Saturday, July 11, 2009
A Circle of Souls by Preetham Grandhi
The sleepy town of Newbury, Connecticut, is shocked when a little girl is found brutally murdered. With the murderer on the loose, the police desperately look for any clues to lead to his identity. Meanwhile, a psychiatrist in a nearby hospital is also in a desperate search to find the cause of seven-year-old Naya Hastings s devastating nightmares. Afraid that she might hurt herself in the midst of a torturous episode, Naya s parents have turned to the bright young doctor as their only hope. When these two situations converge, they set off an alarming chain of events. In this stunning psychological thriller, innocence gives way to evil, and trust lies forgotten in a web of deceit, fear, and murder.
This is Preetham Grandhi's debut novel, and if this is any sign of what his future will be...it looks bright.
This novel pulled me in from the very beginning. It opened with a prologue that had me asking questions, and then immediately followed with the disappearance of a young girl. By chapter three Naya,a young girl with sleep walking and talking, had been added into the mix. I knew these sections were related to each other, but it took me the entire novel to figure out exactly what was going on.
Can Naya's dreams really be communication with the dead? Who could the slaaf be and who is his master? These are the two main questions in the novel. I knew from the beginning that the young girl was murdered by the slaaf and that somehow Naya seemed to be channeling the spirits of the dead. It was the way that Mr. Grandhi took his time weaving the story together and slowly exposing more that kept me pulled in. Mr. Grandhi's background as a child psychiatrist made the many scenes in the psychiatric unit of the hospital easy to follow and believable. He did a wonderful job of character and relationship building and made me feel as if I knew them. Near the end I thought I had determined the guilty party, but the twists and turns left me with enough of a question that I wasn't sure until it was revealed.
There were a couple of things about the novel that I really liked besides the story itself. First, it has short chapters that flowed together well. The chapters switched from one character to another, but were easy to follow. I also appreciated that the gore was kept to a minimum. Several gory things occurred, but the novel wasn't hard to read. The scenes were described in a way that left you with no doubt as to what happened, but didn't get lost in unnecessary gruesome details.
I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves a good mystery. This is a psychological thriller that makes you think about exactly what the mind can do, and what exactly your dreams may mean.