The Restorer by Amanda Stevens – A Review

I got an Advance Reader Copy via NetGalley under no obligation to review. 

One of the great advantages of  NetGalley is the opportunity to try a new author or a different genre without risk. If you don’t like the book, you don’t have to finish or review. But every once in a while, the risk is worth it and you hit upon a nugget of pure gold.

I decided to read THE RESTORER by Amanda Stevens.  First, because I was intrigued by the cover copy. (Major kudos to the cover artist.) And second, I am personally intrigued by old cemeteries. Being primarily a romance reader, this was differently out of my normal reading genre. BUT, OMG, what an incredible read.

THE RESTORER is the first book in a new series by Amanda Stevens…it opens on a quiet scene in a cemetery but that’s the last calm moment you will have. I started reading at 9:00 at night, thinking I’d read a few pages and go to bed. It is now 1:34 a.m. I have read the entire book because I could not put it down. It is that good.

It isn’t a romance, although there is an undercurrent of attraction between Amelia Gray and John Devlin. It isn’t a strong mystery, although there are dead bodies galore. The suspense is intense at times. Psychic vampires. Ghosts. Shadow people. Secrets. Lots and lots of secrets. There were more layers to every character in this book than an onion. I’d get through one layer, only to find another waiting. Ms. Stevens has given us deeply drawn characters, each guarding his/her own secrets.

And while the murder mystery is neatly wrapped up at the end, the story of Amelia Gray–and maybe of John Devlin–isn’t. The clues are all there for the reader to solve the mystery, so the ending isn’t shocking, and makes sense. But I wasn’t ready to leave this world. There are mysteries about Amelia, and her adoptive father who has the same ability to see ghosts, and an adoptive mother and aunt who are keeping their own secrets. Yes, this family has quite a few secrets left to be told and I can’t wait to discover them all.

To tell you the truth, the story’s ghosts and shadows combined with Ms. Stevens’ outstanding story telling ability made me twist in my chair from time to time to make sure nothing was behind me. However, I will be first in line for the next book in this series.

The Restorer Back Cover Copy

Never acknowledge the dead

Never stray far from hallowed ground

Never associate with those who are haunted

Never, ever tempt fate.

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–like 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.

I give this book my highest recommendation and  

You can find THE RESTORER at any of the following online sources:

Indiebound | Powell’s | Borders | B & N | Amazon

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2 Responses

  1. Sounds like a good read. I’ll have to check it out!

  2. I almost requested this one at NetGalley. I’ve looked at it several times but never ended up getting it.

    I sounds really good. Thanks for the great review.

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