Review: The Hypnotist by Lars Keplar

A crime thriller with a twist, as multiple mysteries interweave and unfold. Enter the gripping world of hypnosis, and explore the dangers of the subconscious mind.

The Hypnotist follows the story of Erik, a psychiatrist who believed hypnosis was the key to unlocking memories. His career came crashing to an end 10 years ago, when he vowed to never use hypnosis again. But following a gruesome crime, Erik is called upon to explore the mind of a potential murder witness who has been left in a coma. Nobody could imagine the horrors that lurk within the mind of 15 year old Joseph Ek.

Erik breaks his vow, and his world unravels. His marriage is torn apart by his son’s dissapearance, a troubled young character who has a critical blood condition requiring constant treatment. Meanwhile Joseph Ek has escaped and the hunt for him reveals further evil.

The novel is jam packed with vivid characters, from the terrifying murderers and sinister suspects, to the heroes who are all in some way flawed. The Hypnotist blurs the disctinctions of tragedy, exploring the minds of the insane and evil, and the damaged pasts of individuals.

The Hypnotist caught the attention of celebrity journalist Dawn Porter who selected it as this month’s read for her online book club Cold Water Books (@coldwaterbooks) opening a discussion with mixed reviews. Porter tweeted: “I loved the Joseph Ek story and wanted more of it”, and another user admitted they were “Genuinely a little bit scared.” Although most agreed it was an interesting read, some found it too confusing, or were put off by grpahic sexual descriptions.

I was interested to discover that the novel had been written under a pseudonym, and was in fact the creation of Swedish couple Alexandra and Alexander Ahndoril. Although an interesting concept, it may explain the slightly fragmented nature that strikes the reader at times.This is a gripping thriller, as any good murder mystery should be. The concept behind the entwining stories is innovate and provides an original read. Although you can be left more confused than captured. It takes a clear head to keep track of the characters and their stories, or you could easily get lost in the mystery yourself.
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