Title: The Restorer
Author: Amanda Stevens
Publication Date: May 2011
Format: Ebook - PFD
Genre: Paranormal/ThrillerSource: ARC from NetGalley
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. (Goodreads Synopsis)
This was a great book - hard to put down and yet just scary enough that I wished I could close it at times!
Stevens sets the pace nicely early on, along with the spooky atmosphere that pervades the story whenever the ghosts are around. I read this over three evenings and did find myself double checking dark corners of the house once I'd closed the pages for the night.
Amelia is an engaging heroine, not least because she draws her strength from within and not from some supernatural power. The fact she can see ghosts is often more a hinderance than a help at the start of the novel, though this changes as the story progresses.
I would have liked a little more from Devlin as the male lead, but this is the first book in a series and so I hope to get more from his character in the next book if he continues to play a role (as I think he will). The interaction between Devlin and Amelia was good and the idea of his ghosts intervening and the way he seems to sap Amelia's energy was intriguing.
The plot of this book is a real mesh of genres - romance, paranormal, horror and thriller - so there really is something for everyone. The action is well-paced, the descriptions well-presented and there is a great sense of mystery and danger that keeps you reading.
This book is highly recommended and I for one will certainly be keen to see more from this writer.