This was a very difficult book because of the lack of a hero and the incredible evil that is portrayed in everyone. From ax murderers, child rapists, philanderers, and sadists, this is book contains the vilest, most dislikable characters I have ever encountered. I am not sure why such a book would be written. Do not recommend unless you want to experience the worst of the human spirit.
I listen to a bit of everything. Mostly Fantasy and paranormal romance with my wife. Along with mysteries/thrillers, even some sci-fi.
Lars Keplar no because his characters are very adolecent, i.e. the main character calling people to say "I told you so" is really childish, and not something I'd expect from a police detective. Even the supporting cast was bland and very childish and not very smart. I would preview Mark Bramhall's reading before getting another novel from him to see how he reads. If his accent becomes annoying then I would not listen to him read another novel.
No, I still enjoy the Nordic Noire/ crime fiction novels a la the Millenium Trilogy, Preston and Child's Pendergast series, and I'm looking forward to trying the Jo Nesb0 books.
The fake Swedish accent drove me up the wall, and the way he pronounced Benjamin as Ben ya mean grated on my nerves.
Anger, mostly because the characters are dumb. Dr. Bark is asked one time if anyone hates him, and he says no, but then later he's like OH yeah there's this whole group of patients that probably hate me. How could you not remember that, since they were the basis of your research for years.
There's a good mystery here, but the narration is poor and the characters are poor that the good mystery with some solid red herrings to throw you off, do not make up for the shoddiness of the storytelling.
I also think there might be some issues with the translation where things weren't fully fleshed out and were mistranslated, or translated word for word and not put into English context. For example, everyone shakes their head for either YES or NO, no one nods etc.
Everything, except for the very beginning. After that it became totally disjointed, stupid, grizzly and pointless. Pure junk.
He was excellent, but wasted talent on this book.
I'm a corporate training consultant and adjunct professor who loves to read! I'm always looking for the next big thing.
I had so many problems with this story that it's really hard to know where to begin. Let's start with the narrator (because he was probably the least of my problems). While I don't think that Mark Bramhall is a bad narrator, I don't feel as if he did a very convincing job of distinguishing many of the voices. I would have been happier had he not bothered to try various voices for the characters. Honestly, I don't know if it was entirely his fault because the characters are just so poorly written and poorly developed.
The two main characters, the hypnotist and the detective, seemed almost interchangeable at times. I found it a challenge to know who was doing what and why it was that character who was doing it. In my opinion, this book should not have had two main characters; one of them was unnecessary. (Even the author(s) seem to believe that this is the case because they introduced a secondary character who was a former detective. That character could have done much of the work of the main detective character--and it would have made the story a lot less convoluted.)
One of the reasons for this tug-of-war among the main characters could be because of the authors. I didn't know it before I read the book; however, I have subsequently learned that Lars Kepler is a pseudonym. The book was actually written by a Swedish couple. Having dual authors is not something new in the literary world; however, this couple could not pull it off with any semblance of cohesion.
As if the characters were not enough to disappoint me, the story itself was just a mess. It begins with a gruesome murder. This is how the detective, Joona Linna, is introduced. There is only one survivor of the murder; however, he's a young boy in serious condition from the attack. Because of this, the hypnotist, Erick Maria Bark, must be contacted to try to reach the boy through hypnosis in the hope of catching the murderer. I had thought that this would set up the rest of the story; however, I was wrong. While this particular storyline serves as a bit of a distraction from the main story, it is never truly resolved. (That lack of resolution truly bothered me.)
The main story is about the kidnapping of the hypnotist's son, Benjamin. By the end of the story, the final reasons for the kidnapping are incredibly weak. In order to arrive at the end, the reader must endure several bizarre elements of the hypnotist's life (and the detective's life--to a lesser extent). For example, there is an extremely long portion of the book devoted to one of the hypnotist's patients from a long time ago. In the end, that patient had nothing to do with the story. In addition, there is a significant part of the story that is dedicated to a teenage Pokemon crime ring. Yes, really.
I would not recommend this book at all, and I will surely not be reading any other books by this Swedish couple.
Interesting complex mystery. Lots of depth, great writing, and a unusual story. The main characters where not that likeable in that they all felt tired, frustrated, and a bit bored with their lives. The story was also a bit long. Finally it's fun to read about people in another country like Sweden that on one hand is a lot like us and in other ways a lot different. Interesting mystery and nice listen despite few weak points.
I usually enjoy the dark atmospheric Scandinavian thrillers but this was too long and drawn out and I wished it would end sooner.
Yes if you love thrillers and mysteries I'd recommend this book.
Yes the plot kept me on edge wondering how the story would turn out.
The story ideas were very freaky. I couldn't stop thinking about what was happening.
It was really a great story. Well-written and satisfying.
Mr. Kepler is great about building the story from beginning to end. The end was actually an end - I love that!
The longsuffering hypnotist himself. Persecuted by everyone and hanging on.
What the book made me do is listen to it from beginning to end. I never do that. I just HAD to know what happened. I only put it up when I was forced to do other things. The ending was very satisfactory. I hate it when they leave me hanging - no hanging here!
I could have done without the sex scenes. Seems like they were stuck in there in a movie script sort of way. Felt gratuitous and unnecessary. The semi-rape scene in particular, while maybe serving a (vague) purpose to the story, was very praying mantis-y and kind of gross.
I just found out that "Lars Kepler" is a husband and wife team. I hope they continue to write fiction. This book was so good!
Listening to Mark read the book is one of the best parts of the book! His accent is perfect and listening to him pronounce all of the Swedish places and names is one of the best parts of the book! I hope he narrates the next one -- I can't wait for it to come out!
Wow. If I could give this book more than five stars I would. This is one of the best books I've heard on Audible. Plenty of suspense, twists and turns, plots and subplots. Gripping story, told wonderfully by the author. This is a very talented author. I can't wait to see if his other books are as good. Narrator gave a solid performance and definitely did not distract from the story at all.
If you like detective stories, this one will not disappoint.