Author: Lars Kepler
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: May 2011
Like fire. Exactly like fire." These are the first words the boy utters under hypnosis. These are the words that open the doors of the nightmare in this chilling psychological thriller.
When a family is brutally murdered in Stockholm, there is only one surviving witness to the attack: the fifteen-year-old son, Josef Ek. With Josef seriously injured in hospital and in no condition to be questioned, Detective Inspector Joona Linna knows there is only one person who can help find the perpetrator in these extreme circumstances. Erik Maria Bark, a retired hypnotist, is called in to discover what the boy saw.
Following a series of accusations by his patients, Erik is reluctant to return to his craft but he makes an exception for Josef Ek, believing that in doing so he may save the life of Josef′s older sister Evelyn. As he breaks his own vow and delves deep into the boy′s mind, the shocking discovery he makes is much worse than he could possibly have imagined. And when his own family is threatened, Erik is forced to revisit his own terrifying past to uncover the truth.
The Hypnotist starts out with enough brutal killing for any die hard fan of graphic, sadistic slayings. The scene is horribly vivid as the bodies of four members of a family, one a very young child, are found slashed and literally in pieces. A survivor, 15 year old, Josef Ek, found at the scene, is hanging on by a thread. His injuries are so life threatening that when hospitalized, staff call in Erik Maria Bark, a hypnotist, to see if he can obtain information that would help police identify the attacker. This to prevent the killer finishing off Josef and the only other surviving member of the family, his sister, Evelyn, not living home at the time of the murders.
This novel is a great thriller if you like thrillers set with an international backdrop. If you have been in Sweden then it is of course much easier to follow and to imagine how the events unfold and how the characters truly fit to Swedish society.
Detective Inspector Joona Linna is the leading character. A family has been brutally slaughtered (mother, father and a little girl), and there is only one surviving witness: a boy whose family was killed and he witnessed the killing. The boy is now in danger because the killer needs to kill the boy because he saw what happened. The boy had over a hundred knife wounds but survived. Joona Linna wants to try hypnotism with his only witness to discover the killer.
This novel is very violent including physical and psychological abuse, revenge, gang violence, and so on. If you don't like violence being describe so much then this is not the right book for you.