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.
Kindle Edition, 377 pages
Published March 12th 2012 by MIRA
I picked this one up because a friend, whose taste in books is more or less similar to my own, gave it a high rating and upon reading the blurb I decided to give it a go and am I damn happy that I did. To put it simply I loved this story. It is a well written multilayered, eerily and hauntingly beautiful story that had me anxious to find out who committed the crime but also learn more about not only Amelia, because there is quite a bit in her past that, even at the end of the book, is shrouded in mystery, but the cast of characters that we meet throughout the story.
I really liked Amelia. Despite the fact that she has to fight daily to follow the rules passed down to her by her father about what not to do when it comes to ghosts and those that are haunted, she still manages to live. It may be a somewhat solitary life but she still has those around her that she can socialize with and she happens to be one of those rare people who really love their occupation. Her passion and respect for what she does was a huge draw for me and I loved learning about how graveyards were planned out and what the various engravings symbolized.
Each character you meet, from her colleagues, to her family, to those who simply pop into her life are well written and only serve to either add another layer to the plot or to what appears to be the overall story arc of the series. Of all the cast John Devlin is the tall, dark and brooding detective that enters Amelia’s life and stirs it up the most. There is a pull between them, something she has many an internal debate about since he is someone she needs to stay away from, but due to the case and her own curiosity she is unable to. But I will caution that what is going on between Amelia and Devlin is a very small part in the story. One could allude that there could be more down the road, but that still remains to be seen.
Charleston, South Carolina is the perfect setting. There is so much history and the various peoples and cultures that thrive in the city only add more depth to the story and I loved how Oak Grove Cemetery became a character in and of itself in the story. The history and character of the place was just as interesting as the human characters.
The Restorer is a beautifully written book that had me on the edge of proverbial seat the entire time as well as had the tiny hairs on the back of my neck standing on end many, many times. While there isn’t a cliffhanger, there are still many questions and mysteries that are unanswered and I look forward to continuing with the series to find out the answers.
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