When the quiet town of Newbury, Connecticut, is rocked by the brutal murder of ten-year-old Janet Troy, the FBI send in their best agent, Leia Bines - an expert in cases involving children - to solve the case. Already reeling from the result of her previous case, Leia reluctantly agrees to take the case.
Meanwhile, child psychiatrist Dr. Peter Gram, is dealing with a new patient. Seven-year-old Naya Hastings has been brought to him suffering from horrific nightmares. The only clues to her nightly terrors are the drawings that she does in the morning. As Naya's drawings become more violent, Peter becomes increasingly more worried for Naya.
As the townspeople struggle to come to terms with Janet's murder and Agent Bines struggles to find a killer, Naya's drawings hold all the clues in a tangled case of lies, deceit and serial murder. It falls to Leia and Peter to uncover these clues before time runs out.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a touch of the supernatural about their mysteries. I give this book an A+!
Young Janet says goodbye to a school mate one day and disappears the next; FBI agent Leia Bines has been given the case. Another little girl, named Naya, starts sleepwalking and dreaming about a girl named Janet, and Naya's doctor begins to see starling resemblances in Naya's drawings to the case of the girl.
Delving a little into the spirituality and thriller genres, A Circle of Souls is an eye-catching read with great flow. I read a couple books at a time, and I was always eager to get back to this one. With short chapters there is still so much going on, and I enjoyed the characters like Naya (a happy child who is good at art) and the doctor (caring thoughtful and open minded).
A Circle of Souls by Preetham Grandi is a murder mystery thriller with a slight paranormal twist. Amazon's quick summation is as follows:"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 identy. 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."
I got this book from the author as an ARC. It is my first and I was very intrigued to read it. I had worked in a hospital for children with psychological problems and wanted to see his take on it. The author didn't disappoint and was very accurate in his description in that area. The story on the whole draws you into the mystery even though you are a "witness" to the initial crime which starts the story. Within the book, you are reading several points of view, but because of the layout of the chapters, you never get lost. The paranormal aspect begins with Naya's dreams and the main character, Peter, who is determined to figure out exactly what those dreams mean.
My main complaints with the book are perhaps minor and really doesn't take away from the story as a whole. First, he does not cuss. Now this isn't anything bad, but it is an adult novel and kids in a situation in a locked-down facility do and will cuss. If told from Naya's perspective, it wouldn't have bothered me, but it continued with Peter and the others as well. I wondered if the author had a problem with cussing.
Another problem I had was with the philosophy of fatalism. It was explained too simplistically. Even within the concept of fatalism there is an aspect of free will. No matter how contradictory that sounds, the aspect is there. Usually it is explained not as an something that you will do without choice, but if you go against fatalism, your life will not be as fulfilling and happy as it would have been otherwise.
I also felt the ending was a bit abrupt. I will not say more as it could ruin the ending, but I would have like a bit more of it drawn out. Not by much, but a little. Even with this criticism I will say the ending was interesting and sets things up for a possible second book. One that should also prove to be a good read.
On the whole, however, I would say that this book is good. It holds you interest well and keeps you trying to figure out exactly how and why until those mysteries are revealed. One that gets the wheels turning in your head and satisfies you with a ending that makes you want more.