Feb 07, 12
Read in February, 2012
The Hypnotist is best described as a depraved page-turner of a novel. In the same vein as "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" -- also written by a Swedish novelist -- the novel focuses heavily on psychotic killers with a fondness for torture and other gruesome forms of havoc and mayhem. It's very skillfully done, if by "skillful" you're thinking of story-telling of the kind that gets you hooked and keeps you reading until 2:00am. In my case, it may even have been 3:00am. The characters have some interesting dimensions, and the dialogue is not as brain-dead as you might expect in the crime thriller genre. There are even a couple of good sex scenes, although one of them did make me burst out laughing, which is not a good thing when the author is going for erotic effect.
All that said, it's still quite depraved. This world has always harbored the kind of people who slaughter their families and torture children, but I'm also pretty sure that it doesn't make us any happier or better-off to read crime novels about them. I guess that's why I usually don't do so, unless as in this case I'm reading it for a book club.