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.I read the first book in this series, The Body Finder, back in June and fell in love with it. When I saw Desires of the Dead on a shelf at my local library, I knew I had to pick it up. Lo and behold, to my absolute delight, Kimberly Derting did not disappoint.
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.
Desires of the Dead picks up not long after the climax in the first novel. Violet's relationship with her best-friend-turned-boyfriend, Jay Heaton, starts to heat up--and then Mike and Megan Russo move to town. Jay seems to be spending a lot of time with Mike, and Violet starts to feel more alone than ever. At the same time, Violet is dealing with a string of other issues. Her secret is slowly being unlocked by a supposed FBI agent, Sara Priest, and Violet has been receiving strange phone calls. She also begins to discover a hidden truth from the Russo family past--one that puts her life in danger once again.
I've adored Jay and Violet since the very beginning, so naturally when their relationship faltered, I panicked. Thankfully, the crisis was quickly averted and I was able to breathe again. Since they started out as best friends, the connection between Jay and Vi is so natural. Kimberly Derting is a pro at character development. Despite Megan Russo's not-so-positive involvement in the plot, I actually started to like her near the end. Violet's group of friends also added a bit of brightness in contrast to the darker themes of the story.
I love how the reader gets a taste of the suspect's point of view in The Body Finder novels--it adds a nice twist. As always, I was creeped out but hooked--in fact, I finished Desires of the Dead in five hours flat. Though the story seemed predictable, the ending came as a pretty big shock, and I appreciated not being able to figure out who was guilty. One thing I didn't like was the "low-key" background of Sara Priest and her assistant Rafe--I wanted to know more about them, but not much was revealed. Hopefully they'll make an appearance in the next book.
Overall, Desires of the Dead was just about everything I look for in a good YA novel. The murder mystery/crime thriller-loving girl in me is totally fascinated by this series, and I'm so excited to see what's next for Violet and Jay. The Last Echo, book three in the series, is scheduled for release in April 2012.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars