The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler (Blue Door)
Shamed hypnotist Erik Maria Bark is asked to help when a triple homicide takes place; leaving everyone in the family dead, except the youngest boy and the eldest sister. The former is severely injured and lying in hospital and the latter missing and potentially in danger or a danger to the boy.
Against the wishes of the Swedish Criminal Investigation Department, Detective Joona (yup, it's Joona, not Joanna) Linna demands to tackle the case.
The murder that took place is of a particularly gruesome nature, and the boy who is brutally injured as a result, is lying in hospital in a state of severe shock with multiple vicious wounds all over his body.
The chain of events that unfurl are nothing short of petrifying and forces Erik to go back into a world he thought long forgotten.
I'm not normally a fan of Swedish crime fiction or translated books for that matter, but Lars Kepler's The Hypnotist has got to be one of the creepiest crime thrillers I've read in a long time.
The power of this novel lies in the fact that the writing is so crisp, stark and understated, it makes the events that unfold seem all the more chilling for it.
It's creeptastically atmospheric and one of those books that will leave you questioning every single turn of events. Nothing is carved in black and white and one seemingly random event forces you to re-evaluate your thought processes even while you're sitting on the edge of the seat, too frightened to continue.
Like Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, you will probably either love or hate this book, but one thing you certainly won't be, is indifferent to it.
It's not a perfectly written book, but if you can get past the lost in translation bits (because there were moments you could sense that there were things that were missing), then you'll find an excellent psychological crime thriller that will keep you up all night; not to mention the fascinating characters, who will have you either rooting for them or being outright repulsed by them.
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