Author: Kimberly Derting
Rating: 4/5 stars
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.
There is something about this series by Kimberly Derting that really intrigues me. I often think back to when I first read The Body Finder and it still fills me with the same eeriness that it did then. A mix of supernatural and crime thriller, Derting's series is different from a lot of the Young Adult Fiction on the market. It makes our world seem frightening, and yet provides a glimmer of hope in the form of a teenage heroine, Violet Ambrose. The newest book in the series, titled Dead Silence, gave me the same goose flesh that I was expecting, and reunited me with the characters that I know and love.
Violet has changed a lot since the beginning of her story and yet she still experiences echoes the same way she did as a child. Those who have been murdered call to Violet; they use echoes to reach out to her in the hopes that she will find their body. The same unique echo that lingers on a victim is what can be found on their killer. This connection helps Violet solve murder cases, but it is also what plagues her. Defending herself against her kidnapper left Violet with her own imprint - a melody that plays in her head on repeat. The love/hate relationship she has with her imprint is very confusing for Violet, but not as confusing as her feelings for Rafe.
Violet's relationship with Jay has been one of my favourite parts of this series. They were friends first, and that has helped them build a sweet, loyal and passionate relationship. Derting's description of the butterflies Violet feels every time she sees Jay makes me crack a smile. Despite Jay's understanding of Violet's gift, there will always be someone out there who understands her even more than he ever could - Rafe. Under the surface of her composed exterior, Violet is questioning the feelings she has for Rafe. While she never says it outright, it is clear that there is something brewing there that will eventually rise to the surface.
Although Jay and Rafe understand Violet, it is the relationship that Violet has with her grandmother that is the most pivotal in this book. Violet's grandmother shared the same gift, and even though she passed away, she delivers something truly invaluable from the grave. The secrets in her grandmother's past give Violet the keys to her own future; they give her the confidence to challenge those around her. With her grandmother's spirit shadowing her along the way, Violet is truly able to understand the importance of her gift. With a sadistic killer on the loose, it becomes increasingly important for Violet to believe in what she can do.
What you don't see nearly enough, or executed quite as brilliantly, is Derting's ability to write from a killer's perspective. The switch between her third person narrative of Violet's life, to that of following a killer's every move, is in turn why this series is so addictive.The killer in Dead Silence though is in many ways very different from those throughout the series. Derting definitely took a shocking turn with this book, and with the killer, but for me it was welcomed. Although I would have liked to uncover more about the killer's Charles Manson like persona, what is delivered will haunt your thoughts. The crimes are gruesome and cryptic and will have you checking the locks on your front door.
If you have not picked up this series yet then I encourage you to do so. Derting's mix of psychotic killers and supernatural heroes is a win all around. Dead Silence is yet another gem in The Body Finder series.