The Restorer (Graveyard Queen #1) By Amanda Stevens
Release Date: 4/19/11
Available: Barnes & Noble & Amazon
Source: Netgalley (Thanks! Mira & Netgalley)
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.
I love stories that include ghost, they have always intrigued me more than any other paranormal stories. I don't know what it is that draws me to these books, but I love them!
Amelia was nine years old when she saw her first ghost while working with her dad in the cemetery that he was the caretaker at. Her father told her there were rules that you must follow in order to keep living your life without ghost interfering.
Rule 1: Never acknowledge the dead, look at them, speak to them or let them sense your fear.
Rule 2: Never stray far from hallowed ground
Rule 3: Keep your distance from those that are haunted. If they seek you out, turn away from them, for they constitute a terrible threat and cannot be trusted.
These were the rules that were instilled in Amelia, and she lived her life by these rules until she meets Detective John Devlin. The mysteriously aloof; Detective John Devlin needs her help with a murder that has occured at The Oak Grove Cemetery her latest restoration project. Helping Devlin goes against everything that her father has taught her because Devlin is haunted by not one but two ghost. Amelia finds herself in a predicament because he was referred to her by Camille Ashby who contracted her for the Oak Grove Restoration project, she is highly connected and burning a bridge with her could mean no additional contracts. Amelia relunctantly agrees and finds herself tangled in a web of deception, politics, and ghost.
This story was beautifully written, with lots of suspense, twist and turns. The characters were well developed and I love how Ms. Stevens weaved the back stories of the characters through out the book. The story progressed at a great speed and I built an emotional tie with the characters. At times I was
creeped out and other times I wanted to cry. The setting of the book was in Charleston, and it reminds me of old money, historical sites, and creepy cemeteries much like Savannah does.This is one of those books that when you finish and walk away you are still recounting what happened days after you turned the last page.
I would give this book 5 stars and recommend this book to everyone I know.
The author's website is Amanda Stevens. She is also on Twitter.