Book Review: The Hypnotist

The HypnotistThe Hypnotist by Lars Kepler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A school teacher, his wife, and his daughter are brutally murdered in Tumba, Sweden. His fifteen year old son survives the attack but is hospitalized and in a state of shock. Detective Joona Linna asks psychiatrist Dr. Erik Maria Bark to hypnotize the boy to gain information about the murderer. Bark swore off hypnotism ten years ago after his last hypnotic experience resulted in tragedy. He reluctantly gives in to Detective Linna, only to set off a terrible chain of events.

This book started off with a bang – ten pages in and I was on the edge of my seat. There are so many mysteries interwoven into the plot, not just who killed the teacher and his family. The story takes so many twists and turns that my head was spinning. I’m giving it four stars instead of five because there were a few implausible points in the story. For instance, Linna lets Erik, a civilian, go with him into all kinds of dangerous situations and there is also a retired detective who takes his civilian adult daughter with him on his investigations. I don’t know that much about Sweden but I’m pretty sure this would not be allowed ordinarily.

Overall, this was a great book. I’ve heard it compared several times to Stieg Larsson’s books but as I haven’t read them yet I can’t speak to the validity of that comparison. What I do know is that The Hypnotist is a fast-paced, intense mystery that was a lot of fun to read.

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  • Sarah Manley

    I think you would definitely like the Larsson books. And Nesbo’s as well.