Desires of the Dead is the sequel to The Body Finder, so if you're super wary of spoilers and haven't read book one, maybe you want to look away.
Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.
As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.
Having very much enjoyed The Body Finder and having realized book three in the series, The Last Echo, comes out this week, I started Desires of the Dead with much excitement. Although I prefer its predecessor, I like this one quite a lot as well.
What prevented me from enjoying Desires of the Dead as much as The Body Finder is that the threat in this book is not quite as menacing. The killer in The Body Finder had the benefit of being relatively mysterious and unknown in his separation from Violet, but the main threat in this book is so close to home that it's not difficult to guess who it is. The threat in this book also does not take up very much focus, for Violet also has to deal with her relationship problems as well as the FBI's increasing interest in her. I enjoyed the many subplots despite the unfocused feel they created because there was always a new event causing trouble, but I'm kind of bloodthirsty so I personally would have preferred more of the crazy killer antics. Luckily the chapters from the threat's perspective are just as well-written and intense as the killer chapters in The Body Finder, though, so I was satisfied in that regard.
Other things that detracted from my enjoyment of this book, though, are some of the characters. For example, I really didn't care for some of the Jay/Violet drama. It did add for more excitement in the book, but some of their tension was unnecessary and therefore a bit annoying. I also wasn't a big fan of the new characters, Mike, and his little sister, Megan. I feel like they were never in the book long enough for them to seem like anything but catalysts to move the plot along, though I admit I like some of the changes they brought about.
The lack of intensity compared to The Body Finder makes me prefer the predecessor to Desires of the Dead, but I still enjoyed this one for the continuous action it does possess.
Book details: HarperTeen/Paperback/$8.99