Thank you NetGalley and MIRA for providing an e-Arc in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: March 29th, 2016
Synopsis: Restoring lost and abandoned cemeteries is my profession, but I’m starting to believe that my true calling is deciphering the riddles of the dead. Legend has it that Kroll Cemetary is a puzzle no one has ever been able to solve. For over half a century, the answer has remained hidden within the strange headstone inscriptions and intricate engravings. Because uncovering the mystery of that tiny, remote graveyard may come at a terrible price.
Years after their mass death, Ezra Kroll’s disciples lie unquiet, their tormented souls trapped within the walls of Kroll Cemetery, waiting to be released by someone strong and clever enough to solve the puzzle. For whatever reason, I’m being summoned to that graveyard by both the living and the dead. Every lead I follow, every clue I unravel brings me closer to an unlikely killer and to a destiny that will threaten my sanity and a future with my love, John Devlin.
I requested The Visitor from NetGalley because just reading the synopsis gave me the shivers. I didn’t realize that it’s the 4th book in an ongoing series, but thankfully it’s so well-written I had no problem following the story. Amelia Gray restores neglected and abandoned cemeteries. While she doesn’t actually do much of that in this novel, the author still drops in some interesting tidbits. For example: Did you know that there are headstones that have secret compartments in them in order to hide valuables? Adding to her interesting profession, Amelia can also communicate with spirits, an ability that’s been passed down through her family. From some references to events in previous books, it seems as though Amelia’s abilities are expanding, so she’s trying to deal with this, solving the mystery at the heart of this book (which also winds up having personal ties to her), and saving the rather complicated relationship she has with Detective John Devlin. It’s their romance that keeps me from giving this 5 Stars. Both Amelia and Devlin have very strong personalities but at least in this book they don’t seem to compliment one another. It’s obvious that they’ve been through some otherworldly stuff together, yet Devlin for almost the entire story refuses to acknowledge the possibility of any explanation beyond the ordinary. It’s mentioned that he’s been somewhat traumatized by something that happened at a cemetery in the previous book, but his repeated denials grew a bit wearying. The couple also keep secrets from one another for the majority of the story, further complicating an already complex relationship. But they’re both such likable characters and their chemistry is undeniable, so this one flaw didn’t majorly detract from an otherwise perfect tale. The ending nicely sets things up for the next book in the series, The Sinner which is due out later this year. The Visitor is an atmospheric and addictive mystery that had me finishing it in one sitting. Amanda Stevens has a beautiful and edgy writing style and includes some fantastic twists and turns that reach some pretty surprising conclusions. I highly recommend this to anyone who likes their mysteries mixed with the supernatural as well as some sizzling romance. Just make sure you read the previous three books first, because I think that will add to your enjoyment. It seems as though there may be a tv series in the works which has me quite excited. In the meantime I’m going to go catch up with the rest of the books in the series.