Thursday, August 19, 2010

Review: The Hypnotist

Summary: An FBI agent, tormented by a death he wasn't able to prevent, a crime he's never been able to solve and a love he's never forgotten, discovers that his true conflict resides not in his past, but in a…Past Life.

Haunted by a twenty-year-old murder of a beautiful young painter, Lucian Glass keeps his demons at bay through his fascinating work as a Special Agent with the FBI's Art Crime Team. Currently investigating a crazed art collector who has begun destroying prized masterworks, Glass is thrust into a bizarre hostage negotiation that takes him undercover at the Phoenix Foundation—dedicated to the science of past-life study—where, in order to maintain his cover, he agrees to submit to the treatment of a hypnotist.

Under hypnosis, Glass travels from ancient Greece to nineteenth-century Persia, while the case takes him from New York to Paris and the movie capital of the world. These journeys will change his very understanding of reality, lead him to question his own sanity and land him at the center of perhaps the most audacious art heist in history: the theft of a 1,500-year-old sculpture from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

International bestselling author M. J. Rose's The Hypnotist is her most mesmerizing novel yet. An adventure, a love story, a clash of cultures, a spiritual quest, it is above all a thrilling capstone to her unique Reincarnationist novels, The Reincarnationist and The Memorist. -- Mira

About two years ago, I discovered The Reincarnationist series by M.J. Rose when I read THE REINCARNATIONIST (my review) for my book club. My entire book club appreciated the book and thoroughly enjoyed our author chat with Ms. Rose. She definitely gained some fans and a few of us anxiously await the releases of the new books each year.

So, last year I read the second novel in the series, THE MEMORIST (my review), and I liked it even more than THE REINCARNATIONIST! I don't know if the book was actually a "better" story (although I personally enjoyed it more), but I do know that my appreciation of the series as a whole increased. I just really like how the author uses a few of the same characters and story lines in the books for continuity, yet she creates an entirely new concept with each novel.

So fast forward another year, and the third book in the Reincarnationist series THE HYPNOTIST was released. Needless to say, I couldn't wait to read it! I'm happy to say that I did enjoy this book very much and I wasn't disappointed. The book contained all of the things that I've come to appreciate in the last two novels; however, it also had much to offer on its own. This book was filled with suspense and I just loved how Ms. Rose tied together all of the characters in both their present day lives and their past ones.

One thing that I really liked about this book was the pacing -- it was very fast paced and perfect for a thriller. Ms. Rose wrote the book in relatively short chapters which kept me intrigued and anxious to keep turning the pages. In addition, the book had multiple story lines going on at once and the story traveled back and forth between the present and the past as well as between Persia, ancient Greece, Paris and New York. As I'm writing this, I realize that it sounds a little confusing, but I promise it isn't! I guess that's a credit to Ms. Rose for being able to juggle all of these details and keep the reader engrossed.

In this third book in the series, there was a focus on hypnotism -- thus the title! I admit that I'm very intrigued by hypnotism and how it is used to help individuals. I enjoyed seeing it used in this book to tie in the reincarnation angle. It's definitely an interesting concept and I think Ms. Rose did a great job with her research. She presented a lot of information in a very believable way.

THE HYPNOTIST had some fantastic characters! I don't know if they were necessarily any "better" than the characters in prior novels, but I found myself really liking Lucien. He was carrying so much pain and guilt for almost twenty years because of a crime that he couldn't prevent, and I found his character to be extremely complex. I appreciated not only his drive to solve crimes (probably an attempt to reconcile his ineffectiveness), but I also enjoyed seeing him try to resolve all of his issues from the past. I definitely think that one of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much was because I liked Lucien.

You might be wondering if you have to read the books in The Reincarnationist series in order. My answer is "no" with a very big BUT. You definitely can start with any of the books and the author provides enough information that the book will stand-alone, BUT I recommend reading them in order. I am one of those readers who prefer to read series in order anyway, but I think you will most appreciate the flow of events if you start at the beginning!

My book club enjoyed discussing THE REINCARNATIONIST. It was definitely a change of pace for us, but I thought a good one. We found our conversation eventually turning to the concept of reincarnation, but we also discussed the book for awhile. There is a reading guide available for THE HYPNOTIST which includes a few questions written by the author. Some of the topics you might want to explore include reincarnation, hypnotism, ethical issues surrounding artwork, grief, guilt, the myth of Hypnos, and forgiveness.

If you are a fan of suspense/thriller books, then I highly recommend THE HYPNOTIST (or really, the entire Reincarnationist series.) They are fast-paced, almost addictive, books that are guaranteed to entertain!

Thanks to Meryl L. Moss Media Relations for sending me a review copy of this novel.


bermudaonion said...

I've got this whole series waiting to be read and it sounds like I should start it soon. This sounds like a book I'd really like!

S. Krishna said...

I enjoyed the first two, but still haven't gotten to this one despite the fact that I've had it forever! I'm hoping to change that soon.

Sandy Nawrot said...

Not to be negative, but I was not all that impressed with her first two books. I did love the premise and the locations of the story, but I thought it all seemed a little Davinci Code-ish, and a little too predictable. I don't know, maybe I was just in a bad mood. But my experience was such that I'm not sure if I would read this one.