The sleepy town of Newbury, Connecticut, is shocked when a little girl is found brutally murdered. The town’s top detective, perplexed by a complete lack of leads, calls in FBI agent Leia Bines, an expert in cases involving children.
Meanwhile, Dr. Peter Gram, a psychiatrist at Newbury’s hospital, searches desperately for the cause of seven-year-old Naya Hastings’s devastating nightmares. Afraid that she might hurt herself in the midst of a torturous episode, Naya’s parents have turned to the bright young doctor as their only hope.
The situations confronting Leia and Peter converge when Naya begins drawing chilling images of murder after being bombarded by the disturbing images in her dreams. Amazingly, her sketches are the only clues to the crime that has panicked Newbury residents. Against her better judgment, Leia explores the clues in Naya’s crude drawings, only to set off an alarming chain of events.
In this stunning psychological thriller, innocence gives way to evil, and trust lies forgotten in a web of deceit, fear, and murder.
Book Review: ★★★★★★
In a day and age when the murder of children is on the rise, and the pain and suffering that people go through — knowing that a child is out there, and we have no way to bring them home — provides a painful backdrop for this story, which is a timely reminder of how precarious childhood can be. From the opening scene, with the murder of a young girl, the reader is painfully aware of how difficult a story this could potentially become. And, I must say that when I was first approached about reading, and reviewing this book — I was skeptical. First off, I tend to have a very high standard of a good murder mystery, because they all start to sound the same after a while. And I have read many that are similar to the story that this book presents.
However, from the beginning, with the introduction of the victim, the reader is aware of how accomplished Mr. Grandhi is in the area of character development. And maybe that is because he has spent so long working with children, and has an understanding of their thought process, and their responses to the troubling world around them. Both Janet, and Naya take a central roll in this story from the beginning, and I was impressed at Mr. Grandhi’s restraint when it came to refraining from making the children appear much older, and more capable of dealing with these difficult circumstances, than their age would imply. I find that children, as the main characters are troublesome at best, because they frequently come out sounding, and responding like adults in miniature to all of the situations around them. Naya provides us with a character that is in direct counterpoint to this tendency in many modern novels today. Mr. Grandhi has not forgotten how important it is to present Naya as a child — and even though she is facing adult themes, and circumstances in this novel, she does not fail to always respond as a child. This is what made this book so believable for me.
I also found that I was very relieved that Mr. Grandhi has avoided another frequent downfall of modern day crime novels, and has avoided the trite, cliche phrases that always sound more like Dirty Harry, than they do people living their lives in the real here, and now. Yes, there was the occasional one. And they didn’t go unnoticed. However, there was nothing in this type of writing that detracted from the story at all. I get frustrated when the investigating officers are always a down on their luck detective that knows everything, and no one else around them does; they always seem to be in trouble because of their powers of deduction, investigation, and pure courage in the face of overwhelming odds. I never got that sense with Leia and Jose in this book. They were simply people that had a job to do, and they gave their best to accomplish that job, before any more people had to die. This only emphasized, once again, how talented Mr. Grandhi is at developing his characters as real people, and not the larger than life mythological entity that will always beat every odd.
Another strong point of this book is it never degenerated into explicit sex, violence, and language that I so frequently find distracting in many of the books that are being written. Mr. Grandhi has allowed his ability to write, and his talent for description, and use of language to tell the story, without feeling the need to burden it down with junk that detracts so frequently from other novels.
Over all, I absolutely loved the book, and I am so glad that Mr. Grandhi contacted me, and asked me for a review. This is a book that I would recommend to others, since it has many qualities that I fail to find in many books today. For more information about this book, and its author be sure to visit the following websites:
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