“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
― William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun

Ended February with another psychological thriller recommended by a friend. The Hypnotist is written by a Swedish husband and wife couple under the pseudonym Lars Kepler. The first half is past paced and has absolutely no pauses that give you a chance to put the book down but the second half is a different pace and a different tone. I was a little baffled by the narrative style.

What starts out as a mass murder of a family turns into the kidnapping of a boy. Detective Joona Linna is the man on the job. He uses an unconventional method – hypnosis to find leads in the mass-murder case. Erik Bark quit hypnotism a decade ago but Joona Linna convinces him to do it just once. As news of this spreads, it opens a can of worms in Erik’s life. Incest, abuse, teenage violence, trauma are woven into the plot. It is gory at times and disgusting at some others. The ending is overly dramatic and reminded me of Bollywood movie endings.


Spoiler Alert!

The mass murder that the book starts with reminded of the term ‘McGuffin’ which is defined as an object or device in a film or a book which serves merely as a trigger for the plot.




2 thoughts on “Last Week of February

  1. I’m surprised you finished it this soon! I have barely finished 50 pages of Dark Places..

    Baffled by narrative style in what sense?

    Totally agree on the part about ending being overly dramatic.. and also predictable. I felt the role hypnosis plays in the plot did not live up to the title of the book. The authors only describe Erik’s memories of hypnotizing his patients but I was expecting much more details about the process of hypnosis itself, rather than the effect it had.. Anyway, it was a fun read since I had been to Stockholm and could connect with the setting of the story.


    1. The first half I read in one go and the second half took me a couple of days.

      The flashback seems oddly placed. I don’t know if the translation takes away from the flow of the novel. And there were too many chapters. There are two or three chapters for the same day, same time which made me go back to check again and again if there was a change in time. Also, for someone not familiar with Sweden, the geography was too specific needed some ‘googling’.

      It was an okayish read overall for me.


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