Lucian Glass works for the FBI as part of their Art Crimes Team who has a past surrounded by murder and mystery. At nineteen, he returns from his artist studio, to find his girlfriend murdered and hanging amongst the picture frames of her father's framing business. However, before Lucian can react, he too is attacked and left for dead, now twenty years later, that past is coming back to haunt him.
Dr. Malachai Samuels is a long-standing reincarnationist who is obsessed with proving that people's souls do, in fact, reincarnate into other bodies. His speciality is working with children, like little Veronica who begins her tale in ancient Persia, he hypnotizes the children and does past regression therapy upon them. However, Veronica's tales are tying into the memory stones that he desperately seeks, and he will stop at nothing to obtain them.
Emeline Jacobs is a cousin of Solange's who has been adopted by Solange's parents, shortly after her murder. In a desperate need to feel wanted, her family was killed in an accident, Emeline begins to take on the persona of Solange. Causing her aunt and uncle to whisk her from doctor to doctor trying to uncover the secret of Emeline's uncanny mannerisms of her late cousin.
Samimi is an Iranian who is working to return a statue of the God, Hypnos, back to his country. He and his people know the secrets of the statue and will cheat, lie, steal and murder to regain control of the piece, which now sits in the restoration department of the New York Metropolitan Museum. Samimi works for a boorish, murderous oaf and wishes to displace him, fearing he will be called home to Iran or worse, murdered, he works to bring salvation to his people while keeping his own self alive and intact.
Each person moves separately towards their destinations not realizing they are all being directed to the same point in time. As each of the characters come to realize they are but a small piece in a bigger game, they must come to terms with their past, in order to preserve their futures.
I absolutely enjoyed the book and loved all the historical references to the art pieces mentioned throughout the story. My favourite painter is Monet and reading about his work was very interesting, as were the informative pieces about Matisse, Van Gogh and the mythology behind the statue of Hypnos was equally enthralling to read. I wish there had been more of it dispersed throughout the book. I loved the blending of the past with the present with the past life transgression therapy and appreciated the tales being told through both Veronica and Lucian. The tie-ins of all the participants was well-written and convincing.
The story is both slow and fast paced and it works to build momentum within the story, making you turn the pages in order to finish the tale that M.J. Rose has choose to tell. I wasn't much impressed with Emeline and wished she had been kept as an associate instead of a love interest. I don't think good stories need such and I'm often left wondering why, in times of horror, do authors have a need to throw a love story into the fray, it just doesn't make sense to me and often takes away from a story, The Hypnotist falls into such a category, unfortunately. In my honest opinion, its the books only real downfall to the plot. A small hindrance however, to a great story.
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.
** Disclosure: I did not accept any compensation from the sponsors other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by me..as I see it~!! **