Review: The Restorer by Amanda Stevens


The Restorer (The Graveyard Queen) by Amanda Stevens 
Paranormal / Mystery
2011-05-01 (Mira)

Rating: A
Heat: Sweet / No Lovin'

Heroine: Amelia Gray – Medium, Graveyard Restorer 
Hero: John Devlin – Cop, Widow 
Setting: South Carolina, USA


It took me a little while to get into it, as I had to adjust my mental palate from a) the string of bad books I've unfortunately read recently and b) my usual romance-laden fare. (Not that this book is without any romance, it just isn't the focus).

Ms. Stevens writing is delightful and wordy and descriptive. And, thankfully, it didn't feel like a case of going overboard with a thesaurus. It matched the gothic feel of the novel perfectly. Added to the tone and atmosphere quite well.

The book has a slow beginning, but that's not to say it isn't interesting. There were a lot of things that needed explained and set up...

Amelia is a strange character, in a good way. Twenty-seven years old and quite the loner, she restores old cemeteries to their former glory. Oh, and the fact that she can see ghosts can be quite a hindrance to her job and her personal life (which she doesn't really have much of).

The knowledge and the insight into all things grave yards was phenomenal and just plain interesting. And the way in which Amelia gets dragged into the murders and mystery was fun to watch. It also brought into her life John Devlin, a man her father and his rules warned her away from... because he is a haunted man, and ghosts are to be avoided at all costs.

Which, naturally, means that Amelia is drawn to him like a moth to flame (as am I, as am I...sigh). With the introduction of his character, nothing in Amelia's life will ever be the same. Now she not only has to deal with bodies turning up in the cemetery she's trying to restore, she also has to deal with Devlin and his ghosts. Amelia is the proverbial curious cat.

Which leads me to the mystery aspect. It is so well thought out and there are so many layers to it... And the settings and places that it leads Amelia were a delight to imagine. Not to mention spooky. This book actually had me spooked like watching a horror movie. And on edge. And guessing.

I don't want to say too much about the mystery, as it is the focus of the book. And it would be a bummer to ruin it. But it truly is disturbing and entertaining... and while the larger mystery is wrapped up nicely at the book's end - there are plenty of small intrigues to weave into the next story. So many questions still to be answered.

I hope the next two books are as wonderful as this one!

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