Title: The Last Echo
Author: Kimberly Derting
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Release Date: April 17th, 2012
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….
Summary From Goodreads.com
My Review: I have really enjoyed getting to know Violet in the first two books in this series, The Body Finder (review here) and Desires of the Dead (review here) and was very excited to get my hands on this book to see what echoes Violet would be haunted by next. Now that I have finished the book, I think I understand the title, but the word “last” did throw me through a loop at first. I am not sure why, but I thought this was the last book in this series. I was confused once I reached the end of the story because it did not feel complete. Luckily, I went to Kimberly’s webpage and found out that this is not the last book in this series and that made me feel better about how things ended.
The Last Echo has everything we have come to love about Kimberly’s writing, gripping mystery, creepy bad guys, a loveable protagonist and a sweet romance. Violet is still trying to balance going to school every day, her awesome boyfriend and being a member of a secret organization that catches killers. The echoes continue to be a part of her life, but she is learning ways to cope with them and not let them rule her. She is also trying to decipher the behavior of the other members of the group she has joined that track down criminals. They all have different talents and very different personalities and she is not quite sure where she fits in. It was interesting to learn more about the diverse group and get a little peak into some of their pasts. Violet is still not quite sure she belongs with them, but knows she trusts them and loves feeling somewhat normal when surrounded by them.
I don’t think I have brought this up in past reviews of this series, but I continued to be happy with how Violet’s parents behave. In many young adult novels we have lackluster role models for the main character and it is refreshing to see Violet with strong, responsible parents to watch over her. They care about what happens to her and pay attention when she does not come home when she is supposed to. It is nice to see a young adult novel have a solid example of what a parent is supposed to be and how they should be reacting when their child is in danger.
I don’t know how Kimberly continues to put herself inside the heads of the bad guys, but being in the mind of “The Girlfriend Collector” as he is known in this book, made me cringe and I almost dreaded reading his thoughts. He is seriously twisted with an extremely skewed outlook on life. Derting does a fantastic job of creating a villain that is easy to hate and want to see brought to justice.
There is only one real thing I did not like about this book and that was the affection Rafe had towards Violet. I am a huge fan of Jay and did not like seeing Rafe vie for Violet’s attention at all! Violet and Jay have this connection not only because they are in love, but they have grown up together and I do not want to see Rafe come in there and try and severe that bond. Rafe is very protective of Violet and has been dealt a pretty rough hand, but he needs to find his own girl. We do learn more about him in this book, things that I did not expect at all, but once I read them made complete sense. I like his character, just not the idea of him and Violet together. Sorry Rafe!
Overall though, The Last Echo is another solid addition to the Body Finder novels. Thankfully, Kimberly did not leave us with a cliffhanger, but there were a couple of revelations at the end that I am eager to see explored further. The Last Echo is a must read for any young adult paranormal fan! It has a little bit of everything and Kimberly does a stellar job of grabbing your attention and daring you to try and walk away.
FTC: Thank you to the publisher for sending me this ARC for review.