The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Published by Celadon Books on February 5, 2019
Genre(s): fiction, mystery, thriller
Format & Length: e-book, 325
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Promising to be the debut novel of the season The Silent Patientis a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband—and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive…
Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.
Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.
Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him….
I was excited to read The Silent Patient after all the hype I’d heard for it, and I’m happy to report that it lived up to my expectations!
“We’re all crazy, I believe, just in different ways.”
This psychological thriller follows Theo, a criminal psychotherapist with something of an obsession with Alicia, a famous painter who shot her husband Gabriel five times in the face and then never spoke another word. Determined to be the one to get Alicia to talk, Theo gets a job at the institution in which Alicia has been placed and sets out on a mission to unravel the mystery of what happened.
The Silent Patient is cleverly structured, alternating chapters from Theo’s point of view with entries from Alicia’s diary, ultimately revealing the truth in dramatic fashion. With a solid plot, brisk pacing, and strong execution, this captivating read kept me on the hook from page one. My attempts to solve the mystery changed with every chapter and for once, I didn’t see the final reveal coming. Which, in my eyes, is what makes an excellent psychological thriller.
I’m going to jump on the bandwagon for The Silent Patient buzz! If you’re a fan of psychological thrillers and haven’t tried this yet, definitely give it a shot.