"Evokes the tension of \"The Village\""
A Circle of Crows is the debut book for Brynn Chapman and
she gives us a dark tale of missing children. In writing,
we are often encouraged to distill our books to two movie
titles - called the "High Concept". At a writers convention
you have a very limited window to snag and agent's or
editor's attention. I generally dislike this summing up a
novel by defining your work with a couple movie titles. A
book should be special, unique. However, now and then, this
high concept does pop into my mind when I am trying to
review a book. Chapman is a writer who is evocative in this
Frank Laloggia's Lady in White meets M. Night Shyamalan's
The Village. For once, high concept is dead on target.
As in Lady in White, there are children missing from a
small rural area, but Chapman quickly moves the mystery
into the mysterious with the hypnotic writing that evokes
Shyamalan's touch of Hitchockian horror, with her showing
great promise as a author.
Children of the sleepy town of Rhinebeck are missing. Since
the turn of the century, they have vanished. One minute
they are there, next they are gone. No evidence to say what
happened to them.
The Four Season Inn is own by three sisters. And one of the
children missing is from the Inn. When she was thirteen,
she disappeared while her family slept.
Odd things are now happening to the sisters. When it rains
there are whispers, like children calling. Then the crows
begin to circle the old inn, foretelling of a dark menace
that must be stopped. The riddle of where the children have
vanished centers on the Inn.
In a spiraling tale that keeps the tension palpable from
page one and never lets up, Chapman evokes the tension of
The Village and the small town family love so wonderfully
summon by Laloggia in Lady in White, giving this tale the
cohesive power that binds the sisters with the strength to
face what is unimaginable.
A very welcome addition on my keeper shelf.
Reviewed by Deborah Macgillivray
Posted January 6, 2007