*This title will be released on April 17, 2012*
Title: The Last Echo
Good – A fun read with minor flaws. Maybe read an excerpt before buying.
Violet kept her morbid ability to sense dead bodies a secret from everyone except her family and her childhood-best-friend-turned-boyfriend, Jay Heaton. That is until forensic psychologist Sara Priest discovered Violet’s talent and invited her to use her gift to track down murderers. Now, as she works with an eclectic group of individuals—including mysterious and dangerously attractive Rafe—it’s Violet’s job to help those who have been murdered by bringing their killers to justice.
When Violet discovers the body of a college girl killed by “the girlfriend collector” she is determined to solve the case. But now the serial killer is on the lookout for a new “relationship” and Violet may have caught his eye….
If, like me, you were a little underwhelmed by the villain in DESIRES OF THE DEAD, you’ll be glad to know that in Kimberly Derting’s THE LAST ECHO, Violet finds herself once again in the crosshairs of a serial killer. As with the phenomenal debut, I was creeped out and afraid while reading, two emotions that helped make THE BODY FINDER and now THE LAST ECHO such powerful books. I actually found myself anticipating the serial killer POV chapters because they were so well done. Unsettling but fascinating. And the serial killer in THE LAST ECHO is very different from the killer in THE BODY FINDER, so this book felt new and exciting in it’s own right.
While I was glad to see the return of a serial killer to ratchet up the fear factor, I was disappointed by the significantly smaller role Jay played in THE LAST ECHO. I’m all for love triangles and I think Derting handled the very gradual introduction of a new guy for Violet very well, but I fell hard for Jay in the last two books and I missed getting to see him really shine. He just didn’t get the page time or impactful moments I’d been hoping for.
But the diminished role Jay played wasn’t the biggest change in THE LAST ECHO, it was the introduction of the government run psychic teen group that recruits Violet. I kind of don’t know what to make them. It’s an interesting new twist and it does expand the world significantly, but it does so at the expense of the intimate, small town feel that was so much a part of the debut. Lots of people are in on Violet’s secret (in fact almost everyone knows in the book), so we see a different side of Violet’s personality that I ended up finding a little abrasive and even bratty on occasion.
Overall, The Body Finder series is an intriguing one and it packs in more heart palpitating fear than any other YA I’ve read. Big changes are happening that readers will either embrace or shun and I find myself wanting to do both. Don’t let the finality of the title confuse you, THE LAST ECHO is not the last book in The Body Finder series. Kimbery Derting has confirmed there will be at least one more book (currently untitled) due out in 2013. It’s an easy call to add it to my wishlist if only to see more Jay and hopefully a new serial killer too.