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Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


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THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
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KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
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PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
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Keplar, Lars: The Hypnotist

  Amazon  

4 stars

TWEETABLE REVIEW: 4* Swedish Detective Joona Linna investigates a triple murder w/help of a hypnotherapist. A page-turner with problems. https://www.book-blog.com/2012/07/keplar-lars-the-hypnotist.html

The Hypnotist, which was first published in Swedish in 2009 by a husband and wife writing team, introduces Joona Linna, a dogged and charmingly self-assured and indeed hunky Detective Inspector with Sweden's National Criminal Investigation Department. Linna winds up investigating the gruesome murder of a family which has left one survivor, a fifteen-year-old boy who is barely alive when the book begins. Linna calls in a therapist for help, Erik Maria Bark, who specializes in cases involving acute trauma. Bark used to use hypnosis in group therapy sessions, but he has since sworn off hypnosis--for reasons that are eventually explained. Still, he makes an exception in this case because extracting information from the traumatized teen may not only help the police find the killer, but it could save the life of the boy's sister. This would be a much shorter book, though, if the hypnosis session went well. It doesn't, and it leads to some very bad things happening.

I enjoyed reading The Hypnotist very much. It was a page-turner. It kept me up late. Still, there was a fair amount that bothered me about the story. Erik's wife Simone acts irrationally much of the time, and she and her father do some really stupid things--the kind of things that get teenagers killed in horror movies. I won't give examples so as not to spoil the plot, but Erik should divorce this crazy woman. There's a subplot involving Pokemon characters that just seems way over the top. And generally speaking, the book feels like it's all over the place. A second crime occurs that takes over the plot for so long that you forget about the initial bad guy. And the authors focus on a bunch of different characters--Joona Linna, Erik, Simone, Simone's father--in a way that seems kind of scattershot. So, I had some problems with the book, and yet it was compelling enough that I intend to read the next installment in the series, The Nightmare: I'm quite taken by Joona Linna.

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