Saturday, July 9, 2011

Review: The Hypnotist by Lars Keplar

Translated from Swedish by Ann Long
Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Publisher: HarperCollins, 2011

Tumba, Sweden............A triple murder, all the same family. The killer is at large, and it looks as if the elder sister escaped the carnage. But she is missing and it seems only a matter of time until she too is murdered.
Detective Inspector Joona Linna demands to investigate the grisly aftermath - against the wishes of the national police.
Where can Linna begin? The only surviving witness is the boy, Josef, whose family was killed before his eyes, and he's in shutdown, comatose with shock. Obsessed and desperate, Linna turns to disgraced specialist Erik Maria Bark.......the hypnotist.

Lars Keplar is the pseudonym for 'a literary couple who live and write in Sweden'  who,  if you believe the many blurbs splashed inside and outside the covers, have written 'one of the best - if not the best- Scandinavian crime thrillers". Move aside Stieg Larsen, Jo Nesbo and Henning Mankell!!!

Then this morning the Shelf Awareness newsletter has a review that overdoses on superlatives and leaves me doubting my ability to judge a good thriller and wondering if the reviewer and I actually read the same book.

For me The Hypnotist is one of those books that when asked my opinion I'll say 'I enjoyed it but............'

Unlike the aforementioned 'greats' the authors do not use the environment to create a strong Scandinavian atmosphere. I was reminded I was in Sweden only by the increasingly irritating mention of street and placenames that I know I'm not pronouncing correctly and take my mind of the story itself.
The pace is uneven. There are very exciting parts , the suspense built until I was creeping onto the edge of my chair and then the momentum is lost as the book wanders off into long passages about the characters pasts and relationships .

I read it. I liked it. I enjoyed it.
It's a good thriller/suspense but I don't think it's great or 'an international sensation'........ although it looks as though I may be a minority voice with that opinion.

1 comment:

  1. I read another review and added to my wish list , now you have made me say, read more reviews, hmmm.

    Thanks for your honesty.