The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler
The more Scandinavian mysteries and thrillers I read the more I like them. They never seem to head where I think they are going. Which I find wonderful.
A teenaged boy is found stabbed repeatedly, over 100 times, and suffering from blood loss. His father, mother and younger sister have all been murdered. No one knows where his older sister is and the police fear for her life. Detective Inspector Joona Linna calls hypnotist Dr. Erik Maria Bark out of retirement – he can see no other way to retrieve the information from the injured boy’s mind that may save his sister’s life. What they learn from the boy while he is under hypnosis is astounding.
The novel seems to revolve around Dr. Bark and the current incident that makes him break the vow he made ten years previously to never again hypnotize anyone. We learn how hypnotism is a valuable tool for psychologists dealing with victims of trauma, but also how it can be seen as an invasion of privacy on a very deep level. Past and present meet with shocking results.
The next novel in the series The Nightmare was recently released and I am waiting patiently for it. I have to admit I thought that Dr. Bark would be the constant in the series, but it will be DI Linna. The authors (Lars Kepler is a fictitious person, a husband and wife team write the novels – I have seen them speak and they are absolutely charming) didn’t reveal too much about their main character in the first entry of the series. We know that he has the uncanny ability to be right all of the time and he gets obsessed with solving crimes. I am looking forward to getting to know him better.