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THE BODY FINDER by Kimberly Derting



Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: March 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-06-177981-7
Publisher: HarperTeen

Violet doesn’t see dead people, but she does hear, smell and taste them. Murderers and their victims give off psychic echoes that cause Violet to have synesthetic reactions. A serial killer plagues her small eastern Washington town, so Violet enlists the help of her best friend, Jay, to find the killer by matching his echoes with those of the victims. Complicating matters are Jay’s sudden ascent to hotness and popularity and Violet’s massive crush on him. Her crush turns out to be reciprocal, something that will appeal to romantics everywhere. The whodunit aspect of the novel, however, is less intriguing than the romance. Although the killer actually joins in the narration, he is not named, so readers never really have a chance to sleuth out who it might be, so readers never really have a chance to sleuth out who it might be. This makes the ending feel anticlimactic even as the murderer threatens Violet’s life. Violet, despite her talent for finding bodies, is ultimately a run-of-the-mill damsel in distress, who injures herself and has to be rescued from the killer by Jay. Weak characterizations bring down this promising murder mystery. (Mystery. 14 & up)