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Publisher's Summary

An international sensation, The Hypnotist is set to appear in 37 countries, and it has landed at the top of best-seller lists wherever it’s been published—in France, Holland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Denmark. Now it’s America’s turn. Combining the addictive power of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy with the storytelling drive of The Silence of the Lambs, this adrenaline-drenched thriller is spellbinding from its very first minute.

Tumba, Sweden. A triple homicide—all the victims from the same family—captivates Detective Inspector Joona Linna, who demands to investigate the grisly murders, against the wishes of the national police. The killer is at large, and it appears that the elder sister of the family escaped the carnage; it seems only a matter of time until she, too, is murdered.

But where can Linna begin? The only surviving witness is the boy whose mother, father, and little sister were killed before his eyes. Whoever committed the crimes intended for this boy to die: he has suffered more than 100 knife wounds and lapsed into a state of shock. He’s in no condition to be questioned.

Desperate for information, Linna sees one mode of recourse: 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 had 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.

A number-one best-selling international sensation sure to please fans of Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell, The Hypnotist is the first novel in a series. With its pulse-pounding hooks and twists, it announces a stirring new contribution to the annals of crime fiction.

©2009 Lars Kepler (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Soon there will be Stieg Larsson crime fiction people and Lars Kepler crime fiction people: I’m hereby in the latter camp.” (Kurt Andersen, New York Times best-selling author)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
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  • Roger
  • Brooklyn, NY, United States
  • 04-19-12

Another psycho twisty mystery

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

If you like mysteries, absolutely check out the unique voice and the encrypted mystery/events at the heart of this chilling detective story.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes, it kept unfolding into new areas of discovery, so you could never predict the direction of the next surprise.

What three words best describe Mark Bramhall’s voice?

steady, raspy, quality

Could you see The Hypnotist being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Not sure about this...

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Wow. What a read!

This is one of the best horrer mystery stories I have ever read. It involves a psychiatric hypnotist and his family . It unfolds creating great curiosity about what could possibly happen next. The characters are very vivid and the action supurb. This will go on my "read again" list.

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Couldn't finish this book.

I couldn't finish this book. The main characters are mawkishly drawn, oozing feeling that doesn't cohere or compute. The big flashback seemed structurally maladroit, and that's where I checked out. The detective is worth following, but the story loses him while the others whine endlessly and fecklessly.

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  • Ellen
  • Boone, NC, United States
  • 11-28-11

Creepy and unsatisfying

I found all the characters in this mystery to be flat and unlikeable and the storyline unrealistic and unnecessarily yucky. It seems to be one of those mysteries written with the movie screen in mind; who knows, it might make a better film than a book if the actors could make the characters come to life a little.

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  • darswords
  • Christmas Valley, Oregon, United States
  • 11-12-11

GRIPPING!

Wow! I am so excited at having won this book. I won the paperback ARC from First-Reads on GoodReads. I am looking forward to reading it, even if it seems a little more bloody than my usual wimpy fair. Thank you!

* * * (Several months later, when I finally had the nerve, and the need to escape NaNoWriMo):

GRIPPING! From the minute I started reading, I couldn't stop. I did at one point have to go to sleep. It is the kind of book that once it was bedtime and I knew I couldn't finish within the hour, I had to find a lighter book to fall to sleep with. Once awake this morning I knew I couldn't leave my room until I finished.

No, as I stated up at the top, this isn't my kind of novel. Blood and gore is involved. Not that I mind blood. I just don't like someone causing bleeding without a surgeon involved helping heal the person who's bleeding.

"Lars Kepler is a pseudonym for a literary couple who live in Sweden." They built a fascinating story. There are so many threads of subplots branching out. About the time you think it should all be finished, and you take a deep breath, you find you have barely passed the middle of the book.

I am still panting, but do feel the all the threads resolved. A well-done story. Kudos to the authors.

Oh, I listened to the Audible version while reading the Advanced Reader's Copy. That made it easier on my eyes. The narrator, Mark Bramhall, was excellent!

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  • Wendi
  • Fresno, CA, United States
  • 10-23-11

Heart-pounding thrills

This was a spell-binding tale, but, sadly, too many loose threads were left for perfection. Great performance, good story, lots of tension and twists, but I would have liked more answers at the end. I hope the authors resurrect the characters in another novel, they are worthy of a longer life.

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tedious listening

The idea of using a hypnotist to assist in solving a murder is a great idea for a mystery but the narrator has a very monotone voice that puts me to sleep. Plus the story isn't told in a chronological method so at times it is confusing. I often have to go back and listen to a chapter over again. I probably would not purchase another book by this author. I am still trying to get through it.

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Riveting Psychological Character-Built Thriller

What made the experience of listening to The Hypnotist the most enjoyable?

The characters come to life immediately. There is no over-writing here. No extra words. It is as spare as the Scandinavian landscape, but rich in emotion. And the narration is perfect, foreboding and sonorous with all of the characters easily distinguished just by the tone of voice. Bramhall's voice is deep as the ocean, actually the perfect voice for a hypnotist, calm and reassuring which is especially effective given the bizarre turns of plot, and in fact this book is mesmerizing. You will be hypnotized along with the patients. Also Bramhall pauses at all the right moments. You don't have to scroll back to figure out what's going on, you know what's going on, and yet each moment is completely new and unpredictable.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Hypnotist?

There are almost too many to choose from, but I would say that the group therapy session the hypnotist conducts with his patients was one of the scariest scenes I have ever come across in a book--and this wasn't even the climax! If you ever thought about becoming a therapist, this scene would make you very glad you chose a different path. At this point, you start to realize what this poor therapist has gotten himself into.

Which character – as performed by Mark Bramhall – was your favorite?

I loved all of the patients -- they are so absolutely nutty that they're both scary and funny.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Oh yes, I had to discipline myself. I listen to books while working out and i lost a lot of weight during this one.

Any additional comments?

Best book I've listened to since Stieg Larson's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Like Mikhail, the journalist in that book, the hypnotist here is the only person looking for the truth and the only one capable of finding it. Just when you think things couldn't get any worse, they get worse. Delicious!

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  • Daryl
  • United States
  • 09-20-11

don't recommend

The author has a sordid imagination: preoccupation with violent murder, sexual abuse.

Life is too short to fill your mind with this.

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  • S.
  • 08-21-11

Please no more ~

I simply could not finish the book - I made it to Chapter 36 and pulled the plub. There isn't a character to care about (good or bad), the writing is mediocre, the pace is like watching paint dry, and while I have enjoyed this performer's work previously ("DOC" is fantastic), even he can't save this book.