Friday, June 10, 2011

♥♥♥♥♥♥: The Hypnotist by M.J. Rose

The Hypnotist (The Reincarnationist #3)
M.J. Rose

Release Date: April 19th, 2011
Publisher: Mira (Harlequin)
Page Count: 412
Source: Complimentary copy provided by Pump Up Your Book Promotions in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!), as part of The Hypnotist's blog tour

Haunted by his inability to stop the murder of a beautiful young painter twenty years ago, Lucian Glass keeps his demons at bay through his fascinating work with the FBI's Art Crime Team. Investigating a crazed collector who's 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. There, to maintain his cover, he submits to the treatment of a hypnotist.
 
Under hypnosis, Glass travels from ancient Greece to nineteenth-century Persia, while the case takes him from New York to Paris and the movie capital of the 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: a fifteen-hundred-year-old sculpture the nation of Iran will do anything to recover.
 
What Stephanie Thought: Art trade and theft is one of those subjects that don't come up that often; at first glance, you wouldn't at all suspect how corrupt and controversial of a market they are in the modern world. In The Hypnotist, it is revealed that art deals are actually one of the most illicit in the black market, third to the drug and arms trade.

The book begins with the murder of a beautiful girl. She never did any wrong; she just happened to be standing in the way. This demonstrates how hungry, and how desperate some art dealers are. They would even kill to get their hands on the right artwork. In this case, it's the ancient Persian statue of Hypnos, or the god of dreams, that has no official ownership due to its complicated political history. That is, until hundreds of years later, when Iran claims that it's been theirs all along, and threatens to destroy the originals of a few well-known legendary masterpieces, if they don't get it back.

To maintain his high-profile identity, agent Lucian Glass goes undercover as a troubled artist and sees a psychotherapeutic hypnotist. The process of hypnosis reveals a startling and vicious past, and eventually tells the whole story of how Hypos's statue's fervor began, and why it's so desperately desired in the present.

M.J. Rose writes with complexity and poise; I am really impressed by her authoritative tone and thought process. However, there was a little too much for me in this book. Too much information, too much detail, and as a mystery novel, rather than keeping me at edge with every page, I soon became weary of its wordiness and seemingly endless plot.

As a critic, I am intrigued and enchanted by The Hypnotist's intricate detail, but as a reader, there isn't too much praise I can give to the overall story.

Stephanie Loves: "Objectivity is overrated. Passion is much more productive."

Radical Rating: 6 hearts: Satisfying for a first read, but I'm not going back. ♥♥♥♥♥♥