House of Giral by Mark Laurence Latowsky takes us on an unputdownable journey filled with murder, mystery, psychedelics, and of course, past lives. 


Dr. Jennifer “Jo” Hart is a Jungian psychologist, who is living as normal a life as she can, given her horrific nightmares and realistic dreams. One evening, while on her usual run on Lauderdale Beach, the strains of the Rhythm Kings’ “Farewell Blues” teleport her to a life that she does not remember living. She sees herself living in the 1920s as Penny Giral, the tortured and abused daughter of Pablo Giral. The visions make her lose her mind for a bit in the present time. Jennifer is Baker Acted and taken to Broward Hospital. Under the supervision of Dr. Albert Andrew Young, she is scheduled to take part in a unique psychedelic treatment program. However, the only thing that she wants is to get away from the hospital. Unexpectedly, Jo finds herself surrounded by a host of people from her life as a Giral in the 1920s. 

Will Jennifer be able to leave the hospital? How will the psychedelic treatment affect her? What about her past life? Why are all the people from the Giral timeliness back at the same place and at the same time? Will Jennifer be able to recall her life as Penny? Most importantly, will everyone be able to overcome their past lives and move on with the present? 

House of Giral is an unputdownable psychological thriller penned by Mark Laurence Latowsky. Latowsky is an excellent storyteller.  I love the way he seamlessly shifts between the 1920s and the past. We also jump between the perspectives of the different characters. Yet, we never get baffled. In fact, this adds a special edge to the story. Latowsky should be applauded for this. Also, I admire how he does not provide us with gruesome details of the torture and abuse experienced by Penny. I am sure sensitive readers will appreciate this. 

I have to say that Latowsky is meticulous. He presents us with picture-perfect details about past life regression, astrology, numerology, tarot card reading, and psychedelic treatment. I have always been interested in past lives. Latowsky further stoked the fires of my curiosity. I learned a lot about the phenomenon, along with psychedelic treatment. It is evident that Latowsky is well-educated in medicine. I love how he gives a scientific basis and a medical explanation for past lives. He does veer away from the narrative at times when it comes to medical jargon. Having said that, he makes it interesting and quickly returns back to the story. I love how there are real-life test results and pictures of fingerprints included. This makes the story amazingly realistic and all the more engrossing. After reading the book, I got to know the significance of the number 137. Also, I understood how our stars affect our lives and decisions. Latowsky made me develop an interest in Santeria rituals and tarot card readings. 

House of Giral has an intriguing cast of characters. I really like how Latowsky connects the past lives of the characters with their present ones. It is interesting to see how the events and actions of the past affect the present time. Jennifer is a formidable protagonist. She fights back and does everything to resolve the issues of her past. Penny is a strong girl as well. She had to overcome a lot at a young age. I truly wish we got to know more about her life back in the 1920s. Marina is my favorite character. Everyone should have a friend like her. She is always there for Jenny, whether in the present or the past. Dr. Eleanor Raskin is a fearless lady. Though I do not care much for her past self, she makes it up in the present. Diego is a great guy. He does everything to atone for the things he did in the past. His abuelita, Adele, is a sweetheart. I really learned a lot from her and Isabella. Detective Evan Fuentes is a dedicated detective. Dr. Larry House and Chris Laker are gray characters. As House is a genius, I wish he could do more for our core group. Laker is someone who I couldn’t connect much to. 

Dr. Albert Andrew Young intrigues me the most. When we are first introduced to him, I honestly take a liking to him. He appears to be a dedicated doctor making great strides in the field of psychotherapy. Actually, Young is like an onion. The more we peel his character, the more we discover about him and his darkness. I loved getting inside his mind and seeing the world through his eyes. 

Overall, House of Giral by Mark Laurence Latowsky is a fast-paced novel that had my attention till the end. Actually, I love how Latowsky connected the story to that of Blade Runner in the epilogue. I hope there is a sequel as I am super-excited to read about Android Andy.  

I highly recommend House of Giral to fans of medical dramas, psychological thrillers, and action-packed murder mysteries.

Book Details

  • Title: House of Giral
  • Author: Mark Laurence Latowsky
  • Genre: Medical Thriller
  • Theme: Past Life, Psychology, Psychedelia, Suspense, Friendship
  • Publication Date: February 20, 2023
  • Number of Pages: 333
  • Minimum Audience Age: 15

Book Themes

(Note: 0=none, 1=a few, 2=considerable, 3=pronounced, 4=excessive)

  • Sexual themes: 1
  • Religious themes: 2
  • Violence, self-harm, etc.: 2
  • Crude language, expletives, swearing, etc.: 2
  • Other adult themes: 3


  • Content: 5 stars
  • Writing Style: 5 stars
  • Appeal to Target Audience: 5 stars
  • Uniqueness: 5 stars
  • Editing: 4 stars
  • Other factors: 5 stars
  • Overall: 4.8 out of 5

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By Kajori Sheryl Paul

Reading is my passion, and writing is my compulsion. I started reading from a very early age. Since then, I have not stopped. I have garnered this addiction from my father. I have always loved reading his books. As you can see, books are my world. I escape this world to traverse the world of my books. Naturally, I have an affinity to create worlds of my own. There are thoughts constantly swirling in my head. These are the thoughts that I jot down. Sometimes, they become poems while sometimes stories. More often than not, they are just reviews of the plethora of books I read and the things I do.

One thought on “A Book Review by Kajori: “House of Giral” by Mark Laurence Latowsky”
  1. I’ve always been intrigued by past lives. I don’t know about psychedelics or how this blends in with other beliefs such as Santería, but it seems like a fascinating read!