Tuesday, 10 April 2012

[REVIEW] The Hypnotist by Lars Keplar

Published: June 2011
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
 Age Group: Adult - crime fiction

Prepare for The Hypnotist to cast its spell In the frigid clime of Tumba, Sweden, a gruesome triple homicide attracts the interest of Detective Inspector Joona Linna, who demands to investigate the murders. The killer is still at large, and there’s only one surviving witness—the boy whose family was killed before his eyes. Whoever committed the crimes wanted this boy to die: he’s suffered more than one hundred knife wounds and lapsed into a state of shock. Desperate for information, Linna sees only one option: 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 has 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. An international sensation, The Hypnotist is set to appear in thirty-seven countries, and it has landed at the top of bestseller lists wherever it’s been published—in France, Holland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Denmark. Now it’s America’s turn. Combining the addictive power of the Stieg Larsson trilogy with the storytelling drive of The Silence of the Lambs, this adrenaline-drenched thriller is spellbinding from its very first page. (From Goodreads)

Before I read this book, I had read a lot of reviews raving about this book and how it was "the next Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" (a reference to the Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larson).

Well I'm happy to say that this book lived up to its expectations.  I'm still debating on which book I like better but for now it's a tie.

The Hypnotist is a crime fiction book about a hypnotist who uses hypnotism to treat patients(surprise surprise) and has retired from his career ten years ago when something bad happens in relation to his patients.  The story is very ambiguous about this event until later on in the story.

The hypnotist is first enlisted after a triple homicide happens and the only survivor is a little boy who was meant to be killed, due to the multiple knife wounds on his body but managed to survive.  The leading detective decides to resort to hypnotism in an attempt to find the killer but what they figure out may not be what they expected.

The Hypnotist to me, similar to the Millennium trilogy is like a bunch of subplots that create this giant plot.  The major plot at the beginning is the homicide, that's what brings the hypnotist in to the world of crime again which results in him remembering his previous job and what happened then.  There were many flashbacks as the main character, the hypnotist, tried to fill in the gaps that were created when he talks about previous events, since readers have never read about it before.  I don't want to spoil anything but what I can say is this story is much more complicated than just a triple homicide.  Things get very serious even after they solve the homicide - mind you that would have been a very nice ending on its own - and realize that there is much more to this than just murder.  The murders are connected to the hypnotists past patients and things become even worse when his son is kidnapped.  There is even a time crunch since his son needs to take his medication within a certain amount of time otherwise he will die.

Now, back to the review. The Hypnotist was truly a masterpiece.  The cover is ominous and creepy but that adds to the whole vibe.

The characters are all developed and all act in their own manner in the story.  Often there will be a chapter with they hypnotists as the narrator and than a chapter on his wife as the narrator.  This allows readers to get all the information possible since both of these characters are finding different information at the same time.

The way the story was woven too was astounding.  I really thought that the story would end when they found the killer of the homicide but the story was written in a way that it just flowed in to the other sub plots.  There wasn't any forced change, I just read through the book and came to a realization that this was much more than I thought.

The plot is more geared towards a stand alone novel as oppose to the Millennium trilogy where it was written for a series and so a lot of information revealed in past books are needed to understand the later ones.  This book gave you only the information needed to understand the story, which is understandable since there is no point in reading more than is needed,

The action was also amazing.  I could really feel the stress and fast paced movements the narrator did.  I remember reading it and my heart was beating so quickly because I was nervous as to what the narrator would find even though this story had nothing to do with me and I wasn't the one finding the bodies are the killer, but I definitely felt like I was a part of it. 

I would definitely recommend this book to you.  I'm hoping that Lars Keplar comes out with another book so I can read that one too.


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