Monday, July 30, 2018

Review: The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler

Title: The Hypnotist
Author: Lars Kepler
Series: Joona Linna, #1
Published: July 2018, Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
Format: ARC Paperback, 576 pages
Source: Publisher

A riveting new translation of the first installment in the #1 internationally bestselling Joona Linna series, The Hypnotist shows the lengths one determined detective is willing to go to solve a horrific crime.

A gruesome triple homicide attracts the interest of Detective Joona Linna of the National Crime Police. There's only one surviving witness--the boy whose family was killed before his eyes. The only problem is, he's lapsed into a catatonic state.

Desperate for information, Linna enlists trauma expert Dr. Erik Maria Bark, hoping to hypnotize the boy and uncover the secrets locked in his memory. But, scarred by past experiences, Bark has sworn never to use hypnosis again. When the doctor breaks his promise, he triggers a terrifying chain of events that will put all their lives in jeopardy.

My thoughts: Back in March, I read The Sandman, the 4th book in Lars Kepler's Joona Linna's series and I knew I had to go back and start this series from the beginning. While I am usually a stickler with reading series in order, The Sandman was the first book that was being published in the US with the new translator, and they would be re-releasing the earlier books later this year with this new translator.

Once again, I will start off by saying as I did with The Sandman review...this is a dark and disturbing book. I think the whole series is going to be like that for a multitude of reasons, so be forewarned if that is not your cup of tea. 

I love being back in Jonna Linna's world and I love that here we get an official introduction to Detective Joona Linna of Sweden's National Crime Unit. He's a determined and headstrong detective and usually gets his way, often with the catch phrase, "Didn't I say I was right?" We don't get too many details about him, but enough that I have a better picture of who he is than I did to start with. I am looking forward to seeing his character develop further in the upcoming books.

The gruesome murder at the beginning of this book is haunting and chilling and yet things only get more complicated and twisted from there. The use of hypnosis to help solve what happened seems to open a pandora's box and that was an exciting yet unique element to add to the story line. This is a very cleverly crafted novel...what you think is the main story line is merely a set up for what's to come.

While the story is a little slow to start off, once it picks up speed, it really takes off and the last 100 pages or so move so fast, you find yourself frantically flipping the pages and not so much as taking a breath for fear of missing something. But that's not to say that the beginning isn't engrossing - it's just more of a slow-burner than the rest of the novel. And let's talk about those short makes you want to keep reading - giving you that "just one more chapter mentality." Despite its length, coming in at close to 600 pages, I flew through this book in just 2 days...I was that invested in this story. 

This is one of those books that once you start, you really don't want to put down. It is dark and a bit disturbing, but it's also incredibly addicting with fantastic characters and great twists and turns. I am definitely a fan of this writing duo and can't wait to get my hands on the next book!

Books in this series: 
  1. The Hypnotist
  2. The Nightmare
  3. The Fire Witness
  4. The Sandman


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