The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler
The Hypnotist: A Novel (Detective Inspector Joona Linna)
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: he’s suffered more than one hundred knife wounds and lapsed into a state of shock. Desperate for information, Linna sees only one option: hypnotism. He enlists Dr. Erik Maria Bark to mesmerize the boy, hoping to discover the killer through his eyes.
It’s the sort of work that Bark has sworn he would never do again—ethically dubious and psychically scarring. When he breaks his promise and hypnotizes the victim, a long and terrifying chain of events begins to unfurl.
An international sensation, The Hypnotist is set to appear in thirty-seven countries, and it has landed at the top of bestseller lists wherever it’s been published—in France, Holland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Denmark. Now it’s America’s turn. Combining the addictive power of the Stieg Larsson trilogy with the storytelling drive of The Silence of the Lambs, this adrenaline-drenched thriller is spellbinding from its very first page.
The Hypnotist was an odd read for me. The sentences and things people said were just not quite right. Something was off about them, which I blamed on translation issues. Then the story was like it couldn't figure out what it wanted to be about. Its focus kept changing so I was like wait, what about that other storyline? It took me about two weeks to finish this book, which for me is forever. I usually finish a book the same day, two days tops. Not very good.
The book started off just okay for me. The whole family who was killed should have been more interesting, but for some reason I couldn't get into it. It started getting better after a while, once Josef is getting out of the hospital. Then the story changed and I was again not interested. It was...I wish it could have picked one main storyline that I liked and had the other things in the background more. There is also the super long, drawn out, and super boring chapter about half way through which details what happened to make Erik stop hypnotizing people. I was curious, but not that curious. It seemed to take forever to get through it and it was painful. It took you completely out of what is happening and destroyed any momentum I had at the moment. I did not like it.
My other issue with the book was the characters. I didn't like any of them, and did not really understand the kids at all. Any of them. Benjamin would be all weird and acting out for no reason, he has his girlfriend who I don't get, her brother who I understood the most, and all of those random other kids who were doing horrible things. I didn't understand why they did what they did, or really what they were doing.
Simone was horrible. I did not like her at all. She was so whiny and complaining and poor me and she made no sense. She gets very upset when Erik gets called out to a police case in the middle of the night, instantly thinking he is going to cheat on her. He did once 10 years ago and she has never actually forgiven him. So then she finds her 'proof' which is just nothing really, and then won't let it go. Then she just tells everyone they are separating which is just....when your son is kidnapped no one cares if you are separated. Shouldn't you be focused on trying to find him? Plus, your son is kidnapped and what do you do? Go to work and hook up with the artist who is there! But of course, after being so horrible to Erik for his indiscretion 10 years ago you should now go and do the same thing. It is supposed to be a way for her to not think about what is happening, but still. I just did not like her. She blows everything way out of proportion and then is all poor me. I wish the end would have been different. I wish it wasn't happy family.
Erik is this weak, pill addicted guy. He never once stands up for himself. He never once explains what happened and how he is not having an affair. He just goes along with everything and doesn't even seem to care, but then says how he could never live without Simone. Well he sure doesn't seem like he cares. He was so spineless I don't know how something didn't happen to him sooner.
Then there is the detective, Joona, who seemed like one minute was really quick with figuring things out, the next couldn't figure anything out without Simone and Erik telling him what to do. He was just this background character for me, but he really should have had more of a presence. He just seemed to fade into the story. It was just...I didn't like how the story was going along one path, then changes to another, then skips somewhere else, then let's bring the first thing back for a second, then over here. It just made it so I couldn't stay interested. Every time I started to get into the story the focus would change and I would have to try and get into it again. I did not enjoy this book.