Author: Amanda Stevens
Series: The Graveyard Queen #1
Published by: MIRA
Publication Date: April 19, 2011
My name is Amelia Gray. I’m a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. In order to protect myself from the parasitic nature of the dead, I’ve always held fast to the rules passed down from my father. But now a haunted police detective has entered my world and everything is changing, including the rules that have always kept me safe.
It started with the discovery of a young woman’s brutalized body in an old Charleston graveyard I’ve been hired to restore. The clues to the killer—and to his other victims— lie in the headstone symbolism that only I can interpret. Devlin needs my help, but his ghosts shadow his every move, feeding off his warmth, sustaining their presence with his energy. To warn him would be to invite them into my life. I’ve vowed to keep my distance, but the pull of his magnetism grows ever stronger even as the symbols lead me closer to the killer and to the gossamer veil that separates this world from the next.
The Restorer is just what I needed. I recently mentioned that I’ve been in the mood for the ghost genre. I have read a couple of good ones, but they lacked the menacing vibe I craved. I’m thrilled to say that my craving was finally satiated with this book.
Since the age of nine Amelia has had the ability to see ghosts, and has lived by four rules that keep her safe. At age twenty-seven, she’s the best cemetery restorer around. When dead bodies (that aren’t supposed to be there) start popping up in the cemetery she’s restoring, and Detective John Devlin enters her life needing her help, it becomes tough to stick to those rules.
Amelia is a character I found easy to like. I was fascinated by her ability and her vast knowledge of cemeteries. And the woman has some excellent self-control when it comes to ghostly entities. I thought it was funny how she would wonder how to take certain things Devlin said, but always decided to take it in a good way. Speaking of Devlin … he’s an interesting character; dark, mysterious, and damn sexy. I loved the whole mystery surrounding him and his haunting. And the chemistry between these two was smokin’!
It’s clear from the very beginning that the ghosts in The Restorer are nothing to play around with. They are parasitic and will feed on your energy, wanting nothing more than to feel alive again. I was worried that it would start out creepy, but then turn into a Ghost Whisperer type episode where it ends up all light and fluffy. Don’t get me wrong, I loved that show, but that’s not what I wanted. Thankfully, it didn’t. Plus, the Charleston setting was great, and did a wonderful job at adding a spooky ambiance.
I loved the ride the author took me on. The mystery was great, and kept me on the on my toes. I had an inkling who the murderer was, but there were a lot of players that constantly made me second guess myself. Which is a major plus. All of the twists and turns in this story made a fun ride.
The Restorer really impressed me. So much so, that I immediately downloaded the second book, The Kingdom, after finishing it. I have a good feeling that the Graveyard Queen series with be a favorite of mine. If you haven’t started it, then you need to do so quick!