Hypnotic tale leads you to future through the past
From reading the blurb on the back of The Hypnotist, you think you are about to jump into a complex murder case where a hypnotist is the only one who can get the answers needed.
But the triple-murder inside is really only included to introduce characters.
Before you even reach the 100-page mark, the murderer is uncovered and it’s not obvious where the story is going next.
The titular hypnotist is Erik Maria Bark, who returns to using hypnosis 10 years after his reputation was ruined by a scandal. People from Erik’s past come back to haunt him and his family, including his only child, Benjamin.
This novel takes us through graphic murders, intimate relationships and into a backstory that shapes the future.
I found The Hypnotist to be very inviting at the beginning.
The tension is high and there is a lot of excitement.
This settled as the murderer was found, and I wondered where Kepler was taking me next.
Dipping into the past didn’t seem to have a point, until later on.
While learning about Erik’s past, I wondered how things contributed to the story, trying to work out the culprit before the story revealed it.
It was harder than expected as the story held many twists and turns, leading each suspect to a dead end – quite literally for some of them. 1/2
Review by Nicole Baxter.
Kyle Mewburn and Harriet Bailey – Hester & Lester (Random House) Imagination is the core ingredient for most children’s stories, and is the central theme of Hester & Lester, about a sister who encourages her bored little brother to believe that he isn’t just sitting amongst some trees, but is ruler of a glorious kingdom populated by colourful bugs and sparkling treasures.
Mewburn is a well-regarded picture book scribe, and his words here crackle and pop with enthusiasm, and refreshingly don’t rely on much rhyme, but the real attraction is Harriet Bailey’s pictures.
Each page is a splash of colour and creativity as Bailey joyfully juxtaposes Hester and Lester’s imagined realm against pictures of the blander but no less beautiful reality.
I’m not sure whether it was intentional, but I found some of the kids’ actions offer a nod to the classic poses of Where The Wild Things Are, and there are a lot of little details in the artwork that are fun to point out – or get pointed to – with young readers.
Though most of the words and the central theme were likely lost on my 20-month-old son, it didn’t stop him from wanting to look at the pictures four times in one day.
Review by Matthew Dallas.
Lars Kepler – The Hypnotist (Blue Door)