Article provided by Alyssa Devine
The Children’s Book Review | May 22, 2017
Something for everyone: The Paranormal, Fortune Telling, Magical Realism, Reincarnation, a Budding Romance . . . and Murder!
When Tom Lassiter hypnotized his friend Amanda Wilcox, the last thing he thought she would reveal were an abduction and murder that took place 25 years earlier. But who were the murderers, and why did Amanda and Tom have them to fear now?
“A great story . . . entertaining, fresh, and crisp, even fascinating at times.”—Lee Ashford for Readers’ Favorite
Written by Alyssa Devine
When, on an afternoon outing in Bayou Vermillion, Lafayette, LA, teenager Amanda Wilcox has her fortune read by Madam Zu-Zu, she and her classmate, Tom Lassiter, never thought it would lead to her having a nightmare in which she dreamed she was being choked to death. Under hypnosis, Amanda reveals to Tom that she once was a woman named Kyla Decker, who disappeared 25 years earlier after being stopped by a policeman while driving home early one morning after partying with her girlfriends. An Internet search reveals the name of another woman, Cindi Lathrop, who disappeared some years after Decker under similar circumstances. As their relationship blossoms, Amanda and Tom uncover evidence linking a former Lafayette, LA, policeman and a funeral home employee to the abductions, men who they suspect murdered the two women. But then, in what appears to be a real-life enactment of what the fortune teller told Amanda, Amanda and Tom find their lives threatened by one of the two men they think was responsible for the murders committed 25 years earlier. Can the teenagers survive, knowing the last of the five tarot cards read to Amanda by Madam Zu-Zu was Death? The only way to learn the answer to that question is to read The Hypnotist.
The Hypnotist is the debut novel of Alyssa Devine and the first offering of the Wood Bridge Division of TJC Press. True to the Division’s credo—“Bridging Generations with the Printed Word”—the novel, while written for young adults between the ages of 13 and 17 years, inclusive, also will appeal to adults of all ages. “Make no mistake,” says Devine, “this is a murder mystery/thriller through and through, and it should keep you on the end of your seat right up to the last page.”
When asked about the characters, Devine was quick to note that Amanda and Tom are not your typical 17-year-olds. “They’re both ‘transplants’ to Lafayette’s Langford Creek High School,” she said, “Amanda from New York City following the ugly divorce of her parents and the return of her mother to her family in Lafayette, and Tom from overseas following his father’s assignment to manage his company’s oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico. In short, the teenagers are ‘outsiders’ and so, it’s only natural they should gravitate toward one another. The problems start, of course, when Tom wants to hypnotize Amanda and experiment with the concept of reincarnation . . . the idea that people have led previous lives.”
Hypnotism is not something one normally sees as the subject of a YA novel. When asked where she got the idea, Devine said she once knew a senior in her high school who was fond of hypnotizing classmates under circumstances not unlike those described in the book. The boy’s activities were brought to an abrupt halt two weeks prior to graduation when a teacher caught him hypnotizing a student in the hallway after school. The principal not only threatened to suspend the hypnotist but also, to stop him from graduating. However, given the boy’s academic record and his promise to stop practicing the art of hypnotism on school grounds, the principal eventually relented. “I never forgot the incident, though,” said Devine, “and earlier this year I thought it would make the perfect subject for a novel. Throw in a few abductions, some murders, a tarot card reading, reincarnation, and voilà, you have the makings of a great YA novel!”
The book carries a Lexile® measure of 930L
Also available is a special paperback edition for readers with dyslexia.
Wood Bridge, a Division of TJC Press
“Bridging Generations with the Printed Word”
122 Shady Brook Drive
Langhorne, PA 19047-8027 USA
Contact us at www.alyssadevinenovels.com
Read our exclusive interview: Alyssa Devine Discusses ‘The Hypnotist’