"A Circle of Souls" by Preetham Grandhi is a terrific debut - a gripping tale that gives voice to every parent's worst nightmare. The author delivers the goods with an intelligently plotted psychological thriller that contains elements of reincarnation and Eastern mysticism. He combines a crime narrative, with psychic phenomenon and spiritual awakening and succeeds on all counts.
In Newbury, Connecticut, ten year-old Janet and her friend Melissa are on the school bus headed for home. Janet gets off first and takes a longer route home from the bus stop. When she passes an old boathouse, she hears a noise and goes inside to investigate. Janet is brutally murdered and Leia Bines, an FBI agent working for CAC, Crimes Against Children, is called in on the case.
Meanwhile, Dr. Peter Gram, a child psychiatry fellow at Newbury General and Pediatric Hospital is on call when Naya Hastings is brought in. Seven year-old Naya had a dream that she was following a flock of birds. She walked in her sleep and her adoptive parents found her as she was about to jump off the balcony. Peter takes a personal interest in her case and Naya shares a drawing with him depicting a young blonde girl lying near a large rock. When Peter recognizes the rock and goes to the location, he's immediately handcuffed. Is it possible that Naya has envisioned the exact spot where Janet was found?
Short chapters and shifting viewpoints keep the momentum brisk and the entertainment level high. Grandhi paints a realistic picture of an appalling murder and peppers his prose with police procedures and forensic details that are accurate and real. Details about Indian culture and beliefs add depth. The multi-cultural characters are memorable and the author skillfully evokes their emotions. Forget about sleep - this suspenseful page-turning thriller will keep you reading far into the night.
Preetham Grandhi, MD, practices child and adolescent psychiatry.
His website is - http://www.preethamgrandhi.com/index.html
Publisher: Cedar Fort; 1 edition (June 15, 2009)
Paperback: 352 Pages
Gail Pruszkowski reviews for "Romantic Times BOOKreviews" magazine and her work has been published in the "Cup of Comfort" Anthologies.