Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Hypnotist by M.J. Rose

Lucian Glass's life was defined by one moment in time.  As a young art student, he arrived at a galley to find his girlfriend murdered.  Attacked also, Lucian barely survives.  That event changed his life.  Rather than pursuing a career as an artist, he becomes an FBI agent who specializes in art fraud.

His current case is one of his most challenging.  His long-time nemesis, Dr. Malachi Samuels, is a doctor who explores the fields of reincarnation and past-life regressions.  Glass also believes that he is a mass murderer who kills his way to the treasures he acquires to help in his research.  When the new case evolves, he believes that Samuels must be the mastermind behind the scenes.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is involved in a custody case with Iran.  The Iranian government believes that the museum has wrongfully acquired a statue of Hypnos, the god of sleep.  As they work through the legal intricacies, a new player bursts on the scene.  The museum is sent a masterpiece; a Matisse.  But, the painting has been shredded, ruined beyond restoration.  The sender claims to have four more paintings of the same quality.  He has a proposition.  The museum can give him the statue in return for the paintings, or he will send them one at a time, destroyed.  Glass works the case, sure that his opponent is Samuels, but is he right?  He is also pulled back in time when he becomes involved with his girlfriend's cousin, who has remained in the art world.

Fans of M.J. Rose won't be disappointed in this novel.  Fast-paced with entrancing characters and an exploration of reincarnation and the art world, The Hypnotist is a compelling read.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

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