In this paranormal thriller, a woman’s cryptic dream unlocks a remarkable secret and puts her in the crosshairs of a mysterious enemy.
One evening, two men murder Zacharias, a kindly Chicago shopkeeper. As the attack unfolds, Zacharias catches a glimpse of a young woman watching through his shop window. At that moment, in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, that woman, Soraya Rawlings, awakens; she thinks that the murder scene she saw was just the latest in a series of nightmares. Her mother, Constance Rawlings, believes these dreams to be significant, and she tells Soraya to see Iona Mabutu, a local shop owner. Iona reveals that she’s part of a circle of soothsayers that included Zacharias and still includes others around the country—and that Soraya’s “dream” was real. She says that Soraya is a “seer” and that she’s willing to take her on as her apprentice. Meanwhile, Shawn Kites, the president of DNAgen Biolabs, pursues a sinister agenda. His company develops drugs that promise miracle cures—but one of them could be used for lethal purposes. He also knows about the Circle and plans to counteract their influence. As Soraya’s powers grow stronger, Shawn makes a surprising discovery of his own, putting the future of the Circle in jeopardy. Hardwick’s (Laughing Your Life Healthy, 2017) thriller offers a chilling premise and memorable protagonists. The novel starts off on a strong note with a tense action sequence that effectively establishes a sense of danger and highlights Soraya’s special abilities. Hardwick ably maintains a quick pace as the story shifts from Soraya to Shawn as his plan unfolds. The major players are well-drawn: Soraya is a likable heroine who tries to balance the responsibilities of her newly discovered abilities with caring for her mother, and the racist Shawn is a deeply unsympathetic but complex villain whose narrative arc takes some surprising turns. That said, some of the supporting characters could have been developed more fully, particularly other members of the Circle scattered around the country, such as Fanny Mae in Miami and Willamae in Washington, D.C.
An often engaging tale that deftly mixes action with the supernatural.