the unpleasant ‘echoes’ left by dead animals in the woods near her home.  Fast forward to her teenage years, and things are rapidly changing for Violet.  Not only is she harbouring a pretty huge crush on her best friend since childhood, Jay, but there’s also a serial killer on the loose,  and Violet’s ability may help find him.

This book is interesting in the sense that Derting has written chapters from the point of view of the killer, and it certainly adds a chilling aspect to the book.  It’s not something I’ve experienced in Young Adult fiction before and I felt that reading the thoughts and motivations of the killer really added a new sinister dimension  to proceedings.  These chapters definitely left me feeling spooked and sent shivers down my spine.

My favourite aspect of the book though, was the relationship between Violet and Jay, and though the murder mystery aspect of the book sometimes seems to take a back seat to their developing relationship, I was pretty OK with that.  Derting’s descriptions of Jay are simply mouth watering.  Not only is Jay a total hottie, he is a really nice guy too and very protective of Violet.  She’s a lucky girl.   I couldn’t wait for these two to figure out that they were meant to be so much more than friends, and when they did, there was no holding back.  Violet is a great female protagonist and even though she is desperately in love with Jay, she stays true to herself.  If she’s not happy with his behaviour, she will let him know in no uncertain terms.  These two are great together, and one of my favourite pairings in a long time.

For once I am really glad that I didn’t figure out the ending to this one.  I had thought that things were headed in a very dark direction, and  everything certainly got pretty tense towards the end of the book.  This story is pretty well concluded and it works well as a standalone, so I was excited to read that there is a sequel in the works.  I can’t wait to get another peek into the world of Violet and Jay.  Roll on Desires of the Dead in 2011.


  1. Another great review for this book, I can't wait to read it.

    I love the idea of chapters from the point of view from the killer.

  2. I really loved this one too and can't wait for the next one! Great review!

  3. I agree- this was one of my favorite books of 2010. I LOVED it! Great review!

  4. fantastic review! i've heard such great things about this book, and i'm really excited to read it. it's next on my TBR pile :D

  5. Oiy! I have five other books to read before I can read this one. All these great reviews are making me sad that it's not next on my list. I can't wait to get to this book. Awesome review.

  6. @Megan - You should drop Firespell for a while & read this one. It's much better. hehe!

    Thanks for the comments, girls! Hope you all have a good weekend. :)

  7. I agree, this book is excellent! I can't wait for Desire's of the Dead as well, I'm already impatient!

  8. Yay!! I love a nice guy hero!! Thanks for the great review, it sounds awesome!

  9. I'm glad you like it! I haven't read it, but definitely I'm going to do it.

    Thanks for the review!

  10. I loved this book, too, and am ANXIOUSLY awaiting the sequel!

  11. Whoa - I've got to read this! I love a good murder mystery, but The Body Finder sounds like so much more.

  12. I loved Jay in this book, it is so rare to find a nice normal guy as the hero of the book. Great review. I can't wait to read the next book!

  13. I really loved that about Jay too. He was a pretty good hero, and also didn't have to be a vampire or werewolf in order to appeal!

    I want book #2 now!!

  14. Loved your review. I have moved this to my wish list. I really want to read as it does sound like a great mystery which I do love.

    Not sure how it happened (since I know so little about twitter) but The Body Finder is my pic on twitter. lol It was so strange when I first saw it.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  15. Very nice review. I'm looking foward to reading this one. Have you read The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare? It is excellent!

  16. I agree. This book had excellent pace and such vivid descriptions that the reader is immediately pulled in. Usually, I find books so focused on death a bit spooky, but I still could not put this down. The author was able to keep me guessing about who the killer is until the climx. Great review!


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