The Restorer by Amanda Stevens
Mira Books; April 2011
Picture the southern charm of Charleston, SC. The fern covered grounds, the moss hanging from the trees, the trees so full and thick that they form a canopy above you........ Now picture yourself standing in a graveyard staring at a ghost.
1. Never acknowledge the dead
2. Never stray far from hallowed ground
3. Never associate with those who are haunted
4. Never, ever tempt fate.
My father's rules....I've never broken them.....until now.
Now that you know the rules you have to keep them in mind throughout the story. Amelia is 9 when she sees her first ghost. Her father can see them as well. It's a secret between the two of them, even her mother doesn't know.
Amelia has a pretty interesting job in that she is a cemetery restorer. She has a special talent for restoring old deteriorating burial sites. These sites for various reasons have been neglected or forgotten over the years and she brings them back to life and beauty.
The main character is called in to consult on a case when a body is found in a cemetery she is currently restoring. This is where she meets the dark and brooding John Devlin. Devlin has a past that is slowly revealed in pieces throughout the story and it makes him even more intriguing. You wonder what he hides behind his distant eyes, dark circles and what it is about him that immediately pulls Amelia to him but at the same time instills fear in her.
The characters are well developed, introduced and intertwined perfectly, the background stories are brought out in perfect timing, and the details were wonderfully explained. It is very apparent that the author truly did her research on the subjects described. I loved how details of inscriptions on the headstones were explained revealing rituals, beliefs, and symbolism.
The twists and turns involving all the supporting characters were well done as well. Secret organizations, cover-ups, hidden past transgressions, old money, prestigious universities and the charming south. All woven together perfectly.
The creepiness factor is definitely there with the ghosts... staring in through the windows, the bursts of cold air, the feeling of someone touching your arm and the breath you feel on your neck. Trust me, these ghosts are no Casper...
"Just when sun bids farewell and the moon says hello, between day and night- twilight- a veil is lifted, the unrest sprits rise to roam the land of the living once more…"
***I received this book from Mira via Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review. It in no way influenced my review or opinion of this book.