Book Review – “The Hypnotist”

The Hypnotist, Lars Kepler (audio)
originally published: 2009
translated from Swedish: June 2011
finished: 16 November 2011

I loved the Stieg Larsson books. Enjoyed reading them, enjoyed the movies – all of it. When a friend of mine suggested that I read this one (listen really) I jumped at the chance. I was hoping to get another great Swedish mystery that would keep me hanging to the very last page. What I’m left with is the same sort of feeling I get when I eat too many cookies. Slightly sick to my stomach and disbelief that I finished all of them.

I hated most of the characters in this book. The main one, Joona Linna, who is the police officer at the center of it, was at least palatable. No so for everyone else. Each member of the family featured is self-centered and whiney beyond redemption. The wife is ridiculously shrill, the husband is a pill-popping narcissist, and the teenage son is overly dramatic and spoiled. By the end I was hoping the bad guys would get them all.

Why did I finish? The bones of the story were good, although I did figure out “who done it” long before the big reveal. I was also trapped in the “maybe it will get better” vortex. I kept thinking, “everyone likes it so much, it must get good”. Wrong.

Don’t waste your time. I listened to it on my commute into work, so I don’t feel too bad. If I had actually bought the book and spent time reading it, I would have felt very cheated. I don’t even like Joona enough to want to listen to the next one. 

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