April 20, 2012

Book Review: THE LAST ECHO by Kimberly Derting

Author:  Kimberly Derting
Category:  Young Adult fiction
Publisher:  HarperCollins

Violet Ambrose is a body finder.  She has the ability to find those who have been murdered and their killers by sensing echoes or imprints that are unique with each kill.    For many years she has felt like the odd woman out, one who can never be normal, despite the love and support of her family and her best friend turned boyfriend Jay…. that is until she meets Sara Priest.

Sara is a former FBI investigator turned special agent who handles a group of teen misfits, all of whom have special abilities: Gemma is empathic and feels others’ emotions, Sam is a genius psychic, Krystal communicates with the dead in her dreams and Rafe can see events in the past and future.  All have been recruited by Sara to work in solving murder cases.

For the first time Violet feels she belongs… the only problem is Rafe.  They have undeniable chemistry that is obvious to everyone especially Jay.  But Rafe confuses her: one minute reeling her in, another pushing her away.  Violet tries to convince herself that Jay is the only one for her, but her feelings for Rafe are growing in ways even she can’t understand.

In one of their investigations, Violet finds the body of a girl stuffed in a freezer.  She is the latest victim of the Girlfriend Collector whose modus is kidnapping and murdering young women before lovingly beautifying them for the police’s discovery.  His work is clean, leaving no leads and no clues. 

Working non-stop to find the killer, Violet has no idea that the Collector has set his sights on a new victim: Herself.

Author Kimberly Derting
Since reading The Body Finder and Desires of the Dead last year, I have been excitedly awaiting the release of its third installment, The Last Echo.

One thing that hooked me to the series is the romance between Violet and Jay.  So sweet and intense, author Kimberly Derting really made me feel attached to the two.  And given their history, being childhood best friends and all, I thought that even with Rafe’s character being introduced in Desires of the Dead, that nothing will affect their devotion towards each other.

I was wrong.  The Last Echo is a build up of a probable romance between Rafe and Violet.  It is pretty surprising how little of Jay is in this book so I was a bit miffed.  However the book as a whole is a wonderful read.

This book is much darker and creepier compared to the 1st two books.  Written in both the perspectives of Violet and the killer’s, it’s disturbing how unhinged and delusional the psycho was.  In a way I was sympathetic since it was explained why he became so warped, yet I couldn’t wrap my mind around his logic.  His line of thinking hooked me, reminding me of infamous murderer Ted Bundy.  But while Bundy killed out of sadism, the Girlfriend Collector did so out of a need for love.

Well-paced, intense, disturbing, heart wrenching, time freezing and confusing are words I’d use to describe this book in its entirety. I highly suggest you don’t miss out.  Read this book.

NOTE: Before picking this up, do read The Body Finder and Desires of the Dead first.  it’s well worth your time.


  1. Great book review, Ms. Lynn!

    Can't wait to read this one but I still have to read the first two books.

    I only got interested with this series because of The Last Echo. The synopsis captured me when I read it.

    And the fact that you said that the 'Girlfriend Collector' killed out of the need for love reminded me of my favorite book Stolen by Lucy Christopher. I guess because in Stolen, this twenty something guy named Ty kidnapped this teenage girl named Gemma because he loved her so much that he was willing to do anything to make her love him back. I would share my review of the book Stolen but I haven't written it yet hahaha.

    Anyways, great review and it made me more excited to read it!!! Although, I think I have to wait until bookstores have it on stock.

    1. Thank you for enjoying the review. The first two books are already available in our local bookstores. I'm sure The Last Echo will arrive soon... Happy reading! I will try to check out Stolen based on your recommendation 😄

  2. Hi, Lyn!

    That was a great review. I'm not really into mystery/thriller but after reading this, I may just find myself a copy of the series.

    And I must say, I've always liked you in your morning show, and finding out that you have a blog dedicated mostly for book reviews makes me like and respect you even more. Great job and more power!

    1. Thank you Cha! Writing is an outlet for my obsession with books, travels and of course food... Though lately i haven't written about food. Thank you also for watching our morning show......More reviews to come!

  3. I guess that Rafe is the "Girlfriend Collector" of the said book. I used to read Sweet Valley Thrillers. =)) But, that is just a guessing. Maybe I could read this book in print for sure once I have my time to read it. Thanks for sharing, Ms. Lyn. God bless. =))

    1. i will leave you to guess what happens.... all i can say is pick up the series....you will enjoy it! happy reading! and thanks for the comment....

  4. In Last Echo, Violet is stronger and more sure of her gift, and I loved her newfound confidence. She's got such a strong desire to do more than just find the dead, and it gets her into trouble when she least expects it. She faces some serious danger this time around, and stares down death on more than one occasion. I loved that we still got to see from the killer's POV, because as much as it completely disgusts me and creeps me out, it makes the story so much more intense!! We get to see the threat coming before the victims do, and it makes your heart race throughout the entire book!

    Rafe and the team were much more prevalent in Last Echo, of course, so we learn more about Sara and the others with gifts. I loved Krystal with her spunky personality, and Rafe wormed his way into my heart...as Violet's FRIEND!!! I'm still all about Jay with Violet, they are just too sweet together and just seem so right. There wasn't a lot of Jay in this book, but he was around and made himself very much a key part of Violet's life. As much as I'd love to have more steamy moments for Violet and the sweet and sexy Jay, I think Echo was more about Violet's journey with her gift. I loved how strong she became in this installment, and I think it makes for an exciting start to the last book in the series when it comes out.