Tuesday, July 21, 2009
The quiet town of Newbury, Connecticut, is suddenly shaken by the brutal murder of a little girl. Her body, dismembered limb by limb and carefully laid out, is reminiscent of a past murder. Could this be a sign of a serial killer? With the local authorities perplexed and with no sign of a lead, FBI agent Leia Bines, an expert in children’s cases, is called in.
Soon after the murder, seven-year-old Naya Hastings begins having vivid nightmares in which she carries on extensive conversations and sometimes exhibits dangerous behaviour. Fearing that Naya may inadvertently harm herself, her parents turn to a bright, dedicated young physician, Dr. Peter Gram, who is a psychiatrist at Newbury’s hospital and their only hope for their daughter.
When Naya is admitted to the hospital for extensive testing, Peter’s soft, gentle presence gives her reassurance amid the unknown. In the hospital Naya continues her nighttime dramas, but now upon awakening she begins drawing the chilling images of the murder. Could these be clues?
Without any other leads and against her better judgment, Leia explores the clues in Naya’s crude drawings, setting off an alarming chain of events.
A Circle of Souls is fast-paced and cleverly written. Just when you think you have the killer figured out, Grandhi throws a curveball and takes you on another thrilling ride.
I caught up with the author of A Circle of Souls, Preetham Grandhi, to find out about the man behind the thriller. Grandhi came to writing as a second career; he’s also a graduate of Yale, a child psychiatrist with his own private practice, and the chief of service for House 5 at Bronx Children’s Psychiatric Center. He says, “When I was in college I wrote songs and poetry, but mostly for myself.”
So why a novel and why now? Dr. Grandhi says, “It was a few months post 9/11, and I was looking at the biographies of the people who had lost their lives. I began to wonder if there was a larger meaning to their lives. All of a sudden, a story flashed into my mind, and I quickly wrote it on a piece of paper. I knew then that I needed to write a story that was larger than life. It needed to communicate the essence that there is a bigger purpose and meaning to our passage on earth.
“I knew that in order to capture and convey such a message, the book needed to be captivating, interesting, and thrilling. I realized that a story based on the work I do would be the right place to begin. I am a child psychiatrist and had just started a new job. During my fellowship, I worked with children with numerous psychosocial issues and had many life stories to tell. It was at that moment that I decided I could write a book that would capture all these thoughts. That was how A Circle of Souls was born.”
Dr. Grandhi admits, “It took me a year and a half to write the first version and another three years for the next fifteen or more versions. Then a long, difficult road through the publishing industry, and I had to learn a whole new field.” He also has a higher goal for A Circle of Souls: “The entire time the book presented itself in my mind like a movie. Now I have to get it onto the big screen.”
Dr. Grandhi finishes by adding, “I want to thank all the readers who have [read] and those future readers who might read this book. In the end of the day, sharing my experiences with you all is very satisfying. It has been a pleasure to share the larger message of the book, that is, in the end we are all held accountable for our actions, and we can’t escape our destinies.”
If you want to check out Dr. Preetham Grandhi’s A Circle of Souls, visit his website at:
Or to purchase a copy online, go to Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Circle-SoulsPreethamGrandhi/dp/1599552353/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1242385279&sr=1-1.
Or visit Barnes and Noble’s website: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Circle-ofSouls/Preetham-Grandhi/e/9781599552354/?itm=1.
*Stories for Children Publishing, LLC. (SFC) and its divisions do not receive any compensation for product reviews beyond a sample and/or limited access to a paid website. SFC donates all books sent for review to a charitable organization. SFC may do a contest or giveaway of samples we receive.