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The Hypnotist (Detective Inspector Joona Linna, Bk 1)
The Hypnotist - Detective Inspector Joona Linna, Bk 1 Author:Lars Kepler 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: h... more »e’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. « less
This new novel has been getting lots of "buzz" and for once, it's deserved. It keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout with fast pacing, an assortment of suspects, lots of plot twists and blind alleys, and a cast of truly disturbed (and disturbing) characters. Definitely a writer (actually a pair of writers working under a pseudonym) worth watching.
I did not care for this at all. It felt like there were two completely unrelated plots here which they tried to blend into one, but it just didn't work. Basically, the first plot completely disappears half way through the book only to suddenly pop up and be quickly and weakly resolved in, like, two pages toward the end. The entire police force was completely incompetent, with the main superstar detective not much better. And it wasn't like the police force was written to be weak so the brilliant amateurs look that much better in comparison. No. Because those people just happened to be slightly more lucky about information falling into their laps than the police were. Then there were the weird threats of sexual violence to the female characters by random people in passing.
The premise of the story is a good one. Bodies of a family are found butchered. There are no survivors except for the teenaged son who is lying at death's door. Under hypnosis, the son confesses to the crime. This is where things get bit disjointed for me.
I found it confusing with the back and forth from present to past. Lots and lots of characters, which I think the author managed very nicely. I did not like the main characters. Detective Linna is a bit arrogant ...always demanding people to tell him he was right. Dr. Bark (the hypnotist) was portrayed as a very good father .. but a really lousy husband. And his wife was a woman who could forgive, but never forgot. She was constantly throwing his 'faults' in his face. Their son, Benjamin, also a teenager constantly called his parents liars and referred to living in a house of lies.
Throw in Dr. Bark's patients.. the ones who have been severely abused one way or another and you have a ton of back stories to remember.
I found the book a little disjointed .. not sure whether it was the actual writing or something may have been lost in the translation. Not the best book I've ever read, but not the worst, either. I will probably try another book of his just to make sure this one wasn't an anomoly.
I was told by someone who recommended this book to not rush through it .... now I can see why. I gave it 3 stars.
Bruce - reviewed The Hypnotist (Detective Inspector Joona Linna, Bk 1) on
I gave this book almost 200 pages but I couldn't finish it. While the plot was interesting and the book contained a couple of exciting twists, the story meandered too long at too slow a pace and the writing was a big distraction for me. Lars Kepler is the pen name for a Swiss writing team so I don't know if it is the writing style or the translation that is at fault. Here is an example:
"Kennet suddenly turns up the volume of the police radio. A call has gone out. Someone answers, demanding information. In the brief exchange, Simone picks up something about a woman hearing screams from a neighboring apartment. A car is dispatched. In the background, someone laughs and launches into a long explanation about why his brother still lives at home and has his sandwiches made for him every morning. Kennet turns down the volume again."
The entire novel is written in this elementary, choppy style. It was too much for me. Even when I started to get pulled into the story, the writing was like a bucket of cold water over my head.