‘The Hypnotist’s Love Story’ by Liane Moriarty

The Hypnotist's Love StorystarstarstarThis is another of Moriarty’s very readable novels. The story opens in a restaurant where Ellen, a hypnotist by profession, is having dinner with Patrick, a new promising candidate in a long line of failed relationships. He is acting a bit strange and suddenly leaves the table after saying he must tell her something. She really liked Patrick and is steeling herself for another rejection. But instead, when he returns, he tells her something quite unexpected. He is the victim of a stalker, an ex-girlfriend who just won’t leave him alone. Instead of being horrified, Ellen is strangely intrigued and her curiosity gets the better of her, especially when it turns out that Ellen has already met her.

The story is narrated alternately by the stalker and the hypnotist. Unless you are particularly interested in either of these subjects, there is not much engaging about this novel, not at all like her others which I couldn’t put down, especially The Husband’s Secret and Big Little Lies. The book felt a bit like a lost opportunity because there was plenty of good material to create a page turner. Having said that, I found it a pleasant enough read because I don’t mind character driven stories and I did enjoy her exploration of both hypnosis and what drives someone into stalking. The fact that the stalker was a woman and not a man, made for an interesting twist, but it’s nothing like Fatal Attraction!

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