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The Hypnotist Hardcover – Jul 5 2011

3.5 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: McClelland & Stewart; First English Edition edition (July 5 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0771095724
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771095726
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 4 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 726 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #185,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“The summer’s likeliest new Nordic hit.” —Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“One convincing psychotic is about as much as most thriller writers can handle, but Kepler delivers them by the roomful. It makes you wonder where the Swedes have been keeping him/them all this time. I imagine a cabal of nefarious Stockholm publishers loading bulk orders of Larsson onto cargo planes bound for the U.S. while they rub their hands together over a copy of The Hypnotist stamped Not for Export. It’s that good. It’s the hard stuff.” —Lev Grossman, Time

“A worthy addition to the ever-expanding ranks of Scandinavian crime fiction. Expect caffeinated beverages, inclement weather, and severed limbs.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Maximum intensity, both psychological and physical, is packed into [this] story.” —New York

“A gripping series of twists and turns . . . a natural successor to the Stieg Larsson series.” —Parade

“Full of surprises and more than enough twists to keep those pages turning well into the night.” —NPR.com

“A new star enters the firmament of Scandinavian thrillerdom, joining the likes of Larsson, Nesbø and Mankell.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Does the world really need another Swedish thriller? The spellbinding exploits of Detective Inspector Joona Linna and the hypnotist he hires to solve a murder make the answer clear.” —People

“Outrageously entertaining . . . Kepler makes you feel that if homicidal maniacs really were to start popping up in Stockholm, this is exactly how it would play out.” —Laura Miller, Salon.com

“If The Hypnotist doesn't find its way onto every reader's ‘Best Of’ list by the end of the year, it will only be because not everyone read it. Don't be one of the unfortunate few. But put on an extra sweater while you are reading; this one will chill you to the bone.” —Bookreporter.com

“The brutal slaying of gambling addict Anders Ek, his wife, and his younger daughter propels this outstanding thriller debut . . . A well-integrated subplot involving a gang of terrifying boys and girls adds to the suspense. Readers will look forward to seeing more of Linna in what one hopes will be a long series.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Compellingly grisly.” —Megan O’Grady, Vogue

“All the hallmarks of a classic . . . Tense, clever and multilayered . . . This is crime writing at its most devilishly involving.” —Marie Claire (UK)

“This is the thriller that’s taking Europe by storm. Written by a Swedish husband-and-wife team whose identity was originally a closely guarded secret, it might just be the next Girl with the Dragon Tattoo . . . Ferocious, visceral storytelling that wraps you in a cloak of darkness that almost blots out the light, but still feeds the imagination: stunning.” —The Daily Mail (UK)

“If the post-Stieg Larsson boom was ebbing, Kepler promises to revitalize the genre by bringing a sulphurous whiff of Hannibal Lecter to this case . . . It’s a pulse-pounding debut that is already a native smash.” —Financial Times

“Now ranks second only to Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy in terms of worldwide sales for a Swedish author . . . Far more energetic than Henning Mankell, as socially involved as Larsson but a better writer, Kepler matches the great Jo Nesbø for gothic excitement.” —The Australian

“Belongs on every international crime fan’s reading list.” —Booklist

“If you don’t get carried away by this book, the question is whether you like the crime thriller genre at all.” —Børsen (Denmark)

“Brilliant, well-written and very satisfying. A superb thriller.” —De Telegraaf (The Netherlands)

The Hypnotist is a rare beast: a Swedish thriller on a high international level with a smart, effective and surprising plot. The narrative has a skillful, refined, pulsating drive and the writing is sharp, convincing and multilayered.” —Kristianstadsbladet (Sweden)

The Hypnotist is—yes—impossible to put down. The Hypnotist is—yes—ingeniously put together, like a Swiss watch. The Hypnotist is—Yes!—fabulously entertaining, even gruesomely so. But it is also a serious meditation on evil, human weakness, the infinity of the mind, and the capriciousness of fate. My wife stole it from me before I was finished reading it and tore through it. Then I stole it back, to my great pleasure!” —Colin Harrison, author of The Finder

“Soon there will be Stieg Larsson crime fiction people and Lars Kepler crime fiction people. I’m henceforth in the latter camp. The Hypnotist is every bit the equal of the Millennium Trilogy—riveting narrative momentum, fascinatingly grisly forensics, existential Nordic dread. But there’s more: superior prose, no cartoony characters, and beneath all the noir, plenty of old-fashioned heart.” —Kurt Andersen, author of Heyday

About the Author

LARS KEPLER is a pseudonym for a literary couple who live and write in Sweden.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I had my hopes up for this book and was disappointed. The characters and descriptions are simple enough that they offer no challenge, which is the case when you are tired or on a bus ride and want to read mindless junk.

However, as the story progresses there are a series of gratuitously nasty incidents with violent children running amok, domestic battles of an emotional sort, work-related betrayals, and so on.

There is far too much trite negativity in this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Not a great book but certainly a page-turner. If you're squeamish, think twice about reading it - there are a lot of very gruesome scenes. If you loved the Millenium Trilogy as much as I did, you'll be disappointed. The characters are nowhere near as interesting or well developed nor is the story as detailed and interesting.
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By Nicola Mansfield HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on April 30 2013
Format: Paperback
Wow. Wow. Wow. Fantabulantanticous!!! First book in a new Swedish detective crime series has all the ingredients for a major high stakes serial killer thriller mystery story. There are so many related storylines and plots in this horrifying crime that one never knows where the next thing will come from. At first the book seems to be going in the ordinary way of any ordinary mystery and a perp. has been found but... what? only 1/4 of the way into the book... what could possibly happen next? Kepler has oh so much more in store that it is page-turningly impossible to keep up with him. I adored his use of being in the past switching to the present then going back into the immediate past, back and forth until a certain part of the book we need to be immersed into a time period ten years earlier to learn the background that is connected to this present state of affairs. The author manipulates both the multiple time scene changes and multiple cast members with dexterity, never once leaving me feeling dangling. I had a firm grip the whole time and was on the edge of my seat literally from paragraph one. It is hard to tell who the main characters that will follow over into the next volume will be though. Of course DI Joona Linna, but we don't get to know him very well, in this book. We do get to know Dr. Erik Bark much more personally but was he just around for this event or will he be a recurring character. I'd like to see his return. Guess I'll find out soon as "The Nightmare" is coming up soon on my bedtime table. Highly recommended for Scandi-crime fans!
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By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER on April 19 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
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 Hypnotist. 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.
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Format: Hardcover
I highly agree with all the other critics. Instead of putting the book down halfway through, I continued to read because I was curious as to how it was going to end, not because I was genuinely excited about the plot. I was not happy at all to get through pages of irrelevant details and random subplots. However, I'm a patient reader and I never like to not finish a book.

It started off with a bang and then, for two-thirds of the book, subplots got into a mishmash and characters became aggravating because they were not intelligent and realistic enough to relate to. I won't share any spoilers (not that it matters anyway, because I am trying to convince you to not buy/read the book) but it's like watching or reading about a character who sees the dark forest and knows that there might be something dangerous out there but he goes out there anyway. You're sitting there, yelling at him to not go into the forest and how stupid he is for going into the forest.

That's how I felt throughout the book.

I am a huge fan of thrillers... books, movies and TV shows, and it bugs me how the main detective, Joona Linna, easily obtains info on suspects from the police station and drives around town, finding all the suspected individuals with ease. Everyone seems to be at home for Linna to interrogate so I guess he is just some lucky detective! The lack of challenge of being the head detective contradicts with the reputation of the police force, as it was depicted as disorganized and irresponsible in several parts of the book. Linna's one-liner throughout the book was just a nuisance.

Comparing this book to Stieg Larsson is an insult to his work. Larsson was an incredible writer.
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