The Hypnotist (2009) – Lars Kepler


It’s been a while since I talked about something I’ve read, and i really want to start making that a regular habit, no matter what I read, and I read a lot!

This novel, The Hypnotist, did something a book hasn’t done for me in a long time, filled me with dread and I couldn’t stop reading.

To be clear though, I wasn’t hooked from the off. I was reading it on my Kindle and was ok with it, but not quite hooked, but right around the 30% mark, I realized I was totally wrapped up in the stories and characters and simply had to know what was going to happen next.

This is a brilliantly crafted and tense crime thriller, set in Sweden, and written by the husband and wife writing team of Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Ahndoril under the collaborative pen name Lars Kepler.

Homicide Detective Joona Linna is called in when a man`s body is found in one location, brutally murdered, while his family at home have been slaughtered. The only possible clue to track down a missing daughter is a sole survivor, the son, covered in lacerations and apparently suffering from shock, he is unable to provide any clues to aid in the case.


When doctor Erik Maria Bark is called in to help, he is ordered, breaking a decade old promise, to hypnotize the boy to hopefully find a clue as to where the missing girl is, and perhaps who committed this crime…


The answers are terrifying, and simply a leaping off point for the rest of the novel, which once I was into it, was simply and completely engrossing. Everything becomes personal very quick, when Erik`s own son is kidnapped, and the hunt for the vicious and frightening murderer continues.

Joona, despite getting top billing as there is a trilogy of novels so far featuring the character, is not the main character of the book, Erik, the hypnotist, is very much center stage, foibles, flaws family problems and all.

The authors have crafted a novel that is frightening, incredibly dark, and completely (once you get to the real hook) enthralling. The pacing, the characters, the revelations, the red herrings, all of them combine to form a compulsive read that takes you, the reader, and the characters to some dark places in the human psyche and soul, and I am eager to find time to read the other two novels that make up the series so far.

With the subject matter that comes up in these books, they aren`t going to be for everyone, if however, you were a fan of the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series, this one may in fact be the next book you`ll want to read.

I was completely blown away by how much I enjoyed this book, and the characters at work within its pages.

I`m looking forward to sharing my other reads with you as I finish them…

Have you read this one? Will you be seeing the movies when they come out? What’s your favorite kind of thriller to read?

The Hypnotist, and its companion books in the series The Nightmare, and The Fire Witness are all available now!!


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