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...
OPINION: 5 STARS
Honestly, this is my favorite of this series. And if we’re going for full disclosure, I admit it. This is the most messed up of the three in terms of the murder mystery. Derting hits on some seriously whacked topics, but she does it magnificently. With her usual stunning writing, and a creepy vibe throughout the book, this one is compelling and brilliant. There is a pretty massive twist in this one that will linger with readers for long after the book is done.
Violet has made some great strides in her development, even before the opening of this book, but she makes even more impressive ones in this book. Not as dependent on Jay and her parents, and really starting to stand up for herself in terms of fitting in with the new group she’s found and trying to just understand more about her gift, this book’s journey felt much more centered around her than some of the others have. I loved watching what she went through, and I admire so much that she feels true, raw fear, rather than acting like she’s invincible. Does she still find herself in some horrible situations? Sure. But the motivations are more deeply rooted, and some of them are more inevitable.
Though we saw him in Desires of the Dead, this book brings a much closer look at Rafe, and I have to say, I love this book. I admit it. I like him way more than Jay, and though I get that Jay and Violet are in love and have been best friends for so long… if Violet jumped the Jay ship and ended up with Rafe, I would so not complain. There is just something so quietly endearing and alluring about Rafe, from the way he acts towards Violet to the aloof air around him. I want to know his secrets, and those soft moments when he lets Violet and therefore the reader see more of him are some of the most beautiful in the series. He is a stellar character, who adds so much to the plot and to the way Violet develops in this book.
The Last Echo has some shocking twists in it, and several elements and plotlines that tie together perfectly. The writing has a way of grabbing readers, giving voice to Violet but an even stronger one to the killer, invading reader’s minds and taking over. With a higher level of unpredictability in this one, and the perfect way of dropping bombs on readers, Derting has done phenomenally with this installment.
Source: ARC received from publisher in exchange for an honest review
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publication Date: April 17, 2012