Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting: Steph’s review


The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.

Violet can sense the echoes of those who’ve been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she’d turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike’s tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.


They say “No good deed goes unpunished,” and it’s this cliché that haunts Violet in the second Body Finder novel by Kimberly Derting. A chance encounter brings Violet and her ability under the purview of the FBI and one of its liaisons. In a delicious nod to Dana Scully of “The X-Files,” Derting puts Violet into situations that force her to grow as both a teen and a person with special abilities.

Once again, these two elements of Violet’s life are perfectly balanced, resulting in a page-turning crime thriller with enough relationship angst to make this reader bawl like a baby — requiring an ice cream infusion — and then sigh in delight. (Team Jay!)

While I had a number of strong emotional reactions (always a good sign) I also noticed Violet’s ambivalence. At times she was bold and headstrong, and at others she was unsure and a bit needy. This back-and-forth internal struggle went a long way in showing readers Violet’s predicament. More than once, this out-of-character behavior drew me out of the story, but I can also see how indecisive someone would be in Violet’s situation.

In the next book, I look forward to seeing Violet grow even more, and I hope she’s able to really nail down who she wants to be and how she’s going to use her abilities. She has a wonderful support system; she just needs to mature enough to realize it.

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