Book Review: The Hypnotist

(Joona Linna #1)
07.31.2018 (first published 2009) | Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
Rating: 5/5 stars


Detective Joona Linna has just been assigned to a gruesome triple homicide. The only surviving witness is the young boy who just watched his family be killed before his eyes. He’s now in a catatonic state and suffering from a multitude of stab wounds. Desperate times call for desperate measures and Joona Linna finds himself without a trail to follow if he can’t speak to the boy. Joona decides to enlist the assistance of Dr. Erik Maria Bark to hypnotize the boy to uncover the truth of what happened to his family. What unfolds is a terrifying chain of events that will put the lives of those involved in danger.


The Joona Linna series has been recommended to me countless times since the new translations started being released in America. I’ve been putting it off so that I could read them in order even though I’ve been told by multiple people this isn’t necessary. WOW! Okay, so everyone was definitely correct that these books are a must read for any crime fiction fan! 

Lars Kepler is a pseudonym for a husband and wife writing duo. Together they have created a dark and mysterious series starting with THE HYPNOTIST. The main character Joona Linna, is an incredibly driven protagonist and detective. I love how Joona doesn’t let anyone tell him no and he’s fully focused on doing whatever needs to be done to solve the case at hand. Joona is definitely a bit cocky in his attitude, but he has the skills to back it up.


My favorite aspect of THE HYPNOTIST was how intricate and well thought out the case was. You open the book thinking it’s going to be a straightforward story, but it’s anything but that. Honestly, around the 100 page mark I was thinking that another case must fill the rest of the pages because I didn’t see how they could stretch this for another almost 500 pages. Well surprise, surprise! Lars Kepler has truly thought of everything and how to weave every character together in ways you don’t expect. 

THE HYPNOTIST is the perfect read for lovers of crime fiction, Nordic noir, and mysteries. While I wouldn’t necessarily categorize this book as a thriller, I will say that it was filled with a lot of heart pounding moments that keep you glued to the pages. This is definitely a series you want to have on your radar!

This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

One thought on “Book Review: The Hypnotist

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s