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Saturday, June 01, 2013

After Third Book in Body Finder Series, I'm Feeling ... Lukewarm

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

(Note:  While this review will not contain spoilers for The Last Echo, it may inadvertently spoil plot surprises from earlier Body Finder books.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.)

Violet Ambrose is used to keeping her special ability to match the "echoes" of a dead person and his/her killer under wraps.  So, she's having a little trouble with the whole collaboration thing.  Even among the other "special" teenagers who make up the investigation team of which Violet's now a part, she feels like a freak.  The others all have their own brand of psychic power, but no one can do what she can.  And yet, Violet wishes there was more she could do, something to stop murderers before they act, instead of just helping to catch them afterward.

There's one part of working with a team that's really messing with her ability to concentrate on the task—or crime—at hand.  One person, actually:  Rafe.  Violet's felt a connection with the gorgeous bad boy ever since they met.  He drives her crazy and yet, there's a literal spark that ignites whenever they're together.  Violet's boyfriend, Jay Heaton, isn't too thrilled about the guy either.  Which makes it all very awkward and confusing and ... distracting.

Violet can't afford to be focused on anything but the case she's investigating.  A serial killer, dubbed "The Collector," is murdering college girls in the Seattle area.  With no leads for the police to follow, it's up to Violet and her team to find out who's behind the killings.  But, every step she takes toward the murderer brings her closer to a cold-blooded monster—one who thinks Violet Ambrose will make a perfect addition to his grisly collection.  Can she find him before he finds her?  

When I read the first of Kimberly Derting's Body Finder books, I could hardly contain my excitement for this thrilling new series.  The second installment, however, dampened my enthusiasm quite a bit.  With The Last Echo, the third book, I'm still feeling ... lukewarm.  The idea that anyone who kills—whether in the line of duty, while hunting animals, on accident, or intentionally—forever carries with them imprints of their victims still fascinates me.  It's a unique concept and, hands down, my favorite part about this series.  The rest of it is starting too feel stale, like every other teenager-with-supernatural-powers-police-procedural.  Sometimes I can forgive a same ole, same ole story if I absolutely adore the characters, but that's just not the case here.  Still, I have to give Derting credit for writing fast-paced, entertaining mysteries, even if they're far-fetched and none too original.  

(Readalikes:  Other books in the Body Finder [The Body Finder; Desires of the Dead; Dead Silence) series by Kimberly Derting; also the Wake trilogy [Wake; Fade; Gone] by Lisa McMann)

Grade:  C+

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  R for strong language (a few F-bombs, plus milder invectives), violence and sexual innuendo

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find


  1. I've read all the books in this series, and didn't quite enjoy any of them as much as the first. I can't really put my finger on why, but this third book was probably my least favorite of the four. Lukewarm is a great way to put it. The fourth is pretty heavy on the gore, but there's more mystery in it. (if you feel like finishing the series)

    1. I've actually read the last book already (just haven't reviewed it yet) and I feel the same way. Loved the first book, the rest are kind of meh for me. I finished the series, though, so I guess that says something, right?


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