Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Hypnotist

Author: Lars Kepler
Publisher: Blackstone Audio June 2011

Tumba, Sweden. A triple homicide, all the victims from the same family, captivates Detective Inspector Joona Linna, who demands to investigate the grisly murders—against the wishes of the national police. The killer is at large, and it appears that the elder sister of the family escaped the carnage; it seems only a matter of time until she, too, is murdered. But where can Linna begin? The only surviving witness is an intended victim—the boy whose mother, father, and little sister were killed before his eyes. Whoever committed the crimes intended for this boy to die: he has suffered more than one hundred knife wounds and lapsed into a state of shock. He’s in no condition to be questioned.

Desperate for information, Linna sees one mode of recourse: hypnotism. He enlists Dr. Erik Maria Bark to mesmerize the boy, hoping to discover the killer through his eyes. It’s the sort of work that Bark had sworn he would never do again—ethically dubious and psychically scarring. When he breaks his promise and hypnotizes the victim, a long and terrifying chain of events begins to unfurl.

The Hypnotist was a bestseller in Sweden in 2009 and was recently translated and published in the US in June 2011. After doing some research, it turns out that Lars Kepler is the pseudonym for the writing team of Alexandra and Alexander Ahndoril. This book is going to be hard to review because I don't want to give away any of the plot. The synopsis doesn't even crack the surface of what happens in the story. So I'll break it down into my likes and dislikes. Then you can decide for yourself.

What I liked: The overall mystery. This book has so many twists and turns and side paths that it will make you dizzy. Every time I thought I had it all figured out, I found that I was way off base. The plot was well planned and laid out in such a way that I wanted to keep listening just to see if I was right. Most of the time, I wasn't. As I have said before, I love that in a book! I also loved the character, Detective Joona Linna. He is definitely someone I want to read more about in future books.

What I didn't like: Some of the characters. Erik's wife Simone was just too whiny and annoying. Also, there is a huge lack of communication among the characters and that really frustrated me as a reader. I also thought it was a bit long and had scenes that could have been shortened. The audio book is 15 CDs.

So, I do recommend this one if you like police procedural/serial killer mysteries. There are some gruesome parts that made me cringe. The language is also a bit harsh for my taste. But in the end, I felt satisfied and look forward to the next in the series being published in the US.


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