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April 19, 2010 / schulerbooks

The Hypnotist – by M. J. Rose


When he was younger, Lucian Glass lost his love, and nearly died himself, when an art robbery they blundered into turned to murder. Now, twenty years later,  Glass is a Special Agent with the FBI, using his skills to full effect with the Bureau’s Art Crime Team. But as he hunts his nemesis – Dr. Malachai Samuels of the Phoenix Foundation – he is still carrying the sickening weight of that tragedy within him, and possibly even more. 

Tragedies that took place before he was even born…

While investigating Dr. Samuels, Agent Glass’ attention is diverted back to the murder that has haunted him for the last two decades. To get more information, he poses as a patient at the Phoenix Institute, using images he can’t get out of his mind as a cover story. But the hypnosis he undergoes reveals that the images aren’t just his imagination, but are linked to a centuries-old tragedy he took an active part in – a tragedy involving a massive statue of the god Hypnos, and how it came to leave Iran, and become an exhibit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Meanwhile, Dr. Samuels – still smarting over his recent failure to secure a list of “memory tools” – has a past-life dilemma of his own. A young girl has been brought to the institute with visions of murder involving a certain statue, and his investigations into her visions – and the mysterious library of the foundation – have him convinced that proof of his theories are closer than ever before. All he needs to do is uncover the list of tools, and possibly link up the past life visions of the young girl and another patient – the patient who, unknown to Dr. Samuels, is the Special Agent hunting him.

But as these two men dance around each other, there are darker movements being played out. The Iranians are planning to steal the statue back, and the art thief who killed Glass’ lover is active once more, and making demands of his own. Can Glass explose his dead lover’s killer, stop the upcoming theft, and nail Dr. Samuels once and for all? Or will it all end in tragedy, once again – a tragedy that may be replayed over and over throughout time until the cycle of error and death is somehow stopped?

The spellbinding exploration of reincarnation and its consequences that M. J. Rose began in The Reincarnationist continues in this taut,  third installment in the series. Readers will find themselves rooting for both Agent Glass and the driven but amoral Dr. Samuels, as both characters are highly compelling, and all too human. The Hypnotist is thrilling, spooky, and thought-provoking, and will have fans of the series wondering what lurks within statues, and possibly our own pasts.

The Hypnotist is out in Hardcover on May 1st, 2010

Jim Tremlett – Eastwood


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