by Keri Arthur

July 2002
ISBN: 1-893896-77-3
Reviewer Graphic Button ImaJinn Books
Trade Paperback

Something evil and murderous is killing women of strange magical powers in Melbourne.

Sent to Australia to investigate the murders, Doyle Fitzgerald, a shape shifter (he turns into a beautiful big cat – sexy and dangerous! I want that cat.) and member of the Damask Circle, ends up protecting one of the indented victims, Kirby Brown.

Not only does he rescue her but she returns the favor in kind, learning in the process more about the paranormal beings of this world—shape shifters, ghosts, witches, vampires, and zombies. The world as she knows is kilting out of control.

Kirby’s own powers are strong and someone is after them. Afraid to live, to trust or love, she needs to do all that to survive. And she might doubt her own talents but with the added help of friends, she learns to use them in all their might. One of her newly discovered talents is the reading of Doyle’s thoughts, a talent that creates an intimacy between them that otherwise couldn’t have been achieved. It’s intense and it’s beautiful.

Keri Arthur describes the story only so far that it allows the readers to use their own imaginations. I like it. It’s a sure sign of respect for the readers’ aptitudes. There is no need to tell and show it all. I also love the way Ms Arthur manages to create, with only a few well-chosen words, an atmosphere that I can experience with all my senses and a setting I have no problems visualizing.

Fast paced, but not overwhelmingly so with a quiet humor that shows in sparkling dialogue and character details, Circle of Death, the second installment in the Damask Circle Series, is deeply satisfying in story, sensuality and danger. It’s entertaining in the assortment of characters Ms Arthur introduces to be friend or foe. And as in her previous books, Ms. Arthur’s voice, steady and grounded; always in control, is strong and addictive.

Circle of Death is not for the faint-hearted. So, if you don’t like being frightened stay away from it. However, if you like being taken on a scary but exhilarating ride then read it. I myself would have been happy for another 200 pages—Just as well that her November 2002 release is right around the corner.

The price for an ImaJinn novel might be higher than wished for, but for Keri Arthur’s stories, it’s money well spent.

Reviewed in September 2002 by Kris Alice.

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