As you guys probably know, I am a bit of a fan of Kimberly Derting's Body Finder series. So, after some begging on Twitter, the lovely Sam from Headline was very kind to send me a copy of this book (and another book which I should be reading soon, if I can make time...).
In this, the third book in the series, Violet is now part of a secret special investigative team - the Centre - and uses her morbid gift to sense dead bodies and their killers. But when she and her team start investigating a new serial killer - the Collector (or the Girlfriend Collector, depending on what you prefer...) - Violet is determined to catch this guy. But, without knowing it, she might be next...
Now, I love the series and I do feel that this is one of the best written novels in the series, and has one of the scariest killers in YA fiction that I have read in a while. One of the chapters told from the killer's point of view, I found extremely dark and extremely creepy. For a crime fan like myself, I love that Kimberly is unflinching with the profile of this dark and twisted character.
But, at the same time, it isn't my fave of the series so far. There is two real reasons that I feel that I have this problem. The first is the set-up itself. In the last book, Desires of the Dead, when Violet made the decision to join the team, I thought it was a smart move for the story to take. But, in The Last Echo, I found it took me longer to get to grips with the book because Violet was in a different situation and we had a new cast of characters to get use to. And, sometimes, it felt a bit overwhelming and, because of this, it took the first 100 pages to get my head round before it all "clicked" into place.
The second reason why the book wasn't my fave was because of the lack of Jay and the sudden increase of Rafe. One of the reasons why I fell in love with the series and the mix of the dark crime with the light relief of Violet's relationship with Jay. In Last Echo, we hardly see Jay so we hardly saw any time to spend in Violet and Jay's company. There was very little light relief in this book.
Because we spent so little time with Jay, we spent a lot of time with Rafe. I'm not sure if Kimberly is planning to do a love triangle with Rafe but, if so, DON'T DO IT, KIMBERLY! In different situations, I would find Rafe a complex character, on the edge of being an anti-hero at times. But with the whole "maybe love triangle" hanging over him and Violet, I found it hard to like him.
With all the negative points I have pointed out, I still feel that the Body Finder series is one of the best crime-based series in the YA genre at the moment and I will be waiting on baited breath for book four in the series (yes, there will be a book four. The epilogue left us in no doubt about that!)