I had seen many good to very good reviews for this book before I bought it, so my expectations were high. Maybe too high?
This thriller starts with the discovery of the brutal murder of a family. The father, mother and young daughter have all been horrifically killed in what must have been a frantic knife-attack. Their son, 15 year old Josef is the only survivor and only barely hanging on to life. There is an older sister as well, who was living away from the family home, and Detective Inspector Joona Linna is afraid that the murderer may go after her next, so he needs Josef to reveal what he knows about the attacker. In order to get the answers he needs Linna turns to Erik Maria Bark a hypnotist who is a specialist but has promised never to use hypnotism again after something went horribly wrong 10 years ago.
Under pressure Bark does hypnotise Josef, and Linna gets the shocking answers he is looking for, but the price everybody will end up paying for this action is very high.
As thrillers go, this was a very gruesome one. The murders are all rather horrific and the perpetrators far from sane.
Throw in the mix a boy with a rare but potentially lethal disease, a marriage on the verge of breaking down and old mistakes coming back to haunt those who made them, there is a lot going on in this book. And that is probably one of the things that didn’t really work for me. It was all a bit too much, and at times the side issues distracted me from the actual mystery.
I didn’t really like the several points of view from which the story was told either. At times it led to repetition and at other times story-lines were left hanging for what seemed to be a very long time.
Having said all of that, I did find myself compulsively turning the pages, because I was fascinated enough to want to know what exactly was going on and how it would all end.
I think I will probably read the next Joona Linna title and reacquaint myself with “I was right, wasn’t I?” I may just wait for the library to get a copy though, because I’m not sure I need to own the rest of this series.