Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by MIRA
Released on September 1, 2016
I needed a scary story for a book challenge and I needed it to be only sort of scary because…whimp on horror here. Thankfully, I had this book ready and waiting on the dusty shelves. And, it turned out to be another ‘why did I wait so long to pick up such a great read?’. I love old-style romantic suspense, southern gothic, and a riveting murder mystery. The Restorer had it all in one.
The Restorer introduces readers to the author’s chilling world of dark ghosts and ghastly murders along with a quiet and reclusive graveyard restoration expert, Amelia Gray. There is a mystery to Amelia’s past and both her parents keep secrets from her about that. She shares the dangerous ghost seeing gift/curse with her dad and has avoided trouble with ghosts for twenty-seven years because she heeded her dad’s lessons and followed the rules. But, then a fresh mutilated body is discovered in her latest graveyard restoration project at a university in Charleston. Influential people are on its alumni and a brooding dark, haunted John Devlin is the detective on the case. Devlin is her first real temptation to break the rules and even a killer, dark ghostly shadows, a grisly adventure or two and a secret society don’t deter her from the truth or John Devlin.
The first person POV works well for this atmospheric story that follows Amelia as she deals with life as one who has to deal with the lonely life of one who sees and must avoid interaction with ghosts. She’ll never be normal, but for once, she would like to respond to her attraction to a man- even if the man is off limits in more than one way.
The introduction to the series and the characters was handled splendidly. I was glad to not get an info dump or a stagnated plot. The story kept up the spooky aspects and the casework, the relationship developments all while getting the reader up to speed.
I liked how setting and atmosphere never felt cheesy and very much seemed to be like another strong character in the story. The author made good use of foreshadowing, but still gave some surprise twists that my jaw dropping a few times. There was a good foundation laid for the rest of the series and the first book tied up immediate threads while leaving a few things to continue building during the remaining books in the series.
There is a fabulous blend of elements hinting at a sensual relationship in future, the solid mystery that was solved in this book with a few more mysteries to be rooted out in future books. The backdrop of the Charleston, SC area and particularly the historic cemeteries and old ghosts was great.
Definitely a recommend for those who want a classic-style romantic suspense style writing and a Southern Gothic tone in their reading.
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