Review of “The Last Echo” by Kimberly Derting

This continuation in the “Body Finder” series features Violet Ambrose, a 17-year-old who has the ability to sense those who have died at the hand of another. She picks up an “echo” or a unique imprint from each body. Furthermore, she senses a matching imprint of the violent death if she encounters the perpetrator.

In this book, Violet has been working with a team associated with the FBI for the past two months. Led by Sara Priest, everyone on the team has a different ability to find murder victims: Krystal, 21, is a medium; Gemma, 16, is empathic; Sam, 15, can read the history of a person’s personal effects; and Rafe, around Violet’s age and sexy, volatile, but also caring, has precognition. As much as Violet loves her boyfriend Jay, she feels a connection to Rafe she can’t deny. She also feels “normal” around the team, and therefore values her time with them, even if their work is unpleasant. Sara, a bit older than the others, acts as a parental figure to the group, and insists that Violet go regularly to see a therapist, Dr. Lee, to help her cope with finding the dead.

The team is trying to find a serial killer known as “The Collector” – he picks “girlfriends” but one might say he doesn’t maintain long-term relationships with them…. After each “relationship” is over, he alerts the police on the approximate location of the “girlfriend’s” body. Violet inadvertently comes to The Collector’s attention, and soon the mouse is chasing the cat. But Violet knows that if she is caught, the odds are against her being able to escape alive.

Evaluation: I enjoyed this book, as I have the previous two in the series. The villain is very stock, but I don’t really see him as the focus: rather, I consider him as just a way to highlight the skills of the group and how they interact with one another.

The author adds two surprising developments at the very end to set the stage for future installments. One I thought very clever but the second I just hated! It is so unrealistic, it made me cringe. It reminded me of when I had a job for which I had to type with carbon paper, and make eight copies of everything. It’s pretty important not to make a mistake in those circumstances (correcting eight carbon copies is the worst!), so naturally one gets nervous the closer one gets to the end of the page. NEEDLESS TO SAY, I always made a typo in the last line! I felt like that with this book – it was going along so great, and then GAAAAAAAAAH!!!! But still, I’m looking forward to the next book, because I’m sure it will be like the start of my next document – back to a great thing! :–)

Rating: 3.5/5

Published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2012

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11 Responses to Review of “The Last Echo” by Kimberly Derting

  1. Any cringing is not a good sign, is it?

  2. Staci@LifeintheThumb says:

    Oh no! That’s not a good thing. And I remember those crazy carbon copies!! The kids at my school have no idea what those are or a typewriter for that matter!

  3. Barbara says:

    Your post brought back nightmare memories of carbon paper, ditto masters, and the need to not make a mistake on a document you type. I usually made a mistake near the end of medical reports. Worse though was the ditto masters I typed spreadsheets on in my second summer job; it was my purple summer. The darned stuff spreads like fingerpaint. I am a whiz at typing numbers though!

  4. zibilee says:

    I can remember those carbon paper days too, and the days of the mimeographed handouts that I had to copy in the teacher’s lounge when I was a student assistant. Ok, back to the book. It sounds really clever and very unique, and like something that I need to read. I am not so hot on thrillers, because they are usually all have a lot of the same elements, but this one sounds very different, and the addition of the investigators having extra sensory powers is very cool! I want to check these out sometime soon. This was a wonderful review, by the way!

  5. Ti says:

    I can relate to the “Gah!” comment.

    I must say that the premise sounds mighty interesting. Having that talent would definitely be a blessing AND a curse.

  6. Jenners says:

    I think I would choke under the pressure of typing in that manner too. I am a “choker” in just about any pressure situation.

  7. bookingmama says:

    Can you believe how much we take for granted now with our word processing programs?

  8. BermudaOnion says:

    You’re showing your age talking about carbon paper. Do they even make it anymore?

  9. Sandy says:

    I can’t stand it when they blow it in the home stretch. Gah indeed! Still I know what you mean about there being an interest because of the cast of characters…

  10. sagustocox says:

    I love your analogy to carbon paper!

  11. Beth F says:

    I remember carbon paper. I also remember when those IBM Selectrics came out and how awesome it was that they could “un-type”!

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