When a little girl is found brutally murdered, the local detective is in over his head. Leia Bines from the FBI is called in to help find the murderer. At the same time, seven year old Naya Hastings is having horrifying nightmares, which in turn set off a series of alarming events in Newbury Connecticut. These events bring together a group of individuals with little in in common short of finding a murderer, and preserving the innocence of the children of Newbury.
Little does Dr. Peter Gram realize the turn his life and beliefs will take, as he becomes involved with little seven year old Naya. His only goal is to find a solution to her somnambulism, which almost leads to her climbing over a second story railing during one of her episodes. What he finds is strange and almost impossible to believe. Naya appears to be communicating with the murdered little girl, during her sleeping episodes. The perceptiveness of the hand drawn pictures she draws from her dreams, as well as their accuracy, put Peter and Naya in the sites of a cold blooded killer.
Will the cumulative information and the strange yet terrifying drawings by a child, lead Leila and Peter to the killer before he can kill again?
Preetham Grandhi has written a horrifying yet hope filled book, and filled it with a cast of well written, real and extremely likable characters.
Dr Peter Gram is a child Psychiatrist that is assigned to Naya when she is brought into the hospital. He is kind and extremely attuned to children. He talks to them on a level they respond to and gains their trust. He is a workaholic and follows up on the background of Naya on his time off, and while in the beginning he does not believe what Naya is telling him, he is able to listen to her and keep the communication channel open by just paying attention. As pieces start coming together and he gets pulled more into the story, he moves from a person of trust to a sort of hero.
Leia Bines is with the FBI, and has worked with the CIC, the FBI’s crimes against children unit. She has gone through some tough times and while very good at what she does, she is open and caring. She has concerns that she will not be able to find the killer. When she finally takes Dr. Peter Gram off her suspect list, she is open and willing to look at other alternatives, rather then leaving the crime unsolved. She is fearless and sometimes jumps before looking at all the possibilities, which makes her very human.
Naya is a wonderful little girl; she is adopted but has only ever known her adoptive parents. She is very well loved and is often sad and lonely in the hospital where she is being evaluated. She is open and trusting, and very bewildered by the behavior she encounters during her stay at the facilities. She is funny and caring and everything a little girl should be.
This story is a look at the dark side of humanity, and how both nurture and nature often both have a hand in the making of monsters. It also gives a glimpse into a world of hopes and dreams, of innocence and childhood. This is a great story and well written. It is somewhat graphic and may not be suitable for some readers. If you like a story with a different twist this will be right up your alley.