Release: March 16, 2010
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.The Body Finder was like a hybrid of chick lit, murder mystery, paranormal, and thriller. Never before have I read a book that can send chills up my spine with one page and melt my heart with the next.
Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.
Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping 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.
Initially, I thought that The Body Finder was going to be a paranormal read. A girl who can see imprints of murder – it screams paranormal thriller. To my surprise, however, it ended up being equal parts romance and mystery. Derting did not heap on the paranormal. If anything, Violet’s world was perfectly normal. Her stumbling upon dead things was just an annoying part of her life. The absence of a heavy paranormal atmosphere greatly improved my opinion of the book. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a great murder mystery, and I was so glad to see Derting play up the mystery and play down the paranormal aspects (though they were still present and important to the story).
It is scary how perfectly Derting writes from the view of the predator. She gets into his mind so well that it literally chilled me. The memory of those short interludes stuck in my head for days after I finished reading. Every teenage girl should read this book, if only to remind them how important it is to stay safe and be alert of their surroundings.
Then, on the other end of the spectrum, there’s Jay. His and Violet’s romance provided a lighter undercurrent to the otherwise frightening plot. The dynamic of their friends-turned-something-more relationship was wonderfully written and intriguing to read. Had the mystery not been gripping enough, their romance would’ve kept me reading late into the night. Their romance was positively swoon-worthy.
With its unique blend of romance and thrilling mystery, The Body Finder will appeal to all readers. It’ll have you glued to your seat for hours, eager to find out what happens with Violet and Jay and the killer that stalks the town. This is an absolute must-read!