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The Hypnotist

(Joona Linna #1)

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3.67  ·  Rating details ·  40,293 ratings  ·  3,604 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
...more
Hardcover, 503 pages
Published June 21st 2011 by Sarah Crichton Books (first published 2009)
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Alyson Read It was the fact that he used hypnosis again after promising to Lydia that he would not. It was reported in the media that he did so, and this is what…moreIt was the fact that he used hypnosis again after promising to Lydia that he would not. It was reported in the media that he did so, and this is what set off her mental health problems again and led to her wanting revenge on Erik. Without the hypnosis of Josef the rest of the book would not have happened. Does that help?(less)
Cliff Yes, because it explains why Erik was so loathe to use hypnosis. And possibly why 10 years later he is still pill popping.

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3.67  · 
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 ·  40,293 ratings  ·  3,604 reviews


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Jayson
(B+) 76% | Good
Notes: Spends a lot of time building up elaborate red herrings; successor developments being progressively less compelling.
Kemper
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
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Jeffrey Keeten
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
”They’d thought he was dead when they found him among the other bodies in the terraced house. He’d lost a great deal of blood, gone into a state of shock, and hadn’t regained consciousness until seven hours later.

He was the only surviving witness.

Detective Joona Linna was certain that the boy would be able to provide valuable information, possibly even identify the killer

But if the other circumstances had not been so exceptional, it would never even have occurred to anyone to turn to a hypnoti
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Eric
Aug 09, 2011 rated it liked it
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?
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Matt
Nov 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
In this debut novel, Lars Kepler lays out the groundwork for a stunning and highly intense thriller. A boy is found clinging to life at home with his family slaughtered all around him. Detective Joona Linna is called upon to solve the case and becomes convinced that, with a little probing, all can be revealed and the killer caught, as long as the sole witness remembers what he saw. Joona turns to hypnosis in order to unlock those horrific memories of the event. Calling upon Eric Maria Bark, a ps ...more
Joe
Aug 12, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Arah-Lynda
Sep 05, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, i-said
This is a very dark, horrific story that ranks high in creepiness. Seriously it left me feeling like I needed to take a shower and wash the creep away. The cover would have you beleive that it is comparable to Silence of the Lambs or Stieg Larsson's Millenium series but I have to disagree with that. Now I love a good mystery, better still if it happens to be a thriller where life and death hang in the balance as they race to find and stop the villian. The Hypnotist certainly contains all of thes ...more
LENA TRAK
Jan 26, 2016 rated it liked it
(PLOT SPOILERS in paragraph 1)

I have never read a book with such a strong start. From the very first page I was convinced the story had a carefully structured premise and then somewhere in the middle...KABOOM!!! I found myself wondering:who is the protagonist? What about the murder? What about detective Joona Linna???? I want to know more about Linna..And what about Evelyn??? She sank her teeth into the throat of an officer... Will you not say something about this??

Tthe first half of the book wa
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Sue
May 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thrillers
I have never read such an amazing twisting novel.There are not words to express how super this book was.I can only give praise to the authors.

Erik Maria Bark, talented doctor whose specialty is the treatment of seriously traumatized persons, formerly also with hypnotize, is called to Karolinska hospital, where a 15-year-old boy lies severely injured - the only survivor of a family massacre in the outskirts of Stockholm.

It turns out that the boy has an older sister who's disappeared, and there's
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Melissa
Jul 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: yikes
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
Stephanie Harris
Jul 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Pamela
Sep 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brenda
Oct 20, 2015 rated it liked it
I was interested, and at times, gripped by this book, especially in the beginning and at the end. However, there were times I was bored, not really reading intensely, anxious for progress. I think the book was just too long. I felt the dialogue was stilted and that's probably due to translation. There were things happening that didn't seem relevant to the story. I probably won't read anything more by these authors.
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
...more
Ammar
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a read
Tour de force

105 chapters .. one leading to the other

Murder
Gruesome
Hypnosis
Family
Blood
Tears and shock

Solid start of a series
Katherine
Aug 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
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)
...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
...more
Janete
Mar 16, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
First, I didn't like the psychiatrist character specialized in hypnosis. He made so many stupid decisions about his patients' lives that I would never trust in this doctor. Second, this hypnotist's wife is unstable psychologically: her son was kidnapped from her family's home by someone who probably had a copy of her apartment's keys; then this woman decides to break up from her stupid psychiatrist husband and have sex in this apartment where her extremely sick son had been kidnapped, and he is ...more
Helen
Sep 13, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nordic-noir
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
Kat Dietrich
The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler is the 1st in the Detective Joona Linna series.

Series Background:
Homicide Detective Joona Linna works for the National Criminal Investigation Department in Sweden. His father was a policeman who was killed on the job when Joona was 12, so he was raised by his mother. After his military service as a paratrooper, he was recruited into Special Operations, and qualified for special training in the Netherlands in mixed close combat, innovative weaponry, and urban guerrill
...more
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
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Rita
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Fergal
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent!
Linda Strong
Jan 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
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
...more
Deborah Gray
May 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
...more
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
Gary
Dec 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
The 1st book in the Joona Linna series by Lars Kepler.
A very good novel that takes a while to get going but it is worth the wait, The characters and the plot are well laid out and the book is an excellent start to the series.
BAM The Bibliomaniac
2018 Reading: Nordic noir

I'm sold on this author! This was so dark and deep I could not put it down. I'm reading his books in order. But this one was rather gruesome just be warned
Luís C.
I can not say that I did not like, I can not say either that I really enjoyed this irregular writing novel in which I felt sometimes captivated, sometimes languid, some episodes caughtful: The plot is most promising, the actions of the suspects keep you in suspense, however, the author portrays taciturn main characters, there may be, of course, but even the policeman who is supposed to investigate, overflowing with an energy which he might employ to some extravagance, contented himself with doin ...more
Jake Rideout
Jan 10, 2013 rated it liked it
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
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please help answer this question 16 250 Jan 15, 2018 03:10AM  
Has anyone finished this book? 76 498 Apr 28, 2017 07:35AM  
Ann Kirkham Virtu...: Thanks! 1 4 Jul 04, 2014 01:18PM  
Such a difference of opinion on this book 8 109 Apr 23, 2014 04:19PM  
Goodreads Librari...: ISBN 9780374173951 and format is not matching 3 160 Aug 04, 2013 11:15AM  
THE LISTS: The hypnotist (update 6) 2 15 May 12, 2013 06:47AM  
Anyone know how to get the details changed? 1 34 Apr 15, 2013 02:47PM  

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Lars Kepler is the pseudonym of critically acclaimed husband and wife team Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril, authors of the No. 1 internationally bestselling Joona Linna series. With seven installments to date, the series has sold 13 million copies in 40 languages. The Ahndorils were both established writers before they adopted the pen name Lars Kepler, and have each published seve ...more

Other books in the series

Joona Linna (7 books)
  • The Nightmare (Joona Linna, #2)
  • Eldvittnet (Joona Linna, #3)
  • The Sandman (Joona Linna, #4)
  • Stalker (Joona Linna, #5)
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  • Lazarus (Joona Linna, #7)
Mortui vivis docent - the dead teach the living.” 19 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.”
5 likes
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