- HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication Date:
- 24 May 2012
- Thriller and Suspense
Showing 1-4 out of 31 reviews. Previous | Next
I really enjoyed this book. Great thriller and at no point did I guess the identity of the perpetrator. Reminded me a bit of The Millennium trilogy although that was probably a lot to do with it being situated in Sweden more than anything else!
This book...this book was amazing!. I loved the Millenium series and I was a litte bit renuent about this book, because of the whole "new Stieg Larssen" thing. But I was wrong to feel that way.The book starts with a brutal family murder and the only survivor, a young boy,is in such shock that won't speak...the solution? to talk to him under hypnosis to try to figure out who the murderer is.You are going to have a couple of important characters, Inspector Joona is incharge of the investigation, Dr.Erik Bark,the hypnotist,his wife and son, and a coupleof ancient pacients.Everytime I thought I new who did it...I was proven wrong. Unlike another of my favorite book, Earth's Children, the author does not describe the surroundings so much, but you don't need them since from the begining you feel like you are inside the characters head.And OMG! at the end of the book...a.k.a last nigth at midnight, I could not put the book down, I just needed to know what was going to happen.I liked almost every character, except for Erik's wife, but that is for you to decide. You learn to like the characters as they are described so well, they grow into you so easily...I can't wait for the new book: The Paganini Contract...saddly, I do not speak sweddish yet, so I will have to wait for the transalation
By any standards THE HYPNOTIST is a long book and it poses the dilemma that always comes with long books of how much of the story outline to reveal in a review.You are given the basics in the publisher's blurb (above).The action of the book begins in the early hours of December 8 and rounds off on December 24.Trauma specialist Erik Maria Bark is woken in the middle of the night by Detective Inspector Joona Linna who explains he needs to question a 15 year old boy, Josef Ek, who has witnessed a double murder and who has been seriously injured himself. The boy has been transferred to the neurosurgical unit at the hospital where Bark works.The doctor in charge of the case has suggested Linna call Bark. When Bark arrives at the hospital, he finds that the doctor is being put under pressure to allow the police to question the victim. News comes through that the victim's father has been murdered, the older sister is missing, and Joona Linna suggests questioning the victim be done by hypnosis.That's when we learn that Erik Maria Bark last hypnotised a patient ten years earlier and made a promise never to hypnotise anyone again. Of course under pressure from Linna he agrees to break his promise, and thus the ball begins to roll.What makes THE HYPNOTIST such a long book, in part, is that the reader needs to learn what happened ten years before to exact the promise from Erik Maria Bark. The plot branches in many ways. In hypnotising Josef, Bark and Linna hear information that puts Bark's family in danger, and eventually leads to Bark's son Benjamin being kidnapped.There. That's all I'm going to tell you. I found THE HYPNOTIST very readable but in places not entirely credible. Ignore labels that tell you this is the next Stieg Larsson. It isn't, but consumable Swedish crime fiction it is.
In Stockholm, a grisly murder of several members of the Ek family shocks the local police force, and Detective Inspector Joona Linna is determined to find the perpetrator. To that end, he enlists Dr. Erik Maria Bark, a psychotherapist who specializes in trauma, to hypnotize the teenaged son who barely survived the attack. But this act breaks a promise that Erik made ten years earlier never to use hypnosis with his patients again, and this betrayal wreaks havoc on his personal life. Just when Erik thinks it couldn’t get any worse, someone kidnaps his teenaged son in the middle of the night. Is the same perpetrator responsible for the murdered family behind this latest crime? Or is there an even darker criminal behind this kidnapping? Joona Linna is on this case as well, and he refuses to give up until justice is brought. <i>The Hypnotist</i> is the first in a series of books featuring Detective Inspector Joona Linna, even if it is oddly enough named after the character Erik Maria Bark instead (although I can’t help but wonder if this is a translation thing ala <i>The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo</i>, originally titled as <i>Men Who Hate Women</i>). A ton of characters are introduced in this book, particularly those involved in the police force in some manner (i.e., investigators, forensic coroners, etc.), which makes it feel almost like the first few episodes of a TV show in a way. In fact, the present tense narrative used throughout most of the book contributes to a rather cinematic feel to the novel. At first I disliked the use of the present tense as it's a bit jarring because it's rarely used in books, but I soon got used to and thought it worked for this kind of novel because it adds to the on-the-edge-of-your-seat pacing. The book can be gruesomely detailed at times, but it does stop to remind the reader of the human toll of all this violence, so it's not just gratuitous violence for the most part. (Towards the end, I felt like some of the violence was a bit over the top, but perhaps that’s all just a testament to the authors’ writing skills that I was made even more uncomfortable by it.) There are a lot of plots and subplots going on in this book, which helps keep it interesting and leaves the reader guessing as to the culprits and their motives. But it’s also not just about the murders and kidnapping; there’s lots about the characters and their personal lives. So it's a very interesting read for those of us who like characterizations, especially back stories and realistic portrayals. I actually grew so attached to the Bark family that I’m hoping that they might show up again in the next book as well. By the end of the book, the reader still has actually haven’t gotten the entirety of Joona’s back story yet, so I suppose that’s something to look forward to in the next book.My only real complaint was that we lost sight of Josef and Evelyn Ek for too long while delving into Erik’s life and problems, and I think it would have been good to hear a bit more about what was going with that first plot every now and then. In general, I would have liked to hear some more about Evelyn in particular, and I’m hoping that perhaps some final pieces of the Ek family mystery might also re-appear in the next book.
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