The Silent Patient
By: Alex Michaelides
Published: February 5th, 2019
From the Cover:
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….
Y’all know me as a lover of thrillers. I’m going to come out and say it… This may be the best thriller I have ever read. Yeah, I know. Those are some fighting words. But, I feel pretty strongly about this one.
Michaelides transitions between two points of view in this book: one is the voice of Alicia Berenson through her written diary and the other is through Theo Faber, Alicia’s psychotherapist. We are constantly introduced to damaged and unreliable characters throughout the course of this book–my favorite recipe for trouble. Michaelides weaves this story like a Greek tragedy; there is myth, love, lust, jealousy, anger, death. And boy, does this book read FAST. It grips you and holds you hostage even until the plot unfolds at the very end. (For reference, my mother started AND finished this book yesterday, and she’s been known to take months to read some of my favorites)
If you’re curious, I was nowhere close to guessing how this book ended. It took me by surprise, and honestly, part of me wants to re-read it just for the sake of understanding the intricacies that evaded my attention the first time through. So, If you are looking for a book to knock you off your feet and one that you can devour in one sitting, this is it. If this one has been sitting in your TBR stack for awhile (AKA me), it is time to let this one skip to the front of the line.