Title: The Last Echo (The Body Finder #3)
Author: Kimberly Derting
Expected publication: April 17th 2012 by HarperCollins
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review.
"In the end, all that's left is an echo...
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...."
First line: "Violet strained, searching for the sensation through the suffocating blackness."
Thoughts: If an older Nancy Drew and Dexter (from the Showtime series) had a baby, her name would be Violet. It has been quite a while since I've read The Body Finder and Desires of the Dead, so needless to say, I was a bit curious to see if I still loved Derting's novels as much as I have in the past. The Body Finder and Desires of the Dead were amazing novels, but did The Last Echo meet up to it's high standards? Oh, you bet it did! Not only did it meet my expectations, it surpassed them. I'm not lying when I say that these books just keep getting better and better.
Violet is back and better than ever, searching for the dead now as part of her career rather than a fluke. She works as part of a team now. As any team of teenagers go, some like her and some don't. It probably also doesn't help that the call of the dead is so strong sometimes, she ends up ignoring her "orders". Remember Rafe? Distant, brooding Rafe? Well, if you remember him, he's a part of her team, too. Sometimes Vi thinks he hates her and sometimes she thinks otherwise. As the reader, you know better. Will something develop between them? I guess you'll have to wait and see.
This series has a mystery/thriller twist to it. With that said, what I love about this series (and I think I've mentioned this in my Desires of the Dead review) is how the author rotates from Violet's point of view, to the unknown killer's, and back again. It's interesting to view the story from the killer's point of view. Out of all of Derting's vilians, I have to say that this one is definitely the creepiest. Let's just say he likes to kidnap girls, unwillingly make them his girlfriends, then "dispose" of them. They even deem him the "Girlfriend Collector"...
Needless to say, there's never a dull moment in this story. Something is always happening, whether in Vi's personal life or in her slooth life. The Last Echo is type of book where you'll keep wishing there were more hours in the day, just so you can finish it. I cannot tell you how many times I said "I wish I didn't have to go to work tomorrow so I can finish this!".
Now, onto the boys! Jay. Oh, how I heart Jay. He's proof that a swoon-worthy guy can be sweet, caring, honest, and sexy. It's admirable how protective he is of Violet. He gives her enough space to do what she needs to do, but still let's her know how much he worries about her. I love that he's the type of guy who would be there for her no matter what. And, get this...he trusts her! There are times where he doesn't agree with her or a situation comes up where he doesn't feel comfortable, but he loves her enough to trust her. LOVE THAT! Plus, their chemistry is undeniable and oh so sensuous. Why can't boys like Jay live in the real world?
Next up, Rafe. Rafe is your brooding, angsty, off-limits type of guy. You can tell he has feelings for Vi but the million dollar question is will his feelings be reciprocated? Ahh, the mystery of young love! I think a lot of the connect between Vi and Rafe is due to the "magical" bond they share. They both of special gifts and in a way, their gifts call out to one another. Personally, out of the two boys, I'm more of a Team Jay girl. I see Rafe more as a good friend than a potential lover. I know a lot of people get annoyed with love triangles, but in all honesty, sometimes that's just a part of life. You're always going to meet new people you connect with, even if you're already in a relationship and especially if you're in high school. It's probably why people love/hate them so much. It's how one deals with it that makes them who they are. As far as the novel goes, in my opinion, I think the author did a fantastic job executing the relationship between Vi, Jay, and Rafe. It's enough to keep you a bit frustrated, yet satisfied.
Overall, I think fans of this series will be more than pleased with The Last Echo. It's a fabulous addition to the series, and I couldn't be happier with it. Reading The Last Echo is like catching up with a good friend you haven't seen in a while. If you haven't read the series yet, I would highly, highly recommend picking it up as soon as possible. The Body Finder series offers readers plenty of plots twists, a fairy-tale like romance, plenty of swoon-worty guys, and a kick butt heroine. Could you really ask for anything more?