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The Hypnotist (novel)

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Translator  Ann Long
Language  Swedish
Published in English  2011
Author  Lars Kepler
Genre  Crime Fiction
Followed by  The Nightmare
3.6/5 Goodreads

Country  Sweden
Publication date  2009
Originally published  2009
Series  Inspector Joona Linna
Original title  Hypnotisören
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Publisher  Albert Bonniers Förlag (Swedish) Farrar, Straus and Giroux (English)
Similar  Stalker, The Fire Witness, The Nightmare, The Sandman, Joona Linna Crime Se

The Hypnotist (Swedish: Hypnotisören) is a crime novel by the Swedish husband-wife writing team of Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril, published under the name Lars Kepler. It was first published in Sweden in 2009 and translated into English in 2011 by Ann Long. In 2012, it was adapted into a film.



A family is brutally murdered. The only witness to the crime is a badly injured teenage boy, the family's son. After he recovers, investigators are unable to pry sufficient information from his memory of the event to solve the case, so they turn to a hypnotist called Erik Maria Bark, in hopes of finding subconscious-level memories of the incident. But things do not go well, as it suddenly looks like the boy, Josef Ek, had something to do with the crime. Meanwhile, things are shaky at home for the hypnotist. His wife, Simone, still doesn't trust him after he was unfaithful ten years ago, and their son, Benjamin, has a blood disease which forces him to take an injection every morning or risk bleeding to death at the minimum bump.

The case doesn't fall onto Joona Linna's office, but onto some random town police officer who doesn't consider it a priority. So Bark investigates himself. First, he thinks it was Josef who kidnapped Benjamin; then, he thinks it was another patient from many years ago; then, they reach the right conclusion: A demented woman thought that Benjamin was the son she had killed ten years ago, unbeknownst to the police. She became obsessed with Bark and his unfinished therapy group. Joona, Bark and Simone finally find Benjamin hidden in a cottage in the middle of the mountains close to a lake, just in time to save him from the madwoman who is going to "discipline" him, probably causing wounds which would have killed him. The woman tries to run away in a school bus, but it ends up on thin ice. Bark will rescue Benjamin from the drowning bus.

Publishing history

The first English edition (512 pages, hardcover) of The Hypnotist was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2011. The English translation was written by Ann Long.


The Hypnotist (novel) Wikipedia