2 March 2012 (E-Book)
My father’s rules. I’ve never broken them…until now.
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.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the first book in the Graveyard Queen series. I really enjoyed it!
Amelia Gray is a wonderful character. I really liked her. She is a grave restorer with a secret. She can see ghosts. However, she has rules that she lives by: Never acknowledge them, speak to them or let them sense your fear. Never stray too far from hallowed ground. Keep away from those who are haunted and never tempt fate. When she stumbles across the body of a young woman in a cemetery, her life is turned upside down. As danger threatens she finds herself attracted to Detective John Devlin, the policeman leading the investigation. Unfortunately, he has his own ghosts haunting him.
I have a passion for ghost stories and when this book was recommended to me by Amazon way back in 2011, I added it to my wish list. It was only in 2014 that I managed to purchase a copy but, due to my large reading list, I hadn't been able to read it until recently.
I started to read this book and didn't put it down until I had finished it. I found myself intrigued with Amelia's career choice. Restoring old cemeteries takes patience and dedication. (I know of a few cemeteries near me that could do with some TLC come to think of it). Adding to her career choice is her ability to see ghosts. This makes her life a little harder and turns her into a bit of a loner, as she is afraid of accidentally attracting the ghosts into her life and harming the ones she loves.
I enjoyed getting to know John Devlin a lot more, as he has a past that is tragic. But, I think that both Amelia and Devlin make a wonderful couple, even if he is haunted by his dead wife and daughter.
This story is a mix of mystery, thriller, police procedural, supernatural ghost story and romance. I found myself holding my breath on occasion as the mystery, suspense and danger had me sitting on the edge of my seat. It is thrilling in places and scary (think spiders and rats and dark places) in others. I also found myself on a roller coaster ride of emotion as the story unfolded. I had tears running down my face during certain scenes. However, I was a little disappointed at the ending even though I knew it was the first book in the series. There were a few loose ends not tied up and, even though it didn't end in a cliffhanger, the ending left me feeling unsatisfied, which, as a reader, I hate. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to continuing this series and reading the next book, The Kingdom, as soon as I can.
Amanda Stevens has written a wonderful start to a series. I love her fast paced writing style and the flow of the story is wonderful. Her characters seem realistic and come alive on the page. I would definitely consider reading more of her books in the future.
Due to some scenes of violence and some gore, I do not recommend this book to younger readers. However, I highly recommend this book if you love horror/mysteries/thrillers/police procedural's/supernatural ghost stories or paranormal romances. - Lynn Worton
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