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Book 90: The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler

Book 90: The Hypnotist.
Author: Lars Kepler, 2009. Translated from the Swedish by Ann Long, 2011.
Genre: Crime Fiction. Psychological Thriller. Nordic Noir.
Other Details: Hardback. 503 pages.

The novel opens with the discovery of a savage knife attack on a family that has left the parents and youngest daughter dead. There is one survivor, their teenage son, who is badly wounded and in critical condition. He is deeply traumatised but Detective Inspector Joona Linna is convinced that his older sister, who was away from home when the attack took place and who they cannot locate, is in mortal danger. He feels the boy must be questioned as soon as possible. He asks Erik Bark, a retired hypnotist, to hypnotise the boy in order to discover the identity of the murderer.

Bark had retired from the profession ten years previously and had sworn to never hypnotise anyone again. Still Linna manages to convince him of the urgent need. What emerges from the session is shocking. Yet that is just the start of this extremely dark and disturbing novel as Bark's return to his abandoned profession sets off a chain of events with an increasing body count.

This novel was enthusiastically recommended to me by the sales assistants at my local bookshop and I am glad I took up their suggestion to read it because it is a superb and intelligent thriller; keeping me on the edge of my seat and more than once looking over my shoulder. Lars Kepler is a pen name used by literary authors Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril and they've apparently written a follow-up to this work that I expectt will be translated into English in due course now that this one has fared so well.
Tags: crime fiction, european, police drama, thriller, translation
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