The Hypnotist is almost like Inception in a book. Honestly. A plot within a plot, the book’s a page turner not even from the first chapter, but from the lead-in to the first chapter itself. I started the book on late Sunday evening and had to put it down in the early morning hours because of work on Monday, otherwise I’d have finished it at one go – that’s how gripping it was. I did manage to finish it at 3 this morning, though.
The Hypnotist is part chilling, part mystery and wholly involving. The book is set in Sweden, where teenager Josef Ek’s family has been brutally murdered. Everybody’s dead except for him and an older sister who lives in a cottage in the middle of nowhere. Joona Linna, the lead detective on the case, wants to talk to Josef to figure out who did this and save his older sister before the killer gets to her, but Josef’s life is hanging by a thread. So Joona cons well-known trauma doctor Erik Maria Bark – formerly a leading hypnotist – into hypnotising Josef. Eric faces a moral dilemma at the request – ten years ago, he swore never to practice hypnosis again; but faced with the chance of saving a life, he gives in. What neither Joona nor Eric expects is a revelation so sick, so gut-wrenching that it puts Eric and his family’s life in danger and Joona in the middle of a case that gets increasingly complex with every passing minute. Lives unravel like a ball of wool after that and reach a point where the nail-biting mystery takes two different paths. It’s totally insane on so many levels.
Lars Kepler – the pseudonym for the husband-wife literary duo Alexandra and Alexander Ahndoril – does full justice to being a crime fiction author. The characters are well-defined, the story racy and the ending so unexpected that it leaves you gasping for breath and stumbling for words.
If you’re a crime fiction, mystery thriller junkie, I’d recommend you pick it up immediately. It’s a book you won’t regret owning, I promise. Or you could wait to watch the movie adaptation, due to release in September of this year. But do you really want to put yourself through the long wait?
This post was submitted by Nabila Tazyeen.