The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler

The Hypnotist (Joona Linna, #1)

by Lars Kepler


The groundbreaking first novel in the bestselling Joona Linna thriller series.

Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm. Detective Inspector Joona Linna is faced with a boy who witnessed the gruesome murder of his family. He's suffered more than one hundred knife wounds and is comatose with shock.

Linna's running out of time. The police do not want him on the case. The killer's on the run and there are seemingly no clues. Desperate for information, Linna enlists specialist Dr Erik Maria Bark, a hypnotist who vowed never to practise again.

As the hypnosis begins, a long and terrifying chain of events unfurls with reverberations far beyond Linna's case.

Perfect for fans of Jo Nesbo.

Praise for Lars Kepler:

'The thriller that's taking Europe by storm...ferocious, visceral storytelling that wraps you in a cloak of darkness. It's stunning.' Daily Mail

'One of the best - if not the best - Scandinavian crime thrillers I've read.' Red

'All the hallmarks of a classic... this is crime writing at its most devilishly involving.' Marie Claire

'A genuine chiller...commanding and deeply scarifying stuff.' Independent

'Riddled with irresistible, nail-biting suspense, this first-class Scandinavian thriller is one of the best I've ever read.' Australian Women's Weekly

'A rollercoaster ride of a thriller full of striking twists.' Mail on Sunday

'An horrific and original read.' The Sun

'a sulphurous whiff of Hannibal Lecter.' Financial Times

Reviewed by ambiancereads on

3 of 5 stars

Ok I picked this one up because I swear I saw this all over social media recently, but now I can’t remember where I saw it.

first off, some of the language in parts is stilted. Which I think more often than not comes from the translation. It really makes you question, how much changed with translation and whether there are big differences.

Diving in- this book is wild. It can be a bit confusing it does change POVs in several of the chapters. But overall it’s told from the perspective of the Detective Joona Lim and from the Hypnotist Erik Maria Balk as they try to solve the brutal murder of a family. Within the 20 pages - you’re thrown for a loop about the murder. And after 100 pages - you think, ah this is totally solved. WRONG my friend so wrong. Halfway through the book - book takes a turn and focuses on the hypnotist and what he’s going through. I’ll admit I slowed down in this section. The marriage drama drove me a little nuts.

The greatest thing about this book are the small details about the case that slowly unravel. Which I think intensifies the creepiness.

Overall - it was a slower read for me. Took me around two/three days to finish. But It was interesting. I would like to pick up the next one purely if it focuses on Joona. I think he’s the real star here.

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Reading updates

  • Started reading
  • 10 February, 2022: Finished reading
  • 10 February, 2022: Reviewed