Debbie's Reviews > A Circle of Souls

A Circle of Souls by Preetham Grandhi
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's review
Jul 24, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, mystery, suspense
Read in July, 2009

"A Circle of Souls" is a suspenseful mystery with a dose of paranormal and a pinch of romance. The main paranormal element is Naya's being able to speak with the murdered girl while she's sleeping.

The book was fast-paced and had realistic characters. The world-building was very good. The details relating to the psychiatrist were very good and immersed the reader into his world. However, I questioned a few of the police procedural parts (like how quickly the missing person status was put into affect, the use of an amber alert, and how many people tramped through the crime scene before forensics was brought in).

This was a very multi-cultural book: Peter is white, Naya is Indian, Leia is half-Mexican half-white, another character is British, and yet another is a black Jamaican.

There were also a variety of belief systems. The most talked about were the Hindu religion (specifically regarding reincarnation and destiny) and Jamaican folklore. The belief systems were more lived than talked about, and the only parts that were explained were those related to the case. By the end, a non-Hindu main character does come to believe he might have a reincarnated soul.

I almost would have liked more of an explanation of the Hindu elements of the book because I was confused by how Naya could talk to the soul of a dead girl if, as it's later implied, a soul is immediately reborn. But the answer didn't really matter since I was already suspending disbelief about the paranormal elements, anyway.

The writing was very good, though it could have been tightened in a few places. For example, several times the author repeated a detailed physical description of a character after having given that full description just a page or two before.

There was a very minimal amount of profanity of the "he swore" variety and a brief, non-graphic sex scene remembered from the childhood of one of the main characters. (The scene explains the motives behind most of his subsequent actions.) The gore was not graphic while still making the murder chilling.

Overall, I enjoyed this book very much.

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