Posted on: 08/08/11
Why is Sweden suddenly emerging as the forerunner in publishing suspense novels? Is it the lack of a sufficient satellite signal sent to Swedish television sets? Could it be that during the cold season, darkness dominates by mid afternoon?
This dark first novel by husband and wife team, Lars Kepler, demands the international press that preceded it. A family is sadistically slaughtered. One of the victims, a teenage son, survives. His older sister might be the perpetrator or possibly the next casualty. A highly successful police investigator demands the case, and enlists the services of a doctor who at one time specialized in the use of group hypnosis to clinically treat his patients.
The hypnotist, Dr. Erik Maria Bark, promised, ten years in the past, never again to apply his craft, ever since a former patient unjustly accused him of malpractice. Forced to return his grant money and expelled from his high class hospital role, Bark turns to swallowing synthetics to soothe his humiliation. This drug addiction leads to a sour marriage. His only son is born with a blood disorder that adds to the physician's guilt.
This book makes the late Stieg Larsson appear to have created his craft using crayons. This book is suspenseful and sophisticated. It examines the complexities of relationships in all types of groups, be it family, work or other. It not only points to their pitfalls, but at the same time proves promise on the horizon.