M.J. Rose's elegant and mysterious THE HYPNOTIST is now out in trade paperback! This was one of my favorite novels of last year, and in celebration of its new release, I'm re-posting my review of the book. If you like thrilling, literary suspense, you're going to love this novel!
A priceless sculpture that hides an ancient secret; an FBI investigator haunted by the past; and a terrorist plot involving the theft of magnificent works of art all combine to create THE HYPNOTIST, the unputdownable thriller and third entry in M.J.Rose's superb Reincarnationist series (The Reincarnationist and The Memorist).
No author currently writing in the suspense/thriller category does quite what M.J. Rose does; underpinning her novels is the haunting premise that all of us have past lives that connect us to the present, and within this framework she's conjured a high-stakes world of treacherous business dealings, international intrigue, and the often lethal search for the elusive Memory Tools - objects that can assist people to access their pasts and which, if found and harnessed, could provide their owner with unimaginable power. At the center of this web is Dr Malachi Samuels of the Phoenix Foundation, a gifted yet amoral reincarnation expert who allegedly will stop at nothing to possess the Memory Tools.
These entwined themes are spun throughout the series; however, each novel can be enjoyed on its own merits and The Hypnotist is no exception. When Lucian Glass, FBI criminal art investigator, is called in by the Metropolitan Museum in New York City to investigate the horrific mutilation of a stolen painting, he is plunged into a search for the man who, years ago, destroyed his youth and aspiring career as an artist. His investigation leads him back into the elegant, dangerous milieu of the Phoenix Foundation, where a young girl is being treated for nightmarish visions, and the presence of a mysterious woman who might hold the key to his quest. As Lucian begins to uncover a plot centered around a millennial-old sculpture that has surfaced after years of neglect, he finds himself caught up in an intricately linked conspiracy of art smuggling, terrorism, and the race to claim a coveted Memory Tool.
The Hypnotist stands out from the other entries in the series for its lyricism and the timely question: Who truly owns art? In this novel, which is replete with Ms Rose's trademark moments of breathtaking suspense and secrets-within-secrets, Rose has gone deeper into her mythology, detailing the subtle ways in which senseless tragedy shifts and defines us, and the hallowed effect that art exerts on our beings. While her previous novels have all featured lost souls seeking redemption, in The Hypnotist something of Rose's own complex soul comes into display, and it is a fascinating glimpse into a writer who, with this novel, has both matured and exceeded the very high expectations she has set for herself and her readers.
M.J. Rose is the international bestselling author of over nine novels, including the acclaimed Reincarnationist series. Her new novel, THE BOOK OF LOST FRAGRANCES, will be published in 2012. To learn more about her and her work, please visit her website.