The Body Finder is about a girl who can sense murdered bodies – each one gives out a distinct signal and the signal is also present on the killer. There are all sorts of people with the “mark” on them, policemen, soldiers, and sometimes nurses. How intriguing is that idea? You would be able to sense that people you met had killed someone, but you wouldn’t know what the circumstances might be. And you’d be keeping your secret power secret, so you couldn’t exactly ask the mailman if he was in the Army or a gang. In the case of the nurse, Violet’s mother quietly tells her that sometimes it’s hard to watch someone die in pain. So, that added a whole other twist to the idea of people who have killed and has made me watch people with squinted eyes to see if I can feel their signal. And, just in case you have the same question I did, hunters do have the mark and so do animals that kill other animals.
There’s a serial killer on the loose and Violet is the one who can catch him. Her uncle is chief of police, so at least she doesn’t have to explain how she knows when someone is the killer or exactly why she finds all these bodies. The real plot of the book is that Violet is in love with her best friend and she isn’t sure that he reciprocates. I guess you have to have the love interest in Young Adult, but it was a little annoying to go from Violet being terrified by a killer to really hyped that Jay touched her arm. Nancy Drew conveniently lost Ned whenever she was on the case and I think we all agree that she was a highly efficient crime-fighting machine.
Violet’s super-wimpy about her “gift,” which annoyed me quite a bit but then made me realize that, duh, of course she was. Even though other books always have heroines standing up to the killer, that’s not what’s going to happen. In real life, you’re going to hide behind your boyfriend, hole up in your room, and whimper a lot. And if you’re the kind of girl who wouldn’t? I’m going to be hiding behind you, too, for extra barrier protection.