Published by Mira on March 1, 2012
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Romance
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.
Graveyard Queen series
The Abandoned (Graveyard Queen 0.5)
Never acknowledge the dead
Never stray far from hallowed ground
Never associate with those who are haunted
Never, ever tempt fate
My father’s rules. I’ve never broken them…until now.
Amelia Gray is a cemetery restorer who is also able to see ghosts and has lived her life following the rules her father gave her which have kept her safe from the ghosts for years. After a body is discovered at the cemetery she is currently restoring she becomes involved in the case and the detective in charge, Devlin, whether she likes it or not. Amelia wishes to put as much distance as possible between her and Devlin because of the ghosts that haunt him which he is unaware of… living her life by the rules that her father gave her, Amelia knows that being involved with Devlin would be against all those rules yet she can’t shake the unwavering attraction that she seems to have for the man.
After reading ’The Abandoned’, the prequel to The Restorer, I was definitely left intrigued and interested in continuing the series. I ended up enjoying the prequel a bit more than the full length novel though and I’m not sure if I’ll be continuing the series.
I love ghost stories, and this one was positively eerie, but the ghost story almost took a backseat to the murder mystery and the building romance between Amelia and Devlin. The author did a great job in keeping the mystery under wraps and keeping you guessing to the very end but I think the story overall was a tad bit flat and didn’t pan out as much as I would have liked it to. I think maybe because it was only the first in a series could excuse some of the lack of explanation, but I would have liked a bit more expansion on Amelia and her overall character development. She wasn’t immediately likeable and I never really connected with her and what she was experiencing. I would have also loved to hear more about how she came to be able to see ghosts, more about her father, and more about her in general. By the end I felt like we had just gotten a broad overview and I definitely need to have a connection with the main character to be satisfied at the end.
So nothing really happened between Amelia and Devlin… which is fine, I mean the man was still dealing with the death of his wife and child so that’s understandable. But the way it was written? It was like a build-up to the point where you were expecting something big to happen between the two and I don’t feel it ever really peaked or came to be. I’m sure that’ll be expanded on in future books, just not sure if I’ll be there to experience it.
I liked it, but I wasn’t satisfied. I understand this is the first of a series but I still appreciate it when an author does her/his best to make a novel in a series as stand-alone as possible.