This book fills the Brain Candy square on my bingo card. That’s not to say it isn’t a great read, cause it really is, but I read Moriarty’s books when I want something good but also light and not depressing. Like a really good pastry for the brain. I think this one is one of Moriarty’s better books, as she manages to tread the line between making a character sympathetic even though their actions are reprehensible.
The titular hypnotist is Ellen O’Farrell, who recently started dating a man that she really likes. A man who sprang a weird fact on one of their dates, but one that Ellen thinks she can work around. See, Patrick is being stalked by an ex-girlfriend. Ellen is immediately curious, but unbeknownst to her she has already met this stalker because a stalker is gonna stalk. The story is told alternating between Ellen and the stalker, whose parts are told in first person so even the reader doesn’t know who she is until the reveal. It’s a clever bit of storytelling that allows you to understand why Stalker is doing what she’s doing without diminishing the horrible fact that she’s stalking someone.
One think I really appreciated about the book is the way that Moriarty shows how traumatic being stalked is for Patrick. It takes a while for Ellen to really understand this, but narration never makes light of the stalking. I also appreciated the twist on the stalker story, in that the person being stalked is a man and the stalker is a woman. I do think the ending is perhaps a bit too easy, but otherwise it’s an enjoyable novel.