Not quite hypnotic but good enough

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I bought a copy of “The Hypnotist’s Love Story” because it was written by Liane Moriarty, the author of “Big Little Lies.”

I have a weird relationship with literature. I keep a list of books I want to read and I use the Goodreads app to track what I have read, what I want to read and what I liked and didn’t like. I feel as though I’ve probably got about 20 or so more years left in this lifetime before my eyesight completely gives out on me. If I’m averaging about 20 books a year so it’s highly improbable that I’m going to get to read every book on my wish list. There’s just 65 books on the list now but new ones keep coming out. The struggle is real, y’all.

So my strategy is to be selective. When I read “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn, I loved it, and I bought copies of her other books (unfortunately there are only two other books). “Dark Places” and “Sharp Objects” also are good reads but you probably only get one “Gone Girl” and that’s where she peaked.

Same scenario with “The Hypnotist’s Love Story.” I tend to have high expectations of authors; if your first book was good, I want your second book to be even better. That’s not realistic in this day and age when authors are cranking out two novels a year. There are going to be some typos; there are going to be some crappy endings.

In the case of Moriarty, an Australian author, she published “Hypnotist” in 2011, three years before “Big Little Lies.” She has a bibliography of eight works of fiction, three of which I’ve read. They were good, but not great or particularly memorable. The only reason people are still talking about “Big Little Lies” is because it’s an HBO series starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon.

So back to “The Hypnotist’s Love Story.” It’s a cool concept. Ellen, the hypnotist, is dating Patrick, whose first wife died.

Ellen and Patrick are being followed; there are strange encounters in public places and a multiple break-ins at their home. Patrick has a stalker, a woman he dated after his first wife died.

Ellen is intrigued by this, even thinking that it makes Patrick more attractive. Boring people don’t have stalkers.

When the stalker follows the couple on vacation and Ellen spots her on the plane, she realizes she’s been providing hypnotherapy sessions to this woman for quite some time and even shared with her personal information such as where they’re going on vacation.

It’s a good storyline and the book is good but not great. It’s not necessarily something I’d read again but I’m not mad that I read it. I once launched a Joyce Carol Oates book across my living room because I was so disappointed that I’d wasted my time on it.

I’m looking for something great, one of those “I can’t put it down; just one more chapter” kind of books. Send your recommendations to editor@sealynews.com.

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