Pages - 376
Published by a Harlequin Imprint : MIRA Books in USA in April 2011
Book: From publisher via NetGalley
NEVER ACKNOWLEDGE THE DEAD.
NEVER STRAY FROM HALLOWED GROUND.
NEVER GET CLOSE TO THE HAUNTED.
NEVER, EVER TEMPT FATE.
My father’s rules.
I’ve never broken them…until now.
From the first line of this book, I was sucked in, it was just so powerful. I don't think I have ever read a ghost book quite like it, in fact I am positive I haven't read one like this.
Amelia Gray is a cemetery restorer who can see ghosts. However, unlike other ghost stories, her father has pleaded with her not to acknowledge them. By not acknowledging them she stops them from infecting her life and making it hell. She has always managed to keep by her father's rule until she meets Devlin, a haunted policeman, who walks alongside his dead wife and daughter.
She is drawn into a world where murder investigations are priority, if not brutal. Amanda aids the policeman, she is struggling to resist by trying to solve the mystery surrounding the symbolism found on each new grave. Can she help to solve the murders without the ghosts realising she can see them. Can she keep the spirit world separate from reality.
I love that the ghosts in this book take on such a sinister role. Amanda's resistance to acknowledging them adds an extra chill to this spine tingling novel. This is spookiness at its best. The book is set in Charleston, which gives it its rich Deep South flavouring. There is something intriguing about the blending of the Deep South and the spirit world. Especially with the introduction of cults and orders. Each character's background brings you closer to the killer.
The relationship between Devlin and Amelia is unbelievable. You can feel the sexual tension between them dripping off the pages. The intensity of their relationship intertwines effectively with the murder investigation.
This book will suck you in on impact. Imagine walking into a book, where all of a sudden, vines start shooting up and wrapping themselves tightly around your body in all different areas as you are pulled down into the plot. Each vine a new twist or a new layer you just were not expecting, until you are gripped so tightly in the story, you have to reach the end for release. That is how this book made me feel. With each new layer, I was on the edge of my seat. In my mind, the same sentence kept repeating, 'Well, I didn't see that coming!' Nearing the end of the book, the plot is so thick, you haven't a clue who the murder is and I felt like I was sinking in a quagmire, never knowing what to expect next or whether I would ever find out the truth. At one point, I thought I knew who the killer was, but the author soon put pay to my theories.
The ending of the book tied up all the loose ends beautifully as the killer was discovered. However, the two main characters have unfinished business and I can't wait to watch their paths cross again. This book is brilliantly thrilling, crossing the paranormal novel with a murder investigation.
Amanda Stevens admits to being a taphophile (lover of tombstones) and her extensive knowledge of graveyards and gravestones is obvious throughout the book and I found it fascinating the information I learnt whilst reading it.
This is a powerful start to a great new series which I love already and I can't wait to read the next installment. I haven't been this excited about a teen series since Twilight!
The Graveyard Queen Series:
Prequel: The Abandoned (April 2011)
Book I: The Restorer (May 2011)
Book II: The Kingdom (November 2011)
Book III: The Prophet (May 2012)