The Restorer review

Goodreads says:

Amelia Gray has always been aware of ghosts, and now she travels all over the South cleaning up forgotten or abandoned graveyards. When an enigmatic yet haunted police detective asks for her help to trap a serial killer, their growing attraction constitutes the very gravest of threats.

Started this book last night and finished it this morning.

The story is about Amelia who is the Graveyard Queen in that she goes around restoring old graveyards which is much more involved and harder than one would ever have guessed.  A person has to walk the graveyard and make grids much the way an archeologist does with a new dig.  They then must photograph absolutely everything – every bit of every stone and grave.  From there they can start on the different stones restoring the names, the epitaph, etc.  Restoring a big cemetary could take years.  Amelia is one of the foremost experts in the field which makes her unique.  What further sets her apart is her ability to see ghosts.

Amelia’s father also saw ghosts and passed along to her several rules in dealing with them – one of which is to never acknowledge a ghost or let them know that you see them.  There are more rules – ones that her father failed to share as well because he has a secret that he will not reveal to her.  Amelia believes she is adopted but that her mother has never loved her as much as she should – she overheard her mother expressing doubt that them adopting Amelia was counted as a blessing. So Amelia has some past issues to take care of along with the graveyard restoration.

What sets off the whole story is a body that is found in the cemetary that she is restoring.  The one body soon leads to others as it becomes obvious a serial killer has been at work there for over a decade.  The lead detective comes with problems of his own in the form of two ghosts – ones that have attached to him and whom he may never be rid of.  Luckily he is blissfully unaware that the ghosts are there but Amelia can see them which complicates her growing attraction to him.

As the duo work to figure out who the killer is and what they are doing, they also combat their personal demons and work to restore order to the graveyard.

I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I was worried it wouldn’t meet my expectations but it surpassed it.  The writing, physical attraction and eerieness of the graveyards made the story every bit as creepy yet interesting as I could have hoped for.  Amanda Stevens does a wonderful job and never let the story drag its feet.

As a writer, I have to say I am disappointed I hadn’t thought of this storyline myself.  What a perfect premise, a graveyard restorer who sees ghosts and uses those ghosts to help solve murders.  Brilliant.

Yes, I will admit I figured out who the killer was ahead of time but I usually do because I pick up on clues left in the reading.  Actually, according to my writing professor, the writer wants the reader to guess the killer before the end – preferably not too early in the story but before the end because then the reader feels comfortable and satisfied with the ending.

I will most definitely be reading the rest of the series – I would start the next one right away but I think I should take a break in between them so I don’t burn out on them.  Plus it is always better to savor a new writer for a bit instead of rushing out to read everything they wrote.  Still, this series is making it to the top of my list of books to read.  🙂  I give the book an A+.



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