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The Hypnotist (Joona Linna #1)

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  21,621 ratings  ·  2,422 reviews
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
Hardcover, 503 pages
Published June 21st 2011 by Sarah Crichton Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

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I wish someone would hypnotize me and erase the memory of reading this book.

OK, it isn’t that bad from a writing standpoint and basic premise, but it had a lot of buzz that I didn’t think it came close to living up to. Slapping that “The Next Stieg Larsson!”* label on any new Swedish thriller is probably automatic at this point, but it sets up a reader up for disappointment when there’s no character anywhere near as interesting as Lisbeth Salander around. Extra disappointing when most of the cha
Sep 03, 2013 Eric rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of the Millenium trilogy
Recommended to Eric by: Library
I really liked this novel, and would have given it four stars if not for three things that irked me about the way it was written.

1) The authors (this was written by a married couple) use the present tense in narration (e.g. Joona walks into the room and sits down). At first, I thought there was a compelling reason for this, but after finishing the book, I can't come up with anything, except perhaps that it was poorly translated into English -- do Swedish authors normally write in present tense?
Sweden, what is going on there? On one hand, this is a pretty good book. Joona Linna is everything you want in a police inspector - ruggedly good-looking, arrogant yet polite, and always right (my favorite line? "I'm not usually wrong and I believe we're going to find your son." Tell me, Joona, do you ever tell someone, "I'm not usually wrong & I think your son is long gone"?). The story is genuinely creepy - when Simone is awakened in the night by someone giving her an injection & she s ...more
I suppose I should say this is a spoiler alert. Read on at your own risk. I continue to be amazed by people's reviews. Many ( most) always begin by giving a summation of the plot. This is stupid and totally unnecessary. People already know what the book is about. Personal Reviews should tell what the reader thought. This is an amazingly hyped book. I would suppose that every publishing company wants to discover the next Steig Larrsen. Obviously, Its not that easy. First you need to be able to wr ...more
Stephanie Harris
I read it so you don't have to. You are welcome. This book is laughably and infuriatingly terrible. I only finished it because I paid for it, dammit, and wanted to see how terrible it would actually get, God help me. Almost all the characters are unlikeable. It begins with the detective as seemingly the main character with a dark event in his past, which, unless I missed it, IS NEVER EXPLAINED. But never mind, because the book is really not about him, it is about the hypnotist. Fair enough, sinc ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This could have been so good, but there are way too many unresolved and unexplained tangents to this tale. The narrative jumps from one murder case to the next with no real explanation, I was expecting the connection to be explained nearer the end, but there just isn't one! It's like the writers had two plot ideas they really liked and couldn't choose between the two, so just sort of smooshed them together, resulting in something not quite as good as either idea would have been on its own. The u ...more
Karen Struffert
I can't say I didn't like this book. I just had some issues with it. I liked the story line. Very dark, but interesting - a definite thriller! But if there's one thing I can't stand, it's unresolved plot twists. So if anyone can help me with these, please feel free...

1. When Evelyn Ek is being consoled by a female police officer after hearing about her family's demise and disclosing some info about her disturbed and disturbing brother, she bites the officer in the neck and actually causes a blee
Tonile {My Cup and Chaucer}
I finished Lars Kepler’s The Hypnotist yesterday and again found myself wanting to leave a good 24 hours or so for the book to sink in before I reviewed it. I mentioned to a good friend of mine earlier in the week that I wanted to read another Scandinavian crime novel soon, and this was an old reading copy I had on my desk. I noticed that it was already available in stores and figured I should get my act together and read it. I think I am pleased that I did...

I won’t lie about it; there will be
Deborah Gray
I have never read anything darker, more forboding, more utterly tormented than Swedish thrillers...and continue to come back for more. When they are done well, as this is, there is nothing more insistently suspenseful and satisfyingly terrifying.

Erik Maria Bark is a highly regarded psychotherapist specializing in acute trauma. He is also a disgraced hypnotist. Ten years ago, he swore a solemn, public oath never to perform hypnosis again. And yet, dragged from his bed early in the morning by a d
Any review of this book should really just be a video of me giggling. My God this book was stupid.

Conflict was based on stupid sitcom style miss-communication, the horribly injured boy with the deflated lung runs around stabbing people with impunity, the police are ridiculously incompetent, (view spoiler)

During the whole bookI felt the tension. I just could not put it down! The story is about a man who breaks a promise he made a long time ago. Then his son disappears and nobody has a clue why and who did it.
Usually somewhere half way the book I am already guessing who did it, but this time for me the outcome was surprising too. I will not give away any details, because it would ruin the fun for all that want to read it, be it in Swedish, English, German.
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
3 stars: Another great thriller with lots of twists & turns from a pool of talented and recently trendy Swedish authors. This one the strange & haunting tale of 15 year old Josef, only witness and survivor of the slaughter of his entire family. Detective Joona Linna turns for help in solving the crime to a brilliant doctor, hoping he can unlock Josef’s hidden memories; a doctor who has given up hypnosis doubting its ethics and his own abilities. On the plus side, great character develop ...more
Jake Rideout
Sweden is a scary-ass place. This book was like, "One of these suspects has committed a crime. All of the suspects are currently involved in murdering people in gruesome ways. Which of these murderers has committed the crime?"

If my only knowledge of Sweden were gained through the reading of its bestselling translated novels, I would think that every other Swedish person has a decomposing body in his basement. And, incidentally, my only knowledge of Sweden IS gained through the reading of its bes
I was really disappointed by this book. It started out with a big bang and had a really good premise, but then it all just fell to hell, becoming a clown car of horrible sadists who just kept parading out of the story in a never-ending line, doing the most awful things imaginable. I'm no horror novice and it takes a lot to shock or offend me, but it was just the multitude of sadists in this book which was so off-turning. Like there are all these terrible murderers and torturers around every corn ...more
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
This book was nothing like I thought it would be. An avid crime reader and lover of the darker crime stuff out there I thought this would be chilling, terrifying and spectacular based on reviews by both well known and lesser known reviewers. Was I reading a different book? As this book did not throw up anything like that my way.

When a whole family is murdered in Stockholm, DI Joona Linna knows there is only one person who can find the perpetrator. Erik Maria Bark, retired hypnotist, is called i
The Hypnotist was a good thriller, but in my opinion it did not live up to the hype that it received, and it was not quite worth the 503 page investment.
I did find myself intrigued and interested many times throughout the story, but there were also numerous instances where the story felt disjointed, and there were sections of the book where I couldn’t find a character that I actually wanted to read about. The authors start strong, with a solid protagonist- Detective Inspector Joona Linna, who c
Cristina Lee
Quasi seicento, ripeto seicento pagine di tortura.
Una fatica protratta più a lungo del dovuto (mai successo con un thriller), uno stile che continua a distrarre il lettore. Avvenimenti dati voce a più e più e troppi personaggi tra passato, presente, passato, presente. La mia sensazione è stata: non me ne frega niente, vogliamo andare a risolvere sto caso?
Astenetevi dal leggerlo.
Gerald Curtis
I have to give the conclusion to the story a big pat on the back. This was unquestionably the most compelling, unable-to-put-it-down ending I’ve ever read. Spell-binding!

So why didn’t I like this book? There are too many reasons to detail, but here are a few that really bug me. One is the use of flashbacks. Just when something interesting to the plot is about to happen, we are detoured way back in time for flashbacks so lengthy that frankly, by the time there were over, I had almost forgotten wh
Craig Pospisil
I read an interesting article about this book and the authors, and it sounded interesting, especially since I've been reading some of the various Scandinavian crime novels recently. The Hypnotist starts well. The first third of the book really grabbed my interest, but the next section began to get a little dicey. It strained credulity and I felt the authors pushing the story rather than the story simply unfolding.

But about halfway through the book goes completely off the rails and things just st
Following the overwhelming success of The Millennium Trilogy (The Girl....series) by Stieg Larsson and the recent success of The Snowman by Jo Nesbo, it's no wonder American publishers are clamoring to get new Scandinavian authors out on the crime fiction shelves. Sometimes, this leads to less than stellar works...published just for the sake of being published. That is NOT the case with this book by Kepler, a Swedish husband and wife writing team. The Hypnotist is one of the strongest thrillers ...more
This is equally as good as Stieg Larsson's series, if not better. It's set in Sweden, with a character drowning in scandal a la the Wennerstrom Affair, and features mentally ill sociopaths that don't offer the charm of Lisbeth but still create a horror scene that is nothing short of thrilling. It's brilliant and has me excited to read the next in the Joona Linna series.
Paul Pessolano
“The Hypnotist” by lars kepler, published by Sarah Crichton Books.

Category – Mystery/Thriller

If you are going to read one book this year, I highly recommend that this is the one you should read. “The Hypnotist” has become an international bestseller and is scheduled to be published in thirty-three countries.

If you are a reader who wants a book that will literally grab you by the throat from the very first page and not release you until the last page – grab this one!!!!

Josef Ek, a young man, is f
Sario Lawrence
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
What a mess this book is. I have read nothing but raves about it, but was really disappointed.

Sure it is written by a Scandinavian couple, but there is no sense of place.

Way too much going on for one book much of which is distracting. Seriously.

Overwrought dialogue and thin charactization.

At 503 pages it is quite a boat anchor and here is a sample of the lousy writing that makes it that long:
"Before he has time to reply, she leaves the room and heads for the kitchen. He follows her. By the time
I loved the Stieg Larsson books. Enjoyed reading them, enjoyed the movies - all of it. When a friend of mine suggested that I read this one (listen really) I jumped at the chance. I was hoping to get another great Swedish mystery that kept me hanging to the very last page. What I'm left with is the same sort of feeling I get when I eat too many cookies. Slightly sick to my stomach and disbelief that I finished all of them.

I hated most of the characters in this book. The main one, Joona Linna, wh
Jul 12, 2011 Carol rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Carol by: EarlyWord The Publisher/Librarian Connection
Shelves: fiction
The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler (pseudonym)is a good summer read if only for its cold setting.It's being billed as a natural for fans of The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo. Don't read it however, if you're looking for the next Lizbeth Salander. The Hypnotist is a Swedish thriller, translated and brought to our shores in keeping with our craving of more of this genre.

The Hypnotist starts out with enough brutal killing for any die hard fan of graphic, sadistic slayings. The scene is horribly vivid as the
Tanja Berg
Several years ago I bought the pocket version of this book in Swedish. I read about three pages and absolutely could not stand the writing style. I don't know exactly what I found so repulsive anymore and the book has disappeared to the back of some shelf. I recently discussed the book with one of my colleagues and that gave me the compulsion to give it another try. Not the pocket book - I'll find it if I every move again - but as audio. Surprisingly enough, the audio verison was almost as cheap ...more
Trovo sia un buon thriller, che riempie bene le sue 585 pagine. Quello che mi ha lasciato perplessa è invece la descrizione di degrado di alcuni segmenti della società svedese. Davvero, in questo civilissimo nord Europa, le donne vengono abitualmente molestate sui mezzi pubblici come accade a Simone? Davvero il bullismo è così radicato da lasciare che dei ragazzini malmenino una bambina in un centro commerciale, senza che un solo adulto veda o faccia nulla? Davvero i servizi sociali non riconosc ...more
Linda Strong
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 t
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THE LISTS: The hypnotist (update 6) 2 11 May 12, 2013 06:47AM  
Anyone know how to get the details changed? 1 28 Apr 15, 2013 02:47PM  
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Lars Kepler is a pseudonym used by Swedish writer couple Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril. Both previously published authors, together they have written five crime novels so far, all concerning the investigations of police inspector Joona Linna.
More about Lars Kepler...

Other Books in the Series

Joona Linna (5 books)
  • The Nightmare (Joona Linna, #2)
  • Eldvittnet (Joona Linna #3)
  • Sandmannen (Joona Linna, #4)
  • Stalker (Joona Linna, #5)
The Nightmare (Joona Linna, #2) Eldvittnet (Joona Linna #3) Sandmannen (Joona Linna, #4) Stalker (Joona Linna, #5) The Joona Linna Thrillers 3-Book Bundle: The Hypnotist; The Nightmare; The Fire Witness

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Mortui vivis docent - the dead teach the living.” 13 likes
“«Porque o passado não está morto. O passado nem sequer passou» - William Faulkner.
Referia-me a que cada pequena coisa que acontece a um ser humano o acompanha até ao presente. Todas as suas vivências influenciam cada uma das suas opções e, tratando-se de experiências traumaticas, o passado passa a ocupar todo o espaço do presente.”
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