Monday, 1 July 2013

Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting

About the book
Dead Silence is the fourth book in The Body Finder series by Kimberly Derting. The book was published by Headline on 25th April and it is 400 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy for review.

Plot Synopsis
Violet Ambrose has the unique ability to sense the dead through the echo given off and the imprints that come from the murderers. She thought she had come to terms with what she could do until she gained an imprint of her very own. While helping find victims and their murderers is something Violet knows is important, all she wants to do is lead a normal teenage life. However, she also works for a secret investigation team who are unwilling to let her do that.

In a new murder investigation, someone Violet knows is named as the main suspect. Up until now, Violet has had to deal with most things on her own but now she has an army of followers who will go through anything to help her… and they may just find out exactly how dangerous her job can be.

What I thought
The Body Finder series has been one of my young adult favourites. Kimberly Derting always finds a way of mixing extreme excitement with fantastic characters. After reading The Last Echo (book 3) I was glad to have Dead Silence ready and waiting to be read. As this is a review of the fourth book, there will be minor spoilers for previous books in the series.

At the end of the previous book, Violet was in a pretty bad way. After the events that occurred, she gained her own imprint as a murderer after killing someone in self-defence. However, the imprint and the sounds that come with it are driving her crazy at this point and making her unable to sleep. Even though she doesn’t want to, she’s forced to take sleeping pills just to get through the night and go and see a therapist whom she hates. Dead Silence picks up pretty much where The Lash Echo left off and Derting wastes no time in getting back into the action.

Violet ends up stumbling across a murdered family after their echoes call out to her. What Violet doesn’t expect though is for something to be quite wrong with one of the bodies and for someone she goes to school with to be named as a suspect. She has a lot going on with working with the secret team and also the fact that she is being threatened to stay with them. This book explores the reasons behind the threats and also the background of what the group can do and why they exist. This also raises some interesting questions about Violet’s family and past events. I really loved delving into the past and getting more background information about what happens in this series.

As always, Derting uses chapters from the murderer’s point of view so we are able to get inside their head and to understand why they are doing such bad things. I think with this one, things are mixed up quite a bit in comparison to the other books. Motives are nowhere near the same as they have been in the past and I found this murder story to be very different. However, that doesn’t mean that I loved the changes. I felt as though the excitement and tension that have always been at the forefront of the other books was missing in this instalment. I never really felt the urgency of catching this killer and I just didn’t like the plot as much as in previous books.

Another good aspect to this book is the range of characters. Along with the murders going on, Violet’s team members Rafe and Gemma enrol at her school which raises a lot of questions. I absolutely love Rafe as a character and think he is used really well but Gemma seems to be extremely underused. Although both characters turn up at the same time, we still don’t know too much about Gemma. We do get to see a bit more of her in this book but still not enough for my liking. Rafe and Gemma’s appearance at school did make certain things a whole lot more interesting though, especially seeing them interact with Violet’s more ‘normal’ parts of her life.

Unfortunately, I just didn’t love Dead Silence which made me sad because I have really enjoyed all three previous books. However, while the weakest in the series for me so far, there are lots of interesting and exciting things that could be coming in the next book which I am still excited to read.

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