The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Published February 5th 2019 by Celadon Books
As the story opens, we are introduced to Alicia indirectly, by psychotherapist, Theo. She has been accused of killing her husband and has said nothing since. The story has us learning more about Alicia and Theo, and how they end up working together at The Grove.
This is a well-written psychological thriller, written from different points of view. Alicia is the main character, committed to the hospital on the death of her husband. As her meds are lowered, she becomes more alert and eventually speaks, but is silent throughout most of the story. I enjoyed learning more about Alicia and her husband, which kept me invested in Alicia’s story. I did feel bad for everything Alicia was going through, not knowing if she was guilty or not. As we learn more about Theo, I found myself losing interest somewhat, but the author does an amazing job pulling everything together at the end. There was a huge twist that blew me away near the end, and that really saved this book for me. This was a very unique story, one that intrigued me to read it. I think I had read too many glowing reviews, and the book couldn’t quite measure up to the hype. If the middle hadn’t been a bit slow, I would have rated this one higher. I did enjoy the psychology of this one and the characterization was well written. I was not sure if the narrators were reliable or not, and I will not answer that in this review. You need to read this one to find the answer to that and to make your own decisions about this one. It is up for a Goodreads Choice book, so only time will tell if it is a winner or not. Overall, I did enjoy this story and recommend it to those who enjoy thrillers. Congratulations to Alex Michaelides on this debut book.
Synopsis: 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…
About the Author: Born in Cyprus to a Greek-Cypriot father and English mother, I studied English literature at Cambridge University and got my MA in screenwriting at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. I wrote the film The Devil You Know (2013) starring Rosamund Pike and co-wrote The Con is On (2018), starring Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, Parker Posey and Sofia Vergara. THE SILENT PATIENT is my first novel.