The Hypnotist

Paperback | June 12, 2012

byLars Kepler

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Tumba, Sweden. A triple homicide, all of the victims from the same family, captivates Detective Inspector Joona Linna, who demands to investigate the grisly murders -- against the wishes of the national police. The killer is at large, and it appears that the elder sister of the family escaped the carnage; it seems only a matter of time until she, too, is murdered. But where can Linna begin? The only surviving witness is an intended victim -- the boy whose mother, father, and little sister were killed before his eyes. Whoever committed the crimes intended for this boy to die: he has suffered more than one hundred knife wounds and Lapsed into a state of shock. He's in no condition to be questioned. Desperate for information, Linna sees one mode of recourse: 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 had 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.

From the Hardcover edition.

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From the Publisher

Tumba, Sweden. A triple homicide, all of the victims from the same family, captivates Detective Inspector Joona Linna, who demands to investigate the grisly murders -- against the wishes of the national police. The killer is at large, and it appears that the elder sister of the family escaped the carnage; it seems only a matter of time...

LARS KEPLER is a pseudonym for a literary couple who live and write in Sweden.From the Hardcover edition.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:512 pages, 8.98 × 6.05 × 1.39 inPublished:June 12, 2012Publisher:McClelland & StewartLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0771095732

ISBN - 13:9780771095733

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Customer Reviews of The Hypnotist


Rated 3 out of 5 by from merely ok This was a long book, which is great if it keeps you interested all the way through. This did not do that. It had way too much content that was just "fluff" to make it worthwhile to read a book this lengthy.
Date published: 2016-12-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Hypnotist Loved it! Such a great read. Couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2016-11-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it! Absolutely loved the book. Although a little slow in some parts, definitely worth the read! Would recommend Lars Kepler again and again.
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Hard to put down #plumreview Another good book by this author
Date published: 2016-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It!! This book is a must read!
Date published: 2015-10-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Hypnotist It was a good story, but it was slow in a few parts. It did pick up at the end and the ending was exciting.
Date published: 2015-06-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Although looking back at the summary a few years after reading it, I am quite surprised I bought it. It does not seem like a book I would read. However, it is quite a great read. It is captivating, with detail. It all connects together, there is good unity where as some books do not have that. This is one of my favourite books. Especially loved the hypnosis parts.
Date published: 2015-05-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Hypnotist The most suspenceful and intriguing work I have ever read. Flawlessly written. I could not put the book down. The whole series is unmatched.
Date published: 2015-03-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from starts off slow I found this to start off really slow, but about 50 pages in I was hooked ... Don't give up on this one.
Date published: 2015-02-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Long winded...but good storyline First book I read from this author. I may try another one to give it another shot. Good storyline but it was dragging a little bit. It's a good book overall.
Date published: 2014-11-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Best book Draws you in and keeps you till the end
Date published: 2014-11-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Best book Draws you in and keeps you till the end
Date published: 2014-11-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from - Couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2014-09-25
Rated 1 out of 5 by from :-( I can only hope that something got lost in translation. I simply did not like this book.
Date published: 2014-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Suspenseful Good book. Slow in a couple of parts but kept me interested overall.
Date published: 2014-08-05
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Ugh I have read 250 pages of this book and find it hugely disappointing. If you MUST read it save your money and borrow from the library! B.O.R.I.N.G.
Date published: 2014-08-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Hypnotist Much too long.....draggy....
Date published: 2014-07-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Hhypnotist First time reading these authers and will read more of there books I
Date published: 2014-07-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Psychological thriller A real psychological thriller!
Date published: 2014-05-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Psychological thriller A real psychological thriller!
Date published: 2014-05-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The hypnotist Super good book. Loved it.
Date published: 2014-03-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The hypnotist This is one of the best thriller I've read so far. The way Lars Kepler is giving clues throughout the book is breathtaking. We stay at the edge of our seat until the end. Can't wait to read the next one.
Date published: 2014-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The hypnotist Lars Kepler is an amazing author. This book keeps you guessing until the end. It compels you to it and is written in a very engaging way. The thickness of the book means nothing because the story just flys you through the pages.
Date published: 2013-11-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Hypnotist Drags in a few places but over all very good.
Date published: 2013-11-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Finished. Good book. Enjoyed it a lot. Took some getting used to- the names and towns and such.
Date published: 2013-10-05
Rated 1 out of 5 by from boring, poor characters, not interesting.... at all. i was struggling with this book. i read up to 150 pgs and returning to my bf's mom. it is bad. i didn't like the characters at all. story was sub par and it just did not grab my attention. i can see people's comparisons to steig larsson's millennium series, but it is nowhere as close. i really enjoyed the series and lisbeth. the characters in this book i didn't care nor did i want to know what happened to the family and the plot they came in of his kidnapped son. BORING.
Date published: 2013-10-01
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Red Not very good. Story goes in many directions. Translation messes up the writing. I didn't enjoy it.
Date published: 2013-09-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Great Book 1, in the Joona Linna series This novel has a special and interesting story and start with a bang with the brutal murder a family stabbed to death in a Stockholm suburb. The only witness is the critically injured teenager son, Josef Ek who survived the attack and fortunately the older sister was not home at the time and escaped the carnage. The novel is quite intense showcasing graphic images on many occasions. Dragged into solving this horrific crime is the protagonist, Joona Linna, a deeply damaged Detective who suffers from blinding headaches. Since the boy can barely be questioned in the normal way, Linna calls on Dr. Erik Maria Bark, the Hypnonist. Bark, is also a much damaged man terribly addicted to painkillers he simply eats them like candy. He had sworn to never use hypnosis after a tragic event of the past that is still haunting him. He is reluctantly pressured to hypnotize the boy to obtain details that would help solve the murders and protect his sister who may be running out of time. Don’t be surprised the situation soon spirals of control and we are thrown off by red herrings, many few missteps and definitely in the middle of pretty entertaining stuff. Taking the genre to new heights, this thriller’s provocative theme explores in a very cinematic ways the influence of family bonds and delivers in each of its chapters a heart- stopping turn into a world where the minds is the deadliest of weapons. The plot is very exciting, the dialogue excellent and the characters outstanding. This quality crime fiction IMO is simply fantastic.
Date published: 2013-04-19
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Hugely disappointing Touted as rivalling Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, not even close. Stagey patchwork of violence and clinical case work with cardboardish characters, and far too long...needed severe editing.
Date published: 2012-10-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Move over Girl with the Dragon Tattoo! Who knew Sweden had such great authors? Fast-paced, excellent story and credible characters. You'll be intrigued by the plot and likeable Detective Joona Linna.
Date published: 2012-08-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved the cover... Creepy cover + creepy tale = good read. The Hypnotist is a debut novel for Lars Kepler (a husband and wife team from Sweden) Three members of the Ek family have been brutally murdered. Their son Josef was miraculously found alive amongst the carnage. Inspector Joona Linna is brought in on the case. Dr. Erik Bark is one of the physicians at the hospital Josef brought to. Bark was a renowned hypnotist, using his skill to help patients uncover and heal from trauma. However he has sworn off hypnotism - a past event is alluded to but not fully explained in the beginning. Urged on by Linna, but against his better judgment, Bark hypnotizes Josef. However, what Josef reveals is unexpected to say the least. I enjoyed the engimatic character of Joona Linna very much. His confidence in his abilities is not bravado, but he does make a point of asking "What did I tell you?" when he is proven correct. His calm demeanor hides a character not fully explored in this first book of a planned series. The book takes a different direction with Dr. Bark's involvement. Slowly we are led down a different path as the events that ended his use of hypnotism are revealed. His past comes to haunt him in the present, as does Josef's case. I found myself continually off kilter as I read The Hypnotist - no one behaved as I expected them to at all. The cadence of the prose added to this off balance feeling at times, but was in keeping with the story. I found the interaction between Bark and his wife quite puzzling at times. Not that it was a bad thing - I really had no idea where the plot line was going next - there was layer upon layer of plotting. I like not being able to predict an outcome and Kepler kept me on my toes. I look forward to the next book by this duo. I'm sure the bumps will be ironed out by their second offering. The Hypnotist is an international bestseller with rights sold in over 30 countries. It's been on the Globe and Mail bestseller list since it's release. Warning for readers - there are definitely some graphic scenes.
Date published: 2011-08-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good mystery, Ok Read The Hypnotist started off promicing with a disturbing murder and a good mystery, but slowed down as the book continued. A few chapters into the book the authors appear to loose interest in the murder and start a new story line. This one is related to the first, but at times feels like a completly different story. Lucky for this book it really picks up near the end. All the story lines I found boring in the middle of the book come together nicely. If it wasnt for the fast paced, exciting ending, I would have given it a lower review.
Date published: 2011-08-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Thriller!! The end could be better. I really enjoyed this book. It's a great thriller. The chapters are really short, hence they're easy to read. I loved the way the author changes the narrative point every chapter, sometimes he narrates as the doctor, other times as his son.... and so on. This book has a mixed of thriller, suspense, sex, medicine and fun. What else could you want? What I didn't love though was the ending of the book. It lacked a bit more of drama that the firsts chapters really gave.
Date published: 2011-08-10
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Just ok I was actually quite disappointed with this book and annoyed with myself that I paid the hardcover price. The book was touted as being reminiscent of The Shining and Silence of the Lambs, but in the end it was nothing even close to these two books.
Date published: 2011-07-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Decent Mystery I'm not sure what I was expecting when I picked this up but it wasn't what I read. This is a complicated, strange thriller with many plot twists and turns coming at you all the time. I was invested in the characters and wanted to know how it would turn out. The writing style however is a bit stilted, maybe because it's a husband and wife swedish couple writing it, then translated into english.
Date published: 2011-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Name for the book I reallyt enjoyed this book, and cannot wait for another book from this author. It kept me on the edge of my seat as I could not put it down,
Date published: 2011-07-15

Extra Content

Read from the Book

Erik Maria Bark is yanked reluctantly from his dream when the telephone rings. Before he is fully awake, he hears himself say with a smile, “Balloons and streamers.” His heart is pounding from the sudden awakening. Erik has no idea what he meant by these words. The dream is completely gone, as if he had never had it. He fumbles to find the ringing phone, creeping out of the bedroom with it and closing the door behind him to avoid waking Simone. A detective named Joona Linna asks if he is sufficiently awake to absorb important information. His thoughts are still tumbling down into the dark empty space after his dream as he listens. “I’ve heard you’re very skilled in the treatment of acute trauma,” says Linna. “Yes,” says Erik. He swallows a painkiller as he listens. The detective explains that he needs to question a fifteen- year- old boy who has witnessed a double murder and been seriously injured himself. During the night he was moved from the neurological unit in Huddinge to the neurosurgical unit at Karolinska University Hospital in Solna. “What’s his condition?” Erik asks. The detective rapidly summarizes the patient’s status, concluding, “He hasn’t been stabilized. He’s in circulatory shock and unconscious.” “Who’s the doctor in charge?” asks Erik. “Daniella Richards.” “She’s extremely capable. I’m sure she can—” “She was the one who asked me to call you. She needs your help. It’s urgent.” When Erik returns to the bedroom to get his clothes, Simone is lying on her back, looking at him with a strange, empty expression. A strip of light from the streetlamp is shining in between the blinds. “I didn’t mean to wake you,” he says softly. “Who was that?” she asks. “Police . . . a detective . . . I didn’t catch his name.” “What’s it about?” “I have to go to the hospital,” he replies. “They need some help with a boy.” “What time is it, anyway?” She looks at the alarm clock and closes her eyes. He notices the stripes on her freckled shoulders from the creased sheets. “Sleep now, Sixan,” he whispers, calling her by her nickname. Carrying his clothes from the room, Erik dresses quickly in the hall. He catches the flash of a shining blade of steel behind him and turns to see that his son has hung his ice skates on the handle of the front door so he won’t forget them. Despite his hurry, Erik finds the protectors in the closet and slides them over the sharp blades. It’s three o’clock in the morning when Erik gets into his car. Snow falls slowly from the black sky. There is not a breath of wind, and the heavy flakes settle sleepily on the empty street. He turns the key in the ignition, and the music pours in like a soft wave: Miles Davis, “Kind of Blue.” He drives the short distance through the sleeping city, out of Luntmakargatan, along Sveavägen to Norrtull. He catches a glimpse of the waters of Brunnsviken, a large, dark opening behind the snowfall. He slows as he enters the enormous medical complex, maneuvering between Astrid Lindgren’s understaffed hospital and maternity unit, past the radiology and psychiatry departments, to park in his usual place outside the neurosurgical unit. There are only a few cars in the visitors’ lot. The glow of the streetlamps is reflected in the windows of the tall buildings, and blackbirds rustle through the branches of the trees in the darkness. Usually you hear the roar of the superhighway from here, Erik thinks, but not at this time of night. He inserts his pass card, keys in the six- digit code, enters the lobby, takes the elevator to the fifth floor, and walks down the hall. The blue vinyl floors shine like ice, and the corridor smells of antiseptic. Only now does he become aware of his fatigue, following the sudden surge of adrenaline brought on by the call. It had been such a good sleep, he still feels a pleasant aftertaste. He thinks over what the detective told him on the telephone: a boy is admitted to the hospital, bleeding from cuts all over his body, sweating; he doesn’t want to lie down, is restless and extremely thirsty. An attempt is made to question him, but his condition rapidly deteriorates. His level of consciousness declines while at the same time his heart begins to race, and Daniella Richards, the doctor in charge, makes the correct decision not to let the police speak to the patient. Two uniformed cops are standing outside the door of ward N18; Erik senses a certain unease flit across their faces as he approaches. Maybe they’re just tired, he thinks, as he stops in front of them and identifies himself. They glance at his ID, press a button, and the door swings open with a hum. Daniella Richards is making notes on a chart when Erik walks in. As he greets her, he notices the tense lines around her mouth, the muted stress in her movements. “Have some coffee,” she says. “Do we have time?” asks Erik. “I’ve got the bleed in the liver under control,” she replies. A man of about forty- five, dressed in jeans and a black jacket, is thumping the coffee machine. He has tousled blond hair, and his lips are serious, clamped firmly together. Erik thinks maybe this is Daniella’s husband, Magnus. He has never met him; he has only seen a photograph in her office. “Is that your husband?” he asks, waving his hand in the direction of the man. “What?” She looks both amused and surprised. “I thought maybe Magnus had come with you.” “No,” she says, with a laugh.  “I don’t believe you,” teases Erik, starting to walk toward the man. “I’m going to ask him.” Daniella’s cell phone rings and, still laughing, she flips it open, saying, “Stop it, Erik,” before answering, “Daniella Richards.” She listens but hears nothing. “Hello?” She waits a few seconds, then shrugs. “Aloha!” she says ironically and flips the phone shut. Erik has walked over to the blond man. The coffee machine is whirring and hissing. “Have some coffee,” says the man, trying to hand Erik a mug. “No, thanks.” The man smiles, revealing small dimples in his cheeks, and takes a sip himself. “Delicious,” he says, trying once again to force a mug on Erik. “I don’t want any.” The man takes another sip, studying Erik. “Could I borrow your phone?” he asks suddenly. “If that’s okay. I left mine in the car.” “And now you want to borrow mine?” Erik asks stiffly. The blond man nods and looks at him with pale eyes as gray as polished granite. “You can borrow mine again,” says Daniella, who has come up behind Erik. He takes the phone, looks at it, then glances up at her. “I promise you’ll get it back,” he says. “You’re the only one who’s using it anyway,” she jokes. He laughs and moves away. “He must be your husband,” says Erik. “Well, a girl can dream,” she says with a smile, glancing back at the lanky fellow. Suddenly she looks very tired. She’s been rubbing her eyes; a smudge of silver- gray eyeliner smears her cheek. “Shall I have a look at the patient?” asks Erik. “Please.” She nods. “As I’m here anyway,” he hastens to add.“Erik, I really do want your opinion, I’m not at all sure about this one.”From the Hardcover edition.