Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Jenn's Review: The Hypnotist

The HypnotistSummary:  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 19th century Persia, while the case takes him from New York to Paris and the movie capital of 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 Reincarnation novelsThe Reincarnationist and The Memorist. ~product description

Review:  Ever since I was a little girl, I have found the concept of past lives fascinating.  As someone who is spiritual but not religious, I might even believe in them. I've always loved the romance of it. So imagine my delight when Pump Up Your Book offered me a thriller that centered on that very subject.  My expectations were high and I wasn't disappointed.

M. J. Rose is a masterful storyteller.  Though her story is told from multiple points of view, it is Lucian Glass with whom the reader spends most of his/her time.  Whether you are a believer or not, it's hard not to empathize with Lucian.  It is obvious that the traumatic events in his life are affecting him, and possibly the parallel of traumatic events across several lifetimes.  While he struggles with his internal demons he's also trying to catch art thieves and murderers. I'm not sure Agent Glass would have been allowed to work this case in real life, all things considered, but it was a leap of faith I was willing to make.

The tale itself is expansive, on a couple of occasions I found myself going back and looking up a character's name to be sure I'd picked up the narrative correctly, but not to the point where it seemed over extended.  Ms. Rose also does a magnificent job of leaving the mystical aspects of the story open to interpretation.  It is never heavy handed or forced upon the reader.

While this is the third book in her Reincarnation series, it is a true standalone novel on a fascinating subject.  Whether you believe in reincarnation or not, if you like any one or a combination of the following, this book is for you:  White Collar, Leverage, The Thomas Crown Affair, and/or Dan Brown novels.  Now that I've discovered Ms. Rose, I'm going to go back and check out the first two books in this series, The Reincarnationist and The Memorist.  I will be placing them near the top of my TBR pile because I can't wait to jump right in.

Final Take:  4.0/5

Aside:  If reincarnation still isn't for you, you may want to investigate her other series, The Butterfield Institute.  

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