Dead Silence (The Body Finder #4)by Kimberly DertingTo be published by HarperTeen
on April 16, 2013
Source: borrowed an ARC through Around the World ARC Tours. My full FTC disclosure in on the right sidebar.
Buzzwords: serial killers, paranormal romance, Pacific Northwest
Summary (adapted from Goodreads:) Violet thought she’d made peace with her unique ability to sense the echoes of the dead and the imprints that cling to their killers…that is until she acquired an imprint of her own. Forced to carry a reminder of the horrible events of her kidnapping, Violet is more determined than ever to lead a normal life. However, the people who run the special investigative team Violet works for have no intention of letting her go.
When someone close to Violet becomes a suspect in a horrific murder, she finds herself pulled into a deadly hunt for a madman with an army of devoted followers. Violet has survived dangerous situations before, but she quickly discovers that protecting those closest to her is far more difficult than protecting herself.
My take: These thoughts will be 99% spoiler free for entire Body Finder series -- as I want people to try these books out!
I've really enjoyed this series about a girl who can hear the "echoes" of the dead and, when she does, is compelled to find the body and help it to be put to rest. Violet can also hear the "imprint" that a murderer acquires after he or she takes a life.
Violet lives in the Pacific Northwest with her parents and, in book one, develops a much closer relationship with her childhood best friend Jay. Each book includes a self-contained murder mystery, and these aren't (as Violet's friend Chelsea calls them in Dead Silence) the "Scooby Doo" kind of mysteries you often find in YA fiction -- dognappers and such. They're real murders, and often gory ones at that. Then each book also represents a further step in Violet's ongoing quest to understand and cope with her special talent.
Dead Silence features several plot lines. First, there's the matter of the murder victims that Violet stumble upon early in the book. Second, there's Violet's glimpse into the past as her mom gives her some journals and photos that belonged to Violet's grandmother. This helps her learn more about her "gift" and about the uh …. complication of that gift that developed at the end of Last Echo. And third, Violet's life at school and with Jay and the case work that she began to do in the third book collide as some new students show up at Violet and Jay's school. New, yet so familiar...
One of my favorite parts of reading the entire Body Finder series has been watching the evolution of Violet and Jay. From book one, when Violet became nervous and awkward around Jay, wondering if his feelings for her had deepened as well, to book two, when they were in the can't keep their hands off each other stage, to book three, when their relationship strained a bit, their relationship has felt … real.
Violet has a lot of very normal girl insecurities, then there's the fact that she has this creepy special gift, and she's always trying to balance it all out. I loved the sense of equilibrium that Violet and Jay seem to have settled into in this book. Through the books, Jay has veered around from wild overprotectiveness to smoldering passion to a touch of sulky jealousy. Dead Silence, he's balanced all those out. However … there's this great part of the plot where Violet has to keep a secret from him. A really creepy secret that puts a strain on their relationship.
The mystery in Dead Silence had a sort of a Charles Manson feel, which was cool, but its connection to Violet was a little tenuous. As I said in my review of Game by Barry Lyga earlier this week, I always think that the best mystery stories are those in which the investigator has some kind of personal stake in the case. That was not the case here.
But all in all, I enjoyed this book and I've really enjoyed this series. I hope that this isn't the end for Violet. Fictionally speaking, I mean. I feel that there is definitely more story to be told!
Have you read the Body Finder series?