Format: Paperback, 384 pages
Release Date: September 27, 2016
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Genre: Horror, Mystery
I am a living ghost, a wanderer in search of my purpose and place…
I'm a cemetery restorer by trade, but my calling has evolved from that of ghost seer to death walker to detective of lost souls. I solve the riddles of the dead so the dead will leave me alone.
I've come to Seven Gates Cemetery nursing a broken heart, but peace is hard to come by…for the ghosts here and for me. When the body of a young woman is discovered in a caged grave, I know that I've been summoned for a reason. Only I can unmask her killer. I want to trust the detective assigned to the case for he is a ghost seer like me. But how can I put my faith in anyone when supernatural forces are manipulating my every thought? When reality is ever-changing? And when the one person I thought I could trust above all others has turned into a diabolical stranger?
The Sinner is the Fifth installment in Author Amanda Stevens the Graveyard Queen series. The series is set in South Carolina, and features Amelia Gray as the main protagonist. It has been a rather eventful year since Amelia's ex-John Devlin walked away, and left her behind due to his family commitment to the Order of the Coffin and the Claw. While she misses Devlin and may never be fully over him, she knows that she must put two feet forward. Her job as a Cemetery Restorer takes Amelia to Seven Gates Cemetery in Ascension, South Carolina.
Ascension is a strange place, with tall tails of murder and mayhem and maybe Satan followers that follows the life of the person Amelia is hired by to restore the cemetery by; Annalee Nash. There is something creepy about the cemetery. While Amelia is working, no longer afraid of ghosts hanging around while she works, she feels called to discover another part of the cemetery where she finds Mort Safe's and the body of a woman who was apparently buried alive. The woman also has the words Memento Mori tattooed on her skin.
Ascension brings along a powerful new adversary, while also seeing the reunion with an old nemesis who may have information about a lost key that Amelia is searching for. With the help of Dr. Rupert Shaw, Amelia has pretty much accepted that it is her calling to shut the doors to the dead permanently. It is her calling to help ghosts cross over to the next world. It is her calling to expose the evil that infests the world. But, first she must uncover new secrets surrounding the Eternal Brotherhood of Resurrectionists, and an even more secretive group called Conge.
Amelia encounters Detective Lucian Kendrick who brings out an urge in Amelia to put her former lover Devlin behind in the past where he truly belongs. Lucian brings out a curious feeling in Amelia that can't be ignored. A feeling that she'll need to figure out, sooner, rather than later. With her former nemesis urging Amelia to find the identity of the killer, and put a stop to him, or her, the creep factors crawls up to level 10. Now that she has broken all the laws her father laid down for her as a child, now that she knows a whole lot of truths about her past, and perhaps her future, she is free to discover her new abilities and her calling and saving her own life from yet another villain out to destroy her is just the start.
I would be so brave as to say that this series has gone to the dark side of horror and that peeks my curiosity. It is less about the romance, and more about Amelia exploring the reaches of her abilities and powers and making right what was made wrong. It is about the relationship between Amelia and her dog Angus, while also interspersing other secondary characters like Rupert Shaw, Tom Malloy, Annalee Nash, and even Temple Lee. This story kept pulling Amelia away from Ascension, and back to Charleston to search for answers. It also uncovers even more head scratching mysteries surround Devlin and what he is really up to.
The Sinner leaves readers hanging on a really intriguing question about Devlin, and what he is really up to. Hopefully, that question will be answered in the next book called The Awakening.