So I’ve been away from this review writing business for a while I know, but I’m back.  I have every intention of writing reviews for Cap. America and the George RR Martin Song of Ice Fire series and few others.  However I have started to read The Hypnotist by Lars Sendak, and it’s friggin’ good so far, so I have decided to use it as my foot [back into] the door of review writing.

Lars Sendak is apparently the pen name for a Swedish married couple who are “writers in their own right” who when decided to co-author a novel together created a name to enhance the novelty of joining forces.  The book; The Hypnotist.  The novels chapters are broken up by Date and time of day.  That is not say that it is always chronological, some “chapters” are the day prior than the one you just read, but from a different characters POV.  Also, each day can have three “afternoons” or “evening” depending upon how many point of view for that particular day you need to follow.  It took me a few chapters to get used to this but you catch on pretty quick.  The trick is to actually read the chapter titles.  I have a horrible habit (and I’m sure I’m not the only one) of not really reading chapter headings; I mean come on, they are generally just numbered breaks.  Some times books may have chapter breakdowns of Place and time, as this one does, but after a while you just get used to where each character is.  It’s, for me anyway, only really involved political thrillers that take place in different locales that eventually converge on one – another that I pay attention to chapter breaks.*

The story initially concerns itself with Erik and Joona.  Erik is a psychiatrist with training in both psychotherapy and hypnotism who specializes in acute trauma.  Joona is a detective who has taken the lead in a revolting case that involves an entire family brutally murdered in a most heinous fashion.  Joona calls Erik in to hypnotize the one son [Joseph], who despite the intense damage to his body, is barely alive and may have information needed to save his sister who was not home at the time of the slaying.  Erik has promised never to hypnotize anyone again, ten years ago something happened; what we don’t know yet.

The novel follows both Joon, Erik, his wife and son; their lives, secrets and ultimately the investigation and what ensues from Eriks initial hypnotic session with Joseph. I was enthralled with the concept and really enjoyed the first hundred pages.  I had some issues concerning the police procedural aspect [don’t worry – no spoilers] such as “why aren’t they investigating friends and neighbors concerning issues that come to light”?  Then I hit page 170, and it’s now a roller coaster ride and I don’t care anymore!

Update : Finished the book and overall I did it enjoy it.  It was not a waste of time, however I found myself wishing the authors had focused a little more on certain aspects of the story rather than others.  The twists and turns, history and character development were really intriguing.  However much to my dismay the story developments went away from the elements that I felt were the most interesting.  Maybe if the authors had separated the stories into two novels, it would have worked better.

That all said, it is a novel worth reading.  I enjoyed most of the writing, there was an amount of repetitiveness in information.  This could be an issue with the translation, the confusion that may stem from co-authoring for the first time ( I do not see this issue w/ Lincoln & Child), or simply poor writing/editing, I’m not sure.  Some of the repetition was an interesting way of seeing different POV’s but some of it was simply … simply repeating.  The characters were most certainly interesting and the authors viewpoint of violence (and most of all, who commits all this violence) is the best part of this narrative.

* Truth be told the recent Song of Ice and Fire novels have made me pay attention more and more to chapter break titles due to the fact that they are all POV of different characters and the sheer number of characters had me scratching my head … a lot!.

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