Thursday, August 27, 2009
A Circle of Souls
Grandhi, Preetham. A Circle of Souls. Dr. Grandhi is the chief of service for House 5 at Bronx Children's Psychiatric Center and also has a private practice. The book was sent to me by the author, who sent dozens of books to bloggers.
I liked the premise of the story: a young girl's dreams appear to have her in contact with another young girl who had been murdered recently.
The chapters are very short and switch back and forth between FBI Agent Leia Bines, investigating the murder of young Janet Troy, and Dr. Peter Gram, who searches for a way help seven-year-old Naya Hastings recover from her violent nightmares. Eventually, of course, the two story lines merge.
While I frequently enjoy short chapters, I found these chapters choppy, abrupt, and not always productive in either moving the story line forward or in really developing the characters.
The characters never fully materialized for me, seeming one-dimensional for the most part, and the dialogue was often a bit stiff. For a number of reasons, the plot didn't hang together for me either, even though I love the use of the supernatural and dream influence in novels.
All seemed a bit over-simplified, without the requisite layers a novel of psychological suspense requires. I want to be able to enter into the "spirit" of things--and couldn't quite do that with this novel.
It is, however, a debut novel and the author has a rich mine of experience to draw upon as a result of his day job, so maybe practice (and reading something like The Thirteenth Tale) will hone his fiction.
And, uh, once again, I appear to be the only naysayer, so (as usual) take my review with a grain of salt and check the book out for yourself!
Fiction. Mystery/Supernatural/Psychological. 2009. 339 pages.