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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 25 December 2012
Lars Kepler is an amalgam of husband and wife, who add a new dimension to the Scandinavian thriller.

As I write, I have finished 'The Hypnotist, and I am well into 'The Nightmare'. Both have a great attention to detail and character, both build slowly and accelerate, and both are impossible to put down without pain.

We've come to expect a high standard from Scandinavian authors, and these books maintain that standard; these novels rank with Nesbo and Larsson. What I particularly enjoy is the unique worlds created for these tales; they have done their research to take us into areas most of us are foreign to, without overdoing the detail in the tedious way so many writers in English do these days; enough detail to make the world real, but background remains background, and doesn't take over. The story rules.

If you were thinking of buying one of them, chances are you'll save money and time buying both - do it! You'll thank me later ;-)
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I’m not an avid reader of crime fiction, but do enjoy it occasionally, and having read “The Fire Witness” a couple of years ago, I decided to catch up with Lars Kepler’s (or should that actually be Lars Keplers’ given that they are a husband and wife writing team?) earlier work. This double book for Kindle seemed just the thing, incorporating “The Hypnotist” and “The Nightmare”.

Part “police procedural” but mainly in the “psychological thriller” genre, the authors write in very short chapters and principally in the present tense, which creates an atmosphere of immediacy and pace. Of the two novels I preferred the first, or perhaps I should explain that I slightly disliked the second because of the near superhuman capabilities of one of the “baddies”, a hitman whose abilities make James Bond look like a gentleman amateur. The central evidence on which the plot turned, moreover, seemed, as it became clear, to require a rather higher than average willingness to suspend disbelief, but it’s hard to go into this in any detail without being guilty of spoilers. It is all, however, commendably clever all the same.

The first book seemed to me to be perfect: all the principal characters slightly damaged individuals, all struggling to live with and grow out of that damage, and the hero, Joona Linna, Swedish Detective Inspector of Finnish extraction, only slightly less damaged than the villains. I remain a little amazed that Sweden, with its high standard of living (globally the 8th highest income/GDP per capita or thereby) and fabled welfare state, could be a hotbed of quite so much gruesome criminal behaviour, but that just adds to the intrigue.

While the plot is generally quite credible, I did note one or two rather ridiculous moments, for example when Linna takes a shot at 300 yards with his pistol and succeeds, with the second shot, at winging his target. Sorry – just not remotely possible, even discounting the bad light, and all the more crazy since an innocent civilian was standing right beside the target. The translation is pretty good although, please note Laura Wideburg, that you “jimmy” a door with a crowbar, not with a lock pick. Only once or twice did I wonder whether something had been lost in translation – on the whole a book that is highly readable in English.

Very highly recommended, along with books 3 and, so far as I can tell from the Kindle introduction to the 4th, “The Sandman” that one as well. I will however wait until the latter is published on Kindle before I buy it – I much prefer to buy fiction that way. Publishers note: why don’t you publish it in Kindle at the offset, I might even pay you the same price as you’d charge for the hardback? I hate throwing books away, but I don’t have room on my bookshelves for more paperback, let alone hardback fiction.

I say t again - highly recommended.
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on 24 September 2013
I have been reading a lot of Scandinavian crime fiction lately, Stig Larson and Jo Nesbo in particular, and was looking forward to this new author. The plots were potentially good, and I found the lead characters interesting, but the reading experience was let down by the clunking and pedestrian writing style. I don't read Swedish, so don't know whether to hold the author or the translator responsible.
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on 25 June 2014
Read both on holiday and must say I was really hooked maybe a bit blood thirsty, rather a lot of killings but Joona Linna the Hypnotist and the Nightmare were exceptional reads, might be more for male readers than the ladies, sometimes the foreign names get in the way but have read a few of these now and it doesn't bother me. Great stories though I would recommend them. Jokatrina
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on 12 April 2013
Both books: The Hypnotist and Nightmare were highly readable and I found it hard to resist turning the pages. These will not appeal to anyone who does not like blood and gore. Me? I can't wait for Kepler's next which is on order.
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on 13 March 2015
Really enjoy these. Preferred Nightmare to The Hypnotist who wasn't a very sympathetic character. I would have thought he would have been struck off the medical register. Also Joona doesn't figure so prominently.
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on 10 September 2013
I enjoyed the experience of reading both books but found myself wanting the story to come to a conclusion. Great plot, very dark at times, the Nightmare would make a great movie.
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on 12 July 2014
Loved this book, great stories which I read within 5 days, could not put them down. I have now read all Lars Kepler books and will look out for the next book.
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on 22 February 2014
Brilliant books Plot thickens and twists right to the end Love the characters Brilliant description I would recommend to any crime readers
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on 20 January 2014
Starts off slow but once you are hooked then you have to know how it ends. The characters are especially the detective are great.
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