Kendra's Reviews > The Hypnotist

The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler
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's review
Oct 30, 2011

really liked it

This is a new thriller from Swedish authors that has sort of been promoted as the next Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Here's my take on that comparison: I actually got absorbed into this story much more quickly than I did Dragon Tattoo (which I almost stopped reading a half dozen times during the first 5o pages), and while I read this story more quickly than Dragon, I really think the writing in Dragon is superior. Which book did I have more fun reading? Probably this one, but which asked more interesting and important questions that left me contemplating the story afterward? Definitely Dragon Tattoo.

This story is told from several perspectives, but the MC is obviously the hypnotist for which the book is named. Erik was breaking new ground using hypnosis as a therapy for patients with serious mental and emotional damage. Then things all went wrong 10 years ago, and since that time Erik has sworn to never hypnotize another patient again. As the book begins, he breaks his vow under the urging of a detective who believes a seriously injured and deeply traumatized teenage boy can provide clues as to the monster who brutally slaughtered his family and information about his one surviving sister, Evelyn. The hypnosis reveals a startling horror, and as the detective races to save Evelyn, an alternate crime is revealed as Erik's teenage son Benjamin is kidnapped. I had a hard time anticipating how these two story lines would come together, but they did so in a satisfactory way. This is exciting, intense, and brutal, and like I said earlier, I raced through the pages to discover the truth. I thought the ending was a little sloppy, but other than that, I certainly enjoyed reading this.

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