My rating: 5 Stars AMAZINGTASTIC
The Restorer begins with 9 year old Amelia Gray raking leaves at Rosehill cemetery with her father who’s the caretaker of the property. As she’s raking she spots a man staring at her from under an oak tree and her father sharply forbids her to look at him. In that moment her life changes forever; she becomes acutely aware of the rules he warns her to follow in order to keep the ghosts at bay. One of the most important rules he gives her is to “keep your distance from those who are haunted.”
Flash forward several years later, Amelia is now a cemetery restorer, choosing to care for the resting places of the departed as her father does. She brings forgotten cemeteries back to life by fixing broken headstones and doing other preservation and restoration work. As she’s taking an after dinner stroll through town she’s approached by John Devlin, a police officer who is haunted by a woman and a young girl. He informs her that they’ve found a homicide victim in the cemetery she’s been working in all day and asks her to join the investigation as a consultant to prevent any grave desecration. Amelia finds herself agreeing and bending her father’s rules for the first time in her life. Little does she know that she’ll soon be caught in the web of a serial killer and that that small choice may have life-altering consequences. Will it be worth it?
I absolutely LOVED The Restorer. Completely and utterly AMAZINGTASTIC. Not only was the plot gripping but the language was hauntingly beautiful. I found myself so fascinated by Amelia’s knowledge of headstone imagery and meanings. I loved stumbling on words that were new to me: taphophile, pareidolia, egregore.
Amanda Stevens takes all of the “normal” ingredients that go into a paranormal mystery and like chef Emeril Lagasse says, “BAM!” she kicks it up a notch and makes it truly unique. The Restorer is beautiful and creepy, suspenseful and heart-wrenching. In short, it’s a book whose cover doesn’t disappoint.
Check out her website! Amanda Stevens
Website for The Graveyard Queen series
*eGalley provided by MIRA Books (an imprint of Harlequin) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Affiliate links in post.