Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

The Body Finder is about Violet, a girl with the ability, or perhaps curse, of being able to sense echoes of the dead. The echo can be visual, auditory, or even a taste. Her ability is something she's kept secret from all but those closest to her, but when a serial killer starts stalking her town, Violet realizes she is the only one who can catch him. That is, if she can manage to get away from over protective parents, police chief uncle, and her best friend (who is rapidly becoming more than just a friend) Jay.

The Body Finder is breath taking. I was on the edge of my seat in suspense, yelling at all the characters for making those fatal mistakes, dying to see how it was all going to be resolved. I suspected everyone of being the killer at some point in the novel before finally deciding on who I thought it was and was thrilled when I got it right.

The novel alternates between Violet's point of view and the serial killer's point of view. Kimberly Derting can write a serial killer brilliantly. The different points-of-view was something that I didn't expect, but was a touch that made this novel amazing for me. Derting has the perfect balance of everything. While looking for a serial killer, Violet is grappling with her muddled feelings for Jay, her best friend since kindergarten, but her feelings are anything but friendly. Oddly enough, the two contrasts-love and the ultimate act of violence-do wonders to off set each other, and the novel is never bogged down with too much of one thing.

For the first time in a long time, the teenage characters actually acted and talked like real teenagers. Violet and her best friends are constantly teasing each other, the popular, gorgeous, destined to be Homecoming queen is a witch, and the boys are in love with their cars.

Violet is strong and stubborn even to the point of foolishness. Jay is entirely over protective and scolds Violet for the stupid things she does, but his anger is understandable. After all, that's not too much scarier than chasing after a serial killer.

It was a little hard for me to get into the book at first, and there were a few too many ellipses for my taste at first, but the heart-pounding ending erased any negative thoughts I had about the book.

The Body Finder gets a five out of five for suspenseful romance, an adrenaline pumping ending, and a strong female protagonist.

People I would recommend this to: Twilight fans who want something new, supernatural fans, romance fans, those who read about serial killers

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