THE STONE CIRCLE by Gary Goshgarian


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 The author of Rough Beast (1995) combines Amerindian and Celtic mythology in a thriller that would put Joseph Campbell to sleep. Goshgarian creates the islands of Kingdom Head and Shepherd's Island in Boston Harbor. When one of Boston's wealthiest citizens, young E. Fane Hatcher, decides to build condominiums, hotels, restaurants, shops, tennis courts, a golf course, a casino, and marinas on the islands, he hires Professor Peter Van Zandt, an archaeologist, to find the lost Hatcher family chapel on Kingdom Head. Already uncovered are three very mysterious large limestone slabs, which may tie in with the chapel. Peter's work is made more difficult by the fact that while he's trying to explore the island's past, he's also fleeing from his own. Three years earlier, following an argument about their son Andy, Peter's wife Linda was burned to death in an automobile wreck, a horror for which Peter blames himself. Now, the weird mood of Kingdom Head--the appearance of phantoms that seem to threaten Peter's six-year-old Andy; the discovery of an underground death chamber; Peter's seeming invasion by aggressive spirits who demand that he hurt those he most loves (even during sex); and his horrifying dreams that involve past events on the island--all contribute to his growing confusion and fear. The ancient Hannah Mac Ness saves him from drowning but then threatens his life and damns him for digging up tunnels and land that she and her forebears have lived on for centuries. Her Celtic ancestors, she says, came to Kingdom Head a thousand years before the Mayflower and worshipped the Druidic stone slabs Peter is attempting to remove and study. Hatcher, anxious to move his project ahead, announces that he's going to blow up the stones, and Peter finds himself battling his ex-employer, as well as his own demons, in an attempt to prove that an American Stonehenge exists. A richly conceived work that's largely buried under melodrama.

Pub Date: Sept. 3rd, 1997
ISBN: 1-55611-533-4
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Donald Fine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1997