Author: Kimberly Derting
Release Date: April 17, 2012
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....
My Thoughts (contains minor spoilers): This was an interesting installment in the Body Finder series. It frustrated me and yet reminded me how much I loved the first book The Body Finder. While I couldn't bring myself to appreciate certain aspects, I think if you're a fan of the events that occurred in the second book Desires of the Dead you'll probably enjoy The Last Echo.
As I mentioned in my review for Desires of the Dead, there were some changes compared to what we read in the first book. Violet was much more secretive and there were new, mysterious characters involved with the FBI. What I hoped in this third book was that Violet would be more open and stop keeping secrets and that we would learn more about the new characters. Only one of those things happened, and I'm not sure I feel all that happy about it. In fact, it was a bit disappointing.
Before I get a little into that I want to mention what I liked about The Last Echo. I thought the creepy stalker-bad guy was way better than the one in Desires of the Dead! It's repetitive and at times very strange, but the chapters from the bad guy's POV is what I think stands out the most in the Body Finder novels. It's the one thing that I don't mind stays consistent in the series. Another thing I liked in this book, for the most part, was Jay. Jay was still the perfect boyfriend! He's such a great guy, and he continues to be my favorite character in the series. I wish there was more good stuff I could say about Jay, but I have to admit his role or lack thereof was part of the reason why I felt bummed about The Last Echo.
While I liked whenever there were Jay scenes, I don't think having a character be the supportive boyfriend ALL the time is a good thing. What I usually see in books with characters like this is that they aren't as important to the story later on, resulting in less page-time. That's what I felt happened to Jay. He became a background character who is just there to support and eventually agree with everything his girlfriend says or does. Some girls need to be challenged, and Violet is definitely one of them. I didn't like how she basically had free rein in their relationship. She's allowed to do whatever she wants, but the moment Jay does something, she's gets angry and jealous. It REALLY bothered me.
But I think the main purpose of having less Jay was to give the other guy Rafe time to shine and to develop a love-triangle. I had a feeling there would be something after reading Desires of the Dead, but I was really hoping I was wrong and that the series wouldn't go that route. The love-triangle (and the decisiveness that goes along with it) was the most disappointing aspect of The Last Echo. I wasn't convinced by it one bit. I think I would have been able to deal with an irritating Violet if there wasn't this whole thing with Rafe. I honestly don't understand what the point is if she's going to be with Jay anyway. But maybe that's me. I just don't think a love-triangle is needed to make a romance interesting, and most of the time it ruins the characters and story for me. And that's basically what happened with The Last Echo.
Like I said before, if you enjoyed Desires of the Dead or Rafe or even love-triangles, you'll most likely enjoy The Last Echo. As for me, The Body Finder will always be my favorite book in the series. I wouldn't mind giving the final book (at least I think it's the last one) in the series a chance, but I think I'm going to have to wait and see what others think before I give it a read.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Thanks to Southern Book Bloggers for the ARC tour!