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A Circle of Souls

by Preetham Grandhi


This story starts out with the gruesome murder of a child, but the psychological elements of the story save this book from being just morbid entertainment.  It is a decidedly different murder mystery with a twisted plot and lots of action.

Seven-year-old Naya Hastings, adopted from an orphanage in India by white parents, begins having  nightmares that have her sleepwalking and endangering herself.  She is taken to a child psychiatric ward for evaluation and put in the care of Peter Gram, a bright young doctor.

When Peter realizes that Naya has dreamed about the actual murder and dismemberment of a child, and the details of this murder had not been released prior to her dreams, he suspects that she may be communing with the spirit of the murdered child. The elements of Naya's dreams  may lead to the killer, if Dr. Gram can just interpret them correctly.

While this novel has some hard-boiled crime and police procedural elements, it demands that you suspend belief and read with an open mind. The doctor's conviction that there is another dimension is reflected in his certainty that his own soul is the reincarnated essence of a child who was murdered at the moment of his own birth. Even though the murders were many years apart, the similarities of the details point to a serial killer.

Grandhi's debut novel is a gripping psychological thriller that stretches its genre, with a surprising but satisfying climax. It really gave me some things to think about.

The Book

Cedar Fort
June 15, 2009
Paperback (reviewed from the Advance Readers Edition)
1599552353 / 978-1599552354
More at
NOTE: E - Explicit violence

The Reviewer

Beverly J. Rowe
Reviewed 2009
NOTE: Reviewer Beverly J. Rowe is's "Babes to Teens" columnist, covering topics related to reading ideas for the youth in the family.
© 2009