Joona Linna Series #1
Authors: Lars Kepler
Published: January 1st 2009
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
Number of Pages: 503
Purchase: Amazon, TBD
In the frigid clime of Tumba, Sweden, a gruesome triple homicide attracts the interest of Detective Inspector Joona Linna, who demands to investigate the murders. The killer is still at large, and there’s only one surviving witness—the boy whose family was killed before his eyes. Whoever committed the crimes wanted this boy to die: he’s suffered more than one hundred knife wounds and lapsed into a state of shock. Desperate for information, Linna sees only one option: 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 has 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.
An international sensation, The Hypnotist is set to appear in thirty-seven countries, and it has landed at the top of bestseller lists wherever it’s been published—in France, Holland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Denmark. Now it’s America’s turn. Combining the addictive power of the Stieg Larsson trilogy with the storytelling drive of The Silence of the Lambs, this adrenaline-drenched thriller is spellbinding from its very first page.
The Hypnotist was an amazing Sweden thriller that has reached the level of Stieg Larsson novels - even if, to be sincere, I can't really make a comparison since I didn't read other Sweden thrillers. But, certainly, this one was great. Fantastic. Amazing. Incredible.
Since the first pages I knew that the strong point of this book was going to be the plot, since the authors' writing style was pretty sterile - even if I do love this kind of writing! The story immediately caught me up since I found it original how police men and doctors used hypnosis as a medical cure and, eventually, also as a weapon to obtain informations.When the revelation of what the case was going to be about, struck, it was impossible not to be dragged by the overflowing connections between past and present. Infact, in the story, Joona Linna and Erik Maria Bark, will be forced to face two difficult cases, the multiple murder of the Ek's family and then the kidnapping of Erik's son, Benjamin.
If there is something that annoyed me a little about the plot is how rapidly the Ek's case had been put down, as soon as Benjamin's case takes over. I would have loved to read more about the Ek's murder - you will discover who it is as soon as you start reading the first 150 pages - because he/she was such a fascinating character, I really have a passion for the mad ones and in this book they were described brilliantly.
What I probably enjoyed most, apart from the story, was the writing style. The thing I first noticed was how slowly the first 150-200 pages went by, the authors were meticulous, they wrote and rewrote the same scenes - that were developed in 3-4 days at the beginning - from all the characters' point of view and - MIRACLE! - I didn't find it boring for a second. It was evident that they tried to increase the tension and it was like they were trying to reflect Erik's feelings: infact, since he was addicted to pills, especially sleeping pills, is like days were passing by slowly, constantly in a state of unconsciousness and sleepiness, but as soon as his personal life got involved, the story proceeded more rapidly. The language was plain, sometimes even harsh, the dialogues simple and immediate, there was no emotion in them because all characters had the vice to keep everything they felt, inside. I thought it was great that in general the book was so direct and plain because it perfectly reflected the beautiful, static, snowy landscapes that were so wonderfully described.
About the film
Speaking of the film, I didn't quite like it, I mean it started well but then it just couldn't keep up to the book. The mystery was so deep, thick, everything was so intertwined, that it was just impossible to put everything in a two hours film. The psycology of the characters, as always, had not been studied, the complexity of Erik's addiction, his familiar relationships and the intricate personality of the Ek's killer and Benjamin's kidnapper, not analysed - Benjamin's kidnapper almost seemed normal in the film! If there was something good in the film was certainly the photography and I also quite liked some of the actors, for example the ones that played Erik and Simone, Erik's wife.