Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Book 2 in The Body Finder series
Diving into Desires of the Dead and reading about Violet and Jay again, was like hanging out with old friends that you haven't seen in a while- it was comfortable and familiar, and just clicked straight back into place. This story starts off a few months after the events of the first book and immediately launches into another mystery. Violet finds another body in a way that she couldn't have known was there, and this time in the city, without her uncle the sheriff of her small town to cover for her unusual knack of discovering murder victims. This time Violet has attracted the notice of the FBI, and she must decide between keeping her powers a secret as she has always done, or using them to try to help the FBI solve murders.
In the first book The Body Finder the story was told from alternating points of view, shifting between Violet and the unknown serial killer. The author has adopted the same technique in this book as well- shifting the perspective between Violet and everything going on with her, and an unknown stalker following Jay and plotting against Violet. This adds another element of mystery to this story- as we the reader are left wondering who the evil-minded stalker could be, and (if you're anything like me) coming up with all sorts of theories and guesses (which again I got completely wrong!).
All the characters in this book are wonderful- especially Jay, who is fiercely protective of Violet, and so sweet and giving- the kind of idealised boy that I'm sure doesn't exist in real life! Violet's best friend Chelsea also gets more mention in this 2nd book- and her quirky antics and cracking one-liners are the kind of real spark that give the reader a break from all the danger in the story and really bring the fun side of it to life- adding an edge of humour to the book and making it a fun story to read.
I really enjoyed both these books as they are so gripping, full of suspense and creepy, telling a really intriguing story while at the same time being sweet and funny. It is also such a unique concept, and the way the story unfolds is not at all cliche. I just love all the characters as well- from Violet and Jay to Violet's mad best friend who tells it like it is, the stiff FBI agent Sarah and her quiet associate Rafe (I hope we see more of him in book 3!), and mystery new-guy at school Mike. The other reason that I like these books is that they are self-contained stories that both could work well as stand-alone books. At the end, the mystery is unfolded, there is a big drama and a stand-off but everything is resolved. I eagerly await the next book in the series- not because it ended on a cliff-hanger, but because I love the writing, and the characters and the whole mystery/drama in the way the story is told- excellent.
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