The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Release Date: March 16, 2010
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
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. – Goodreads page.
As a huge fan of murder mysteries and thrillers, I was so excited to read this book when I discovered that it was about a girl who could find dead bodies. I was also, initially, a bit reluctant to read it, as I’ve read Charlaine Harris’ “Grave” series, which is also about a woman who can sense dead bodies. Thankfully, though, the two abilities are as different as they are similar.
Violet, our main protagonist, has been able to find dead bodies ever since she can remember. And now, when a girl is found murdered in the lake, she sets out to use her ability for the greater good, and find the killer.
I loved the character of Violet. She had a brilliant backstory, and I loved how funny she was. That was one of the main reasons I loved her character. She was also strong, and determined, which actually made her quite a good “detective”.
Her relationship with Jay was one of the best parts of the novel. The pair have known each other all their lives, ever since Violet dared Jay to kiss a girl in the playground. I loved the way the pair bickered and joked with each other, and it was nice to see them being so close. It was great to see their love for each other develop into something more than just friendship. And although we couldn’t get inside Jay’s head, it was pretty obvious what he was thinking!
The were various chapters in which Derting took us into the mind of the killer, which I believe really added to the story. We were able to see what he was thinking when he was “hunting” for his next victim, and it was very creepy to see what he did in order to capture the girls.
I found that the pacing for this story was fairly average. A lot of the focus was on Violet and Jay’s relationship, which was mixed in with the mystery plot. I found that this slowed the mystery part slightly, however I don’t think it took away from the story.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Body Finder. I thought it was a great mystery that will leave the reader guessing. I recommend it for YA readers who enjoy a good murder mystery and those who enjoy thrilling plots.