Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Book Review: Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting


The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.

When Violet Ambrose's morbid ability to sense the echoes of those who've been murdered leads her to the body of a young boy, she draws the attention of the FBI. She is reluctantly pulled into an investigation that will endanger more than just her secret...but her relationship and possibly her life as well.


The Short Version:
Engaging and maintaining the same creep factor as the first book, Desires of the Dead is a very strong follow up. Building on the characters and adding new ones, Derting has expanded her world in some surprising and unexpected ways. With a strong focus on the mystery itself, and maintaining the same masterful writing, this addictive plot flies quickly.

The Extended Version:
Violet is, overall, similar to the girl we met in the first book: stubborn and brave at some times, unsure and scared at others. Her struggles with her ability are even more poignantly shown in this one, opening with a heartbreaking scene that really explores what she has to endure. She shows continued growth with this installment, both in her relationships with those around her and her views towards herself and the body finding. There is an even stronger emotional component to Violet in this installment as she's tested in unexpected ways and forced to make some rough decisions.

Jay has a bit of a backseat kind of role in this book, letting Violet really shine and allowing the plot to focus more on the mystery itself and giving a strong sense of self-confidence to Violet. Still, his love for her continues to burn strongly and there are some beautiful and emotional scenes between these two. The depth of their feelings and relationship continues to grow and shift, a firm reminder of their age and experiences.

This plot holds similar elements to the first, but is, overall, an entirely new mystery to solve. With little clues spattered throughout but enough conflicting evidence to keep the reader guessing, Derting has done a brilliant job of weaving her mystery without much predictability. The new characters raise questions of their own, some of which are answered and some that leave the things open for the next installment, while still overall tying up everything intricate to this plot.

With this sequel, Derting has proved her ability to expand on a solid world in new and exciting ways, keeping readers engaged and leaving them aching for more of Violet and what her ability really means. Add in the stellar writing, giving a good voice to Violet while also doing a stunning job of getting into the mind of another party, similar to the killer’s perspective in the first book. From happy to downright creepy and chill inducing, Derting has mastered her writing style.

Source: ARC received for review from author/publisher in exchange for honest review
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: February 15, 2011


  1. Great review! I am counting the days to this one---really glad to hear that it lives up to the first book!

  2. Wonderful review! I enjoyed Desires of the Dead so much more than The Body Finder and I think it's because the romance isn't the driving force this time. It's still there, but I was much more into the mystery and Violet's ability.

  3. I'm just about to purchase The Body Finder so should get round to this soon, depending on how much I like the first one.
    Great review :)

  4. Reading this one right now and so far I am liking it.

  5. I really enjoyed the first book, it was just a good fun read. I'm definitely looking forward to this one and I'm excited to see so a positive solid review of it. Thanks!

  6. i really need to get into this series...so many books..so little time *sigh*

    Its depressing sometimes.

    but this is a series i must start by the sounds of it

    great review!