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The Prophet by Amanda Stevens

I have now read all the books in The Graveyard Queen series by Amanda Stevens, The Prophet, being the third one; there is a fourth due for release later this year.  I always read a series in order, and I always recommend others do too.  With most series you can start anywhere and then go back to the beginning to read them in order and be able to follow the developments because generally speaking events from previous books might be referenced but not integral to the current book's story.  Some series, such Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series, can be read in any order because main characters don't recur from book to book and thus the developments from previous books have no bearing whatsoever on later installments.  With The Graveyard Queen series it is really imperative to read them in order.  Elements in the first one set up the main stories for the second and third (especially the third) and events in the second one inform changes in Amelia's character and are referenced throughout the story in the third book.  Now pretty much everything set up in the first two books has been wrapped up in the third book, however, there's a couple elements in the third book that presumably set up the main story for the next book.

If you read the review for the first book, you know I had some reservations about the series.  Basically the most interesting and best thing about the series is the cemetery customs and traditions and history that plays a role in the book.  However, in this third book, there isn't much cemetery restoring going on and thus that part of the book is lacking.  Ultimately this series is not as expertly written or characterized as some other series might be.  But it is a quick read to read between other substantial books.

Amelia, our erstwhile cemetery restorer and ghost seer, is back in Charleston recovering from the events that took place in Asher Falls; these events have left her both physically and emotionally scarred and traumatized and have seemingly changed her.  Amelia is now reluctantly coerced into finding a dead cop's murderer by the ghost of the dead cop himself (whom we first met in the first book).  This ghost is different from the others: he manifests in a way that at first fooled Amelia into thinking he was still a live human being, and he is determined to track down his killer so that he can finally have some peace and move on.

As Amelia digs into this mystery (somewhat clumsily because she is more researcher/restorer than hardened detective) it becomes obvious to her that all roads lead to Devlin, the magnetic, charismatic detective haunted by the possessive ghost of his wife and the ghost of his daughter, who is increasingly appealing to Amelia for help.  It also appears that there is more to the deaths of Devlin's wife and daughter and that they might be linked to cop's murder, but what's the connection?

The end of the story unexpectedly reveals some heartbreaking twists to the mysteries.

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie


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