REVIEWS+

The Hypnotist

Farrar. Jul. 2011. 528p. ISBN 9780374173951. $27. CD: Blackstone Audio.
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OrangeReviewStarA family has been murdered, and Detective Inspector Joona Linna must get clues from the one survivor—the family's young son, now in shock after suffering more than 100 knife wounds. Linna's proposed solution? Hypnosis. Written pseudonymously by a literary couple and yet another example of the Swedish crime-fiction juggernaut, this first in a series is set to appear in 33 countries. That's promising. With a reading group guide.
In the Stockholm suburb of Tumba, a family has been found brutally butchered. The only survivor, a 15-year-old boy who suffered more than 100 knife wounds, is in a state of shock. Desperate to identify the killer before there is another murder, homicide detective Joona Linna asks Erik Maria Bark, a doctor specializing in trauma, to hypnotize the victim. Having a decade ago given up the practice of hypnosis, Bark complies reluctantly, unwittingly setting off a chain of violent events that climax at a lakeside cabin north of the Arctic Circle. Already a best seller in Europe and scheduled to be filmed by director Lasse Hallström (The Cider House Rules), this smart, unpredictable thriller by a pseudonymous Swedish literary couple features an intriguing premise, plenty of cinematic action and twists, and an appropriately chilly and gothic Nordic atmosphere.
VERDICT While Kepler's protagonists lack Lisbeth Salander's charisma and the loose ends are too neatly tied up, the high-octane plot will capture readers bored by Stieg Larsson's sometimes glacial social and political asides. Be aware that some readers may confuse this with M.J. Rose's reincarnation thriller of the same title. [Library marketing; see Prepub Alert, 1/10/11.]—Wilda Williams, Library Journal

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