The Restorer by AMANDA STEVENS
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.
This book is so charming and so original. Stevens does an amazing job with her characters and their environment (as make me want sweet iced tea with every page I turned). The story was well developed and moved at just the right pace, and all of the characters were so memorable and the best part of all, no cliff hanger at the end!
Amelia Gray sees ghosts, which makes her job as a graveyard restorer a bit difficult. Luckily for her, her father gave her a set of rules to abide by in order to live a ghost-free life. Don't make contact, ignore those who are haunted by ghosts, and stay on hallowed grounds. These are all very easy rules to follow until she meets the mysterious John Devlin whose personal haunts are desperate to make contact with her. This paired with the finding of two (new deceased) bodies in the graveyard that she is working on, makes for a very case.
Amanda Stevens treated this novel like it was her baby. Everything was so well thought out, the subtle hints of what's to come were in the right spots, and the characters were engaging. Every character brought something special to the plate which made the read so enjoyable. Amelia is also a remarkable character. She is strong, independent and appears to be very in control regardless of her environment. While this novel hints at romance, the book isn't about their love story. It's about Amelia first and foremost which is refreshing.
The plot is also exceptional. I was kept guessing about the mystery murders until the last chapter and I was still blown away. The entire plot is original with great side stories that are sure to be revealed later on in the story. I also loved that Stevens mentioned the voodoo culture because I am fascinated with it.
In short this is a lovely book that I recommend to anyone. Well, unless you're looking for a love story centered novel then maybe this wouldn't be your first pick. Steven's writing and storytelling is flawless and the plot keeps you guessing.