A Circle of Souls, by Preetham Grandhi

A Circle of Souls by Grandhi Grandhi: Book CoverFinished 7-17-09, rating 4/5, fiction, pub. 2009

“I found Naya standing on the second-floor balcony,”  Mrs. Hastings said shakily, “and I think she thought she could fly away.  She was looking at the sky, trying to climb over the balcony wall, and mumbling to herself.”

“What was she saying?”

“It sounded like she was saying, ‘I do want to come!’ “

Chapter 3

Dr. Peter Gram is a child psychiatrist at a Connecticut hospital and is on duty when seven year old Naya is brought in by her parents after she almost kills herself while dreaming.  Peter has never seen anything like it and is concerned enough to keep her in the hospital over the weekend.  To further trouble Peter she begins drawing unsettling photos of a recent murder.  As Peter begins to investigate he crosses paths with FBI agent, Leia Bines.

Leia is tops in her job of tracking down missing children, but the brutal murder of Janet has left her stumped.  She is willing to listen to Peter and his strange suggestions only because the investigation is at a complete standstill.  Why is Naya dreaming of the dead and can her drawings lead them to the killer?

I loved Peter and Naya.  Peter is the doctor you want if you have a kid in trouble.  He was willing to go the extra mile and just seemed so darned nice.  And I loved his warm relationship with Naya.  It was also impossible not to fall in love with Naya.  Her Indian heritage provided an additional layer of interest to the mystery as did her uncle still living nearby. 

This is a great psychological thriller.  It was fast-paced with a compelling story.  There was enough information to tell you who did it and enough doubt to make it interesting.  This was really a fun read and I am very impressed that this is Preetham’s first book.

I want to thank Preetham for sending me a copy of his book.  If you are interested in winning a copy go HERE and enter on his website.  He draws a new winner each month.  Also, come back on Friday for my 9 in ’09 with Preetham.