The Body Finder - Kimberly Derting

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.
Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.
Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself. 

Just finished this one today, and I absolutely adored it.  I'm already itching for the sequel.

Violet has always had a certain power.  Whenever she's around a body of a creature that has been killed--and specifically killed, not one that's merely died of its own causes--she can feel it.  Sometimes it's a sound, sometimes it's a smell, sometimes she sees something.

But no matter what happens, she's drawn to the body, and is compelled to put it to rest.  For most of her life, her problem has been confined to the bodies of small animals found in the woods.  But once, when she was a child she found the body of a murdered girl, and she's been haunted by it ever since, especially since the killer was never found.

But now that she's in high school, there are other things on her mind.  Like the fact that she's developed a pretty major crush on her best friend Jay, and she's torn between letting him know how she feels, and protecting their friendship.

But while she's torn up over her relationship with Jay, she is drawn by her power to the body of another girl.  One her age.  And as more and more girls turn up missing and then murdered, the town goes on high alert, and Violet realizes that the only way they're going to find the killer is with her help, because, just like she can feel the bodies, she can feel the same sort of echo on the person who is responsible for the killings.

The mystery was dark and tense, and kept me on the edge of my seat. While at the same time the romance was full of sweetness and longing.

Absolutely amazing.  There are no words.

Read it.



p.s. the sequel to The Body Finder just came out on Tuesday.  I already have my copy on order.  If you haven't read The Body Finder, you'll want to pick up the sequel at the same time, because you won't want to leave the universe Derting has created.