Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Virtual Book Tour - The Hypnotist by M.J. Rose

When I first read the synopsis of The Hypnotist by M.J. Rose, I was instantly intrigued. Here it is, from the author's website:

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.

Haunted by a twenty-year old murder of a beautiful young painter, Lucian Glass keeps his demons at bay through his fascinating work as a Special Agent with the FBI's Art Crime Team. Currently investigating a crazed art collector who has begun destroying prized masterworks, Glass is thrust into a bizarre hostage negotiation that takes him undercover at the Phoenix Foundation—dedicated to the science of past life study—where, in order to maintain his cover, he agrees to submit to the treatment of a hypnotist.

Under hypnosis, Glass travels from ancient Greece to 19th century Persia, while the case takes him from New York to Paris and the movie capital of world. These journeys will change his very understanding of reality, lead him to question his own sanity and land him at the center of perhaps the most audacious art heist in history: the theft of a 1,500 year old sculpture from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I was a little worried - this book is the third in The Reincarnationist series (The Reincarnationist, The Memorist, and The Hypnotist), and I was sure I was going to be missing something that had been presented in the other two novels. While I am sure there are some details in the other two novels that would have been helpful in reading this book, I certainly didn't feel lost at all. Though I do plan on going back and reading the other two, because The Hypnotist was fabulous!!

This is one of those novels that you don't want to put down for several reasons. First, because it is so well written and paced so nicely, that you just want to keep reading. Second, there is so much going on, with several details that if you put it down for too long, you might not remember some of those details.

Agent Glass is on the trail of a list of Memory Tools that are believed to help in reaching into people's past lives. He is put in a position within the Phoenix Society, and agrees to undergo hypnosis to retain his cover. Along with that, Agent Glass's past comes back to haunt him as a painting that was stolen from his girlfriend's father's frame shop more than 20 years previous turns up ripped to shreds.

The idea of past lives is so intriguing to me. I hadn't really given it much thought before, and certainly haven't done much research on it, but I find it to be totally plausible. This novel also dives in to some art history, which is really interesting in itself. It follows the ownership of some pieces from ancient times to the present, and how they came to be where they are.

While there are quite a few story lines to follow, this book proves to be a fast paced thriller that will definitely keep you interested. I certainly didn't expect what happened at the end - I didn't see the twist coming! I highly recommend this one if you are looking for a thinker-thriller that you won't be able to put down!

In fact, I'll give away my copy so you have a chance to read it!! Just leave a comment on this post, along with a valid email address, and I'll choose a winner!! The contest ends on Thursday, September 2nd, and I'll announce a winner on Friday, September 3rd!! Good luck, everyone, and happy reading!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

A joke?

We recently had a guy call in with a phone reference question at the library. He called the circulation desk, and started to ask me his questions, and while I could have answered (with all my reference experience!!), I chose to pass it along to the librarian. But not until after he started the question with me!! Here's the convo...

Man on Phone: Yes, I was wondering if you have a dictionary.
Real Librarian: Um, yes, we do!
MP: Well, could you look up a couple words for me? I need to find the definitions for the words "Jerk" "Yank" and "Tug."

Well, me being...well, me... I think this HAS to be a joke. I mean, not that I'm dirty minded, but...ok, I'm dirty minded, and my mind went immediately to the "nasty." And I have to admit, I had to hold in the giggles. Wow, I'm really immature...

Anyway, there was a helpful fabulous librarian sitting at the reference desk, looking like she needed a good reference question, so I passed the phone call on to her. The call lasted a good 20 minutes, and I heard her give the definitions no fewer than 3 times each, along with examples of each (no fewer than 3 times each), and had to try explain each term multiple times and in multiple ways (while I sat at the circulation desk giggling).

A couple days later, a different librarian was sitting at the reference desk while I was at the circulation desk, and I heard her say "You need the definitions of 'Jerk' 'Yank' and 'Tug?'" I immediately burst into giggles because I knew where this was going. She went over the same things (multiple times) and gave several examples of each - and looked at me like I was crazy.

I also immediately shot an email to the first librarian to tell her the Jerk Yank Tug guy was on the phone again. We decided it might be a crank, so we thought we'd talk to our branch manager. She said she had gotten a call from the same guy, looking for the same terms at one of the other branches while she was sitting at the reference desk!!!

Theories? Well, it could be a joke. It could be a "secret shopper" type who is just looking to see if they can find a cranky librarian. Or could it be a news channel doing an expose' on the library to see if they could trip us up or see if we would answer his questions without questions. Or it could be a legitimate question...

I'm leaning towards joke. But maybe that's just 'cuz I'm dirty minded...