The Body Finder
by Kimberly Derting
Violet Ambrose and her family have always known she was a bit "different". Ever since she can remember, she's gotten a sense about the dead creatures around her. Those that have died at the hands (or paws) of another, leave an "echo" behind. That echo can attach itself to Violent by her senses. Sometimes it's a bad odor, other times it's a song, and sometimes it can even be an aura.
When she was eight, while walking in the woods with her dad, Violet was inexplicably drawn to a mound of dirt by a sound, an echo, a voice that begged to be found. Under the dirt was the body of a young girl.
Since then, her family has been very protective of her. They've kept her from hospitals and cemeteries as much as possible to shield her from the echoes around her.
But Violet still senses them. She's even got a little graveyard at her home for all of the dead animals she's found that were killed by predators. Their echoes fade once they have a resting place, and Violet feels better knowing that they will no longer be alone in the woods.
Now Violet has other things to think about. As she starts her junior year of high school, she faces a hard choice. Her best friend who has known her forever and knows about her "talent" has also changed over the summer. He's now hot, buff, and seems to be completely oblivious to the fact that Violet has suddenly developed feelings for him that go way beyond friendship. Does she tell him? Or does she keep the secret and try not to be jealous when he asks the most popular girl in school to go to the homecoming dance?
Things get even worse for Violet when she's out on the lake during the last summer party and she follows a visual echo to a dead teenage girl in the water. Soon after, girls start to go missing and Violet's gift may be the only thing out there that can stop the killer.
Final thoughts: This is a great little YA supernatural book. I downloaded it onto my Kindle because I have the ARC for the sequel sitting at my desk at work and I didn't want to read it without reading the first one. I'm glad I did. While there were some problems with the flow of the story (spending so much time on the possible romance that the murders get ignored for a while and then vice versa), the overall story is really good. There are a few edge-of-your-seat moments and a couple of plot twists, but there are also a couple of obvious choices. In the end, it's a solid supernatural murder mystery that should be added to anyone's "to-read" list. I dare you to watch the trailer and not feel intrigued.