The Hypnotist

by Lars Kepler, translated from Swedish by Ann Long (Blue Door) ISBN 978-0-00-735911-0

Phew! This is an excellent read. I felt as if I was holding my breath along the way.
The dramatic tension rests on an undercurrent of silent menace. The violence is not too overt or gory, but rather slick and cold.
Detective Inspector Joona Linna takes the case of a family who has been brutally murdered. The eldest boy survives despite terrible injuries. The killer is unknown, and the eldest daughter is missing. Linna persuades psychiatrist Erik Maria Bark to use hypnosis with the injured boy, Josef, to gather clues to trace the killer and the missing sister.
What they uncover is more horrifying than they imagined, and Erik and his family are drawn into the violence as the past and present intertwine.
Very reminiscent of Stieg Larrson’s trilogy that started with “The girl with the dragon tattoo”. It has a fast pace, a clean, clear writing style and a gripping storyline. Set in Sweden, I loved all the details of foodstuff, places, and lifestyle so different from the American and English traditions.
I was also fascinated to discover that this is the first novel of a literary couple; a husband and wife who are acclaimed authors in their own right.
Shelley Roe-Berning

Posted on: 1st December 2011