Book 36 of 2015: The Circle by Mario Escobar



The famous psychiatrist Solomon Lewin has left his humanitarian work in India to serve as the chief psychiatrist at the Center for Psychological Illness located in London’s Square Mile financial district. Though well paid, the job is monotonous, and Solomon is also going through a rough patch in his marriage with Margaret. He begins scrutinizing the more mysterious cases of the center’s long-term residents hoping to find something worth his time. When he comes across the chart of Maryam Batool, a young broker from London who has lived in the center for seven years, his life will change forever.
Maryam Batool is an orphan from Pakistan who became one of the most promising female employees of the financial institution General Society, but in the summer of 2007, at the start of the financial crisis, the young broker loses her mind and tries to kill herself. Since then she has been stuck, able only to draw circles yet unable to understand their meaning.
A snow storm looms over the city at the start of the Christmas holidays. Before Christmas Eve dinner, Solomon receives an urgent call from the center to come at once: Maryam has attacked a nurse and seems to be awakening from her long stupor.
Solomon heads downtown in the snow, clueless that this will be the most difficult night of his life. The psychiatrist does not trust his patient, the police are after them, and his family seems to be in danger. The only way to protect himself and those he loves is to discover what “The Circle” is and why everyone seems to want his patient dead. It’s a surprise ending and a mystery you won’t believe.

What is hiding in the City of London? Who is behind the biggest business center in the world? What is the truth behind “The Circle”? Can Solomon save his family?

Mario Escobar is a historian and writer with more than 40 published titles, and his work has been translated into over twenty languages. His essays and novels have already conquered hundreds of thousands of readers.

I received this book from the author for an honest review.

The Circle is a psychological thriller that delves into the world of economic brokers and the secrets they hold.

The book is written where you hear the thoughts of characters, but not necessarily every characters’ motivations. This is important to know because I had an issue with one character because of this. However, I digress.

The Circle, begins with a character going crazy. You don’t learn much, only that she is an orphan and an economic broker. Her insanity happens shortly after an economic crash. As a reader, you’re led to believe that it is the crash that caused her mental downfall, but there may be more than that. A conspiracy is soon realized when, years later, her new psychiatrist decides to delve into her file and break down. Solomon Lewin wants nothing more than to cure her, but he ended with something far worse.

I honestly didn’t care for Solomon’s story in the book. He seemed too trusting and not completely skeptical as he should have been. Then again, I can see how he sympathized with Maryam. I just don’t understand why he had a deep need to solve the mystery. It was his personal white whale. I can see what his motives were and his obsession, I just don’t agree with him as a character. That’s all.

His wife on the other hand, Margaret, let me just applaud her now. She has gumption. Whereas her husband is running around solving a mystery and keeping fairly safe away from the baddies, Margaret has the baddies in her own home. Let me just say that one shouldn’t mess with a woman and her home.

I found that Margaret’s part had more action and more emotion. It was easy to root for her. It wasn’t completely easy to root for Solomon, though there were times I did.

I also couldn’t get into Maryam all the way. There were moments where Solomon notices she is remembering something, but the reader doesn’t see it. Instead, we hear her memories from her and she isn’t a reliable character. It is hard to find her as reliable as Solomon does. Yet again, that’s why I don’t get Solomon.

The ending was definitely not something I expected. I’m still wondering if I like the ending better or if I would have wanted something else. Either way, you are going to get teary eyed. You are going to be shocked.

All in all, the book had action and mystery. It wasn’t my favorite thriller, but I did like the story. It’s the ending that makes me hate and like the book. You just have to read it to understand my feelings about it.

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