06 March 2011

The Body Finder, by Kimberly Derting

Violet is sixteen-years-old and has a unique gift. She has the ability to sense the residual "echoes" of the murdered and is...drawn to them.

While the dead have a distinct echo of sound or vibration, the murderer carries the exact same imprint. Violet can immediately tell who is the killer, and since she was a young girl, she has been an unwilling tracker of the murdered. When young girls begin to go missing in her small town of Buckley, Washington, Violet is pulled into it when she finds a body in a lake. She knows she has to find the killer. Which doesn't make it easy for a teenage girl who would rather think about her best friend, Jay, instead.

This Young Adult book is structured with each chapter from Violet's perspective. Every now and again, however, the thoughts of the unknown killer are shared - and it is most assuredly creepy. Surprisingly, it was the same unsettling feeling I had while reading Robert Bloch's Psycho (which was turned into Hitchcock's infamous film). In the book, Norman's thoughts are shared, and his rationalizations for his "mother" and how she is killing was unnerving. The Body Finder has the same pull to the dark side as you read the killer's thoughts.

Although I thought there was much too much love tension between Violet and her best friend, Jay, I kept reminding myself that I wasn't the right audience for this book. A much younger market with their emotions in a turmoil wouldn't mind all the teenage love tension and drama; I, however, wished that it was shored up a bit and a lot of it cut from the final version. But, the bottom line is I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I don't normally read a lot of Young Adult, paranormal-esque type books (but I think I might read more now), this decidedly kept my interest and I loved the creativity of Violet's ability and the thrill of the hunt as she was the one who was tracking the killer, instead of the killer finding his next victim. Flipping from one page to the next, I cheered her individuality and also felt her fear of her skill was genuine. Kimberly Derting has creatively rooted her place in the YA world with this engaging, dark, and riveting story.

Note to parents
As I think most would when recommending a Young Adult book, I suggest you read it first and make a determination if it's appropriate for your teenager to read. There are fairly intense moments of passion while Violet and Jay are together, swear words are casual, and not to mention, there is a serial killer on the loose who is seeking out young girls. It's a lot in a YA book, and while I enjoyed it, I'm also in my *ahem* late thirties, so I didn't mind reading it at all.

Sweet Nook Color Deal
Thanks to see scoot read, I downloaded this book for $1.99 on my Nook Color. In checking this morning, the same rate still applies, so go pick it up for a quick and fast read. I read this in one day while traveling on business to Charlotte, NC and I'm glad I did. Turns out it's the first in a series, so I'm going to have to get Desires of the Dead next. I can't not finish a series.

Happy Reading,
Coffee and a Book Chick


  1. I completely agree with you! I loved this novel (my review will be up probably tomorrow) because I was cheering for Violet the whole way. She was definitely an easy character to like and I really enjoyed her and Jay's relationship. Thanks for the great review!

  2. I haven't heard of this one before but it sounds like one I will enjoy reading. I have learned over the last year or so that YA books are not just for the young!

  3. Thanks for the warning on all the teen angst! That bothers me sometimes and I, too, have to remember I'm reading YA and would have probably loved it or really related as a teen, LOL. The other part of this sounds good though. It's on my TBR so I need to remember to get to it!

  4. Great review, I am not fussy about YA but this is one that continues to intrigue me.

  5. I'm not that in tune with the YA world, but this sounds interesting.

    Based on what you mention about this book and Psycho, you would probably enjoy The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson - really great book!

  6. Hm, it might be too scary for me if it reminded you of Psycho.

  7. I do not read books about murdered children -- they've given me nightmares since I became a parent. But I really liked your review, and I think my daughter (who loved The Lovely Bones) might actually enjoy this. Thanks for your review!

  8. This book has been on my wishlist for some time now. It really sounds interesting and I can't wait to pick it up especially after reading your review!

  9. I also have a problem with all the teen angst, and it has ruined many a read for me, but the basic premise of this book sounds pretty cool. I am going to have to check it out. Too bad the deal is not for Kindle users!

  10. I loved this book, it was a relief to see a female protagonist who doesn't make stupid decisions all the time as a source of conflict for the plot! I didn't mind all the romantic tension - as a woman in my, as you say *ahem* thirties, it did drag a little, but I do remember that when I was that age and in love I did think about that boy pretty much all the time, so for me, that part of the story was realistic. I thought it was a really great story about a normal girl with an amazing gift, told in an exciting way, I couldn't put it down and I'm really looking forward to reading TDOTD.

  11. I totally agree with the parent note! It suits me fine, but I wouldn't be keen on my younger girls reading it! But I loved the book and have the second one in my hands!

  12. I don't read a ton of YA but there is something about the premise of this book that makes me want to read it.

  13. Wow, another interesting series to keep in mind!

  14. I really want to read this series - it looks amazing. I've never come across a YA serial-killer story before, but I love that kind of crime shows... It'd be interesting to see how it works out.
    Brilliant review, and thank you for commenting!

  15. ajmitchell - Violet was definitely an easy character to like and cheer for throughout the book - I can't wait to read your review! I look forward to the second book!

    Kathleen - Yes,you are spot on - YA books definitely are written with a wide audience in mind, and I think I need to spend more time in this category. I hope you like this one, too!

    Jenny - Definitely a ton of teen angst in this, but I had to keep reminding myself to just get through it so I could enjoy the real story behind it all. Let me know what you think once you read it!

    Marce - Let me know if you enjoy it; it definitely is one that pulls you right in!

    the picky girl - The Killer Inside Me looks fantastic; I just pulled it up and I think I may need to download this one!

    bermudaonion - Kathy, those sections that were from the killer were definitely a bit unsettling. I found it surprisingly just as disturbing as Psycho, in part because of the fact that this was a YA book. Creepy, that is for sure!

    Connolly-Ahern (Col Reads) - I think The Lovely Bones was much, much tougher than this one, by far. Your daughter may enjoy it, but keep in mind it's a YA book, so several themes that you would normally find in a mature book, might be dealt with much differently with this one. An all around good escapism read, but still a bit freaky!

    samantha.1020 - I hope you like it! It's a quick read and provides great escape from the regular workday! :)

    Zibilee - Oh, too bad they don't have a similar deal for Kindle users! If you do read it, the teen love drama was one I moved quickly through, but the real meat of the story is intense and good. Enjoy!

    mummazappa - Ha, too funny! I totally had the same thought as well - if I read this as a teenager, or young adult, I would totally be able to enjoy the pages of Violet and Jay's crush on each other! I wasn't the right audience for those pages, so it was easy to read those sections a bit faster, but the true mystery, crime, and her unique abilities were sections that were good to escape into! I also can't wait to read the second book in the series!

    Vivienne - I think it's definitely key that parents should get involved with the reading choices of their children. I mean, we all know that at the end of the day though, a kid may sneak their friend's copy into their room and read it with a flashlight under their bed...or was that just me twenty-some years ago? :) This is definitely a fantastic story, and I also can't wait to read the second one!

    Martha @ Hey, I want to read that - I've been getting a bit more into YA books lately, with a variety of different types of subject matter - anything from this paranormal-type story, to historical fiction. I've definitely been enjoying them all!

    BookQuoter - Definitely another series to fill the bookshelves with! :)

    TheBookAddictedGirl - This is definitely a unique story, and not only is it YA and a serial killer with it all, it also has the paranormal ability of Violet's talent to be drawn to the murdered by the echoes that they hold, and then identify the killer because of the same echo that they carry with them. A very creative story and I'm looking forward to the next book!

  16. Thanks for the emotional teen warning. It's good to know that going in. Sounds like the thrill of the chase/hunt makes up for it. Thanks for the rview.

  17. OK, I was totally wrong when I said I have this book. Apparently I have the next one in the series! I was all excited to read this one, too. :(

  18. I've had this one on my tbr list forever! I need to get to it.


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