Crime Fiction (View all)
"Like fire. Exactly like fire." These are the first words the boy utters under hypnosis. These are the words that open the doors of the nightmare in this chilling psychological thriller. When a family is brutally murdered in Stockholm, there is only one surviving witness to the attack: the fifteen-year-old son, Josef Ek. With Josef seriously injured in hospital and in no condition to be questioned, Detective Inspector Joona Linna knows there is only one person who can help find the perpetrator in these extreme circumstances. Erik Maria Bark, a retired hypnotist, is called in to discover what the boy saw. Following a series of accusations by his patients, Erik is reluctant to return to his craft but he makes an exception for Josef Ek, believing that in doing so he may save the life of Josefa??s older sister Evelyn. As he breaks his own vow and delves deep into the boya??s mind, the shocking discovery he makes is much worse than he could possibly have imagined. And when his own family is threatened, Erik is forced to revisit his own terrifying past to uncover the truth.
For once, the publicity on the back of this terrific piece of Swedish crime writing has got it pretty much spot on; it really does have “the propulsive power of Stieg Larsson, the psychological edge of Henning Mankell, and the compelling darkness of Jo Nesbo”: I simply couldn’t put it down for two days! It is clever in another way too, for Lars Kepler is actually a pseudonym for a literary couple, and I find that when a book is written by several authors it can often be a bit stolid, but that is certainly not the case here; the writing is sleek, flowing very naturally and easily from start to finish. When the only witness of the brutal murder of his family is left in a critical condition, Erik Maria Bark, a specialist skilled in the treatment of acute trauma, is called in to assist the police. After becoming convinced that it is imperative, Bark, who retired from this branch of his craft ten years ago in questionable circumstances, is finally persuaded to use hypnosis in an attempt to discover what the boy saw. The shocking discovery he makes sets in motion a series of catastrophic events which eventually threaten his own family. The plot is very exciting, the dialogue excellent, and I just adored the laconic detective who is always right, and likes nothing better than to tell you so. If you enjoy quality crime writing, you must look out for this one in May. But don’t worry. I’ll remind you; it’s fantastic!
“One of the best crime novels I have ever sacrificed a good night’s sleep for.” Taken from the front cover of this book, I can certainly agree, as the hours just whizzed by while I was completely engrossed in this fast paced and thrilling read. I was guilty of turning my bedside lamp back on after half an hour or so of trying to get to sleep, wanting desperately to know what happened next, another chapter or two begging to be read. Erik Bark, a former renowned hypnotist, is persuaded by DI Joona Linna, with the approval of Dr Daniella Richards, to use hypnosis on a badly traumatized and injured boy who is the only witness to the murder of his family. Erik’s decision, after vowing 10 years ago never to use hypnosis again, has the most catastrophic consequences and puts his family in real and unimagined danger. A hugely satisfying read!
From the very first page this Swedish thriller has you totally engrossed. Three members of a family are brutally murdered, and their fifteen year old son Josef is in hospital in a coma, with multiple stab wounds. DI Joona Linna needs the help of psychiatrist Dr Eric Maria Bark. He feels that by hypnotizing Josef, they may be able to find a motive. However Eric gave up this practice ten years earlier under controversial circumstances, and vowed not to do it again. He eventually agrees, but by doing so sets in motion a terrifying chain of events that soon puts his family in extreme danger. Eric has to confront his own past, and when his own son is kidnapped, must find a way, with the help of Joona, of protecting his family. This is quite violent and graphic, but has an outstanding plot, with great characters and is full of twists and turns.