Thursday, August 20, 2009

Book Review- Circle of Souls by Preetham Grandhi

circle of souls

I read at LEAST 50 murder mysteries a year, so I feel pretty qualified
to say that Circle of Souls by Preetham Grandhi is one of the best
mysteries I've read this year!

I was fortunate to have been sent the book by the author for review, and I have to say I am so happy I got to read this book! I can't wait to see if Mr. Grandhi makes this book into a series! I am still in shock that this is his FIRST book! Talk about coming out of the gate and winning the race!

This story is the classic cop/detective thriller involving a missing child, but with a dash of supernatural/superstition. having said that, do NOT be warned off of this book! The juxtaposition of the Jamaican and Indian beliefs with the tradition mystery story gives it a shaded nuance that keeps it interesting from the first chapter! The use felt natural and integral to the story. It gave it a new twist if you will to the traditional tale!

Set in Newbury, Connecticut, the story starts with the murder of ten year old Janet Troy, who disappeared after walking home from school. Mr. Grandhi is a child psychologist and his background helped to lend the characters authentic issues, character and strengths. I liked that the female lead FBI agent, Leia Bines, was flawed and had "issues"- it made her more real to life. She's a character you want to see again, to see how she resolves her issues and handles other cases.
The child protagonist, Naya Hastings, is almost as mature as the adults (including Dr. Peter Gram, a child Psychiatrist, who comes to treat Naya for her sleepwalking episodes and to help the police in solving the case) around her and she was a calm presence in the center of a very busy storm of unfolding events. She comes off as a child you would't mind knowing. In fact, all the characters were interesting to me. Dr Gram makes an emotional and intellectual awakening that evolves as the story evolves.

The mystery has many twists and turns. I liked that I thought I knew what the ending was going to be, but didn't feel like skipping ahead to verify it. A good book keeps you reading, because of the characters and dialogue push the story to the ending, and the reader wants to be part of the 'ride' to the end! the end has a twist that I did not see coming- I liek to be surprised like that. It reminds of when I was a child reading and didn't know what was coming- the expectation gets met so much more as an adult! In fact, it made me want to go back and reread the story to what clues I missed-and I don't normally re-read books!

If you want a good read, pick up this book!

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