Book Talk: Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Publisher: HarperTeen
Date: March 15 2010
Series or Standalone: Second in trilogy
ISBN: 978-0061779848
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Description: 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.

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.

First line: Violet leaned forward on her hands and knees over the frozen landscape.

I don’t know if anyone remembers, but waay back in July (I’m talking first month of blogging) I got my first ARC in the mail addressed to me--because the author is so amazing. It was super exciting—and it was none other than Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting. I read it so long ago that I had re-read it so I could write this review. Let me tell you, the second time around is even better.

Desires picks up where The Body Finder ends. Violet is haunted by the memories of what happened to her and spends the whole book trying to figure out who she is with this ability (among other things.) I’m a big fan of self-discovery. Plus, she and Jay are still so amazing together. This book is very different than TBF, a lot darker and somber. It really works considering the things that Violet encountered and what she has to deal with now. (And yes, she still insists on doing things alone. On going out alone and being so completely daft sometimes it makes you want to scream! But that’s Violet; it’s expected.)

The story starts for Violet by the discovery of a missing boy. She’s in way over head and makes an anonymous call to the FBI. Unfortunately for her, it’s the FBI and they find her. Now, she can’t explain why she found him or how—and she doesn’t want to tell anyone in her life that she’s involved yet again. But as usual for our heroine, things never go as planned and she finds herself trapped under the weight of her lies, her problems and a new family in town that has a dark secret.

Violet retreats in this book. Instead of facing her issues and being honest, she pulls away from Jay and learns the effect that secrets have on a relationship. Jay is a good character. In the first book, he was seemingly perfection—said the right things, did the right things, always supported her. In this one I like that we see the other side. The human side. The side that struggles, that’s frustrated, that tries to reason with her and can’t. He still loves her—and is absolutely adorable—but he definitely grows and reveals his layers.

I think I should also mention Rafe. Rafe is a teenage boy with an ability too. He ‘works’ with the FBI and knows that Violet has a secret. He’s not mentioned a lot in this book, but the scenes he appear in are very purposeful. And I should say on the record, I love Jay….but Rafe is super steamy and swoony. I can see that being an issue if he hangs out for book three—especially since he’s kind of a secret.

Desires of the Dead is full of mystery and suspense. The twists are intense and the side-story (like the one in the last book was the murderer) is also from a disturbed character. It made my brain hurt at some of the scenes. Kimberly Derting does an amazing job at showing you the characters and their deepest thoughts without you realizing it. And she does it in third person!

This book is a thrill-ride filled with new characters, new scenarios, new drama and new challenges. If you liked The Body Finder then you won’t be disappointed by it’s sequel.

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