We obviously adore Kimberly Derting’s The Body Finder and Desires of the Dead. But what exactly is it about these books that we love so much? Well, today, here’s a recap at what I had to say about both books in my past reviews:
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting is one of those books that you’ll be thinking about days after finishing the last page. It’s sort of a haunting story, that catches you in its grip and refuses to let go.
Derting walks a delicate line in The Body Finder — by contrasting a horrific murder mystery/thriller with one of the most charming teen romances I’ve read in ages. She strikes a careful balance between the two contrasting elements beautifully. Each side of the story flows nicely into the other, until the two elements come together in the intense climax.
The romance of the story sort of wraps itself around you like a blanket — while the murder mystery angle keeps you on the edge of your seat (both literally and figuratively). It’s the sort of book that you don’t want to put down, but that you have to — occasionally — just to catch your breath.
It’s also refreshingly unpredictable. Okay, sure, I thought I had it figured out at one point (and in the end, I was sort of right) — but Derting throws in unexpected elements that keep you on your toes. You never know where she’s going to take you next (even if you think you do; you don’t) — and it’s a journey you’ll feel compelled to see through to the very end.
Everything I loved about The Body Finder is back and better than ever with Desires of the Dead. It’s wonderful to see Jay & Violet finally together, and to watch the trials that come along with a fledgling romance — especially a romance that is rooted in so many years of friendship. Even in their most trying times, the relationship grounds the story in reality: these are the things every reader can relate to.
Meanwhile, Violet is still coming to accept her “gift” of hearing the echoes of the dead — and as she struggles to accept her gift, she is suddenly faced with a decision. Should she continue using her gift to solve crimes? This decision is only made more difficult when one of her tips lands her under the watchful eye of the FBI, and one investigator in particular who could really be a good match for Agent Mulder from The X-Files. And then there’s the intriguing new character of Rafe — who probably isn’t a potential love interest for Violet, but he certainly could be. More importantly, he may know more about her gift than he’s letting on.
And much like The Body Finder, Derting once again takes advantage of her Pacific Northwest setting and maxes out its creepy potential. There’s nothing like searching for a possible dead body in a dreary, drizzling, dark day to get your heart racing. Derting truly has a gift for suspense, and she plays to this advantage perfectly.
If you enjoyed The Body Finder, you will easily devour Desires of the Dead. The book is a superb paranormal crime-thriller meets YA romance. And if you haven’t checked out this series yet, now is the time to do it. I can’t wait to see what Derting has planned for Jay and Violet’s next adventures.
For the comments: What do YOU think of The Body Finder and Desires of the Dead?