Title: The Restorer
Author: Amanda Stevens
Series: Graveyard Queen, #1
Genres: Mystery, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Mira (Imprint of Harlequin)
Date Published: April 19th, 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 a great story about a woman named Amelia who can see ghosts. She also happens to work as a graveyard restorer, which protects her by keeping her on hallowed grown on a frequent basis. But Amelia’s problems don’t begin and end with seeing ghosts. The latest job she’s taken on has uncovered a murder mystery that she finds herself deeply involved in solving along with the detective on the case, Devlin.
So I really liked the story and the mystery. I didn’t figure out who the murderer was, although I had my suspicions as the story progressed, but my guesses did jump around a bit, which is a sign of a good mystery in my opinion.
But, even though I did really enjoy the story itself, the characters fell a little flat to me. I didn’t feel particularly connected to Amelia and the sort-of romance going on between her and Devlin was just not working. I could see she had a crush on him, but I didn’t really feel a connection between the two of them. I think the story could’ve been fine without the romance element, but with it just seemed like a stretch.
If you’re all about the story then you’ll probably enjoy this one, but if you need main characters who have depth and seem real, then this might be a bit of a disappointment. I probably won’t continue on in the series simply because of the characters. Even if the story is great, I always need characters that seem real to me, whether I like them or not, and I just didn’t feel much of anything for the characters in this book. That said the story was really good and it did make up for the lack of character-building for the most part.