"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


The children of Rhinebeck are not safe. They have been disappearing since 1900, without a trace. The lives of the three sisters who own the inn, become forever altered when thirteen year old Morgan disappears in the middle of the night when her family lie sleeping. The sisters' Scottish upbringing, with all of its tales of evil birds always seemed like old wives' tales; until the crows began behaving oddly and the sisters swear that when it rains, they can hear children's voices on the night air. The answer lies inside the Inn, with a doorway to another realm. A realm where children are also disappearing.

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A Circle of Crows
by Brynn Chapman, Chere Gruver, Editor

Whiskey Creek Press
February 1, 2006
Available: January 6, 2007
ISBN #1593745877
EAN #9781593745875
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