Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Review: The Silent Patient

Summary: The Silent Patient is 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.... -- Celadon Books

If you've read a few of the "big" reviews for THE SILENT PATIENT by Alex Michaelides, you might find some very different opinions. Well, I am coming down with the ones who thought this novel was a very fun read. I thoroughly enjoyed this psychological thriller and thought it had some great twists!

THE SILENT PATIENT tells the story of Alicia Berenson, a famous painter married to a highly successful fashion photographer. She seemingly has it all until she shoots her husband Gabriel five times in the face. No one has a clue why, and Alicia isn't helping matters -- she hasn't spoke a word since the shooting! Needless to say, the mystery surrounding this crime is huge!

All of that intrigue attracts the attention of Theo Faber, a criminal psychotherapist who is desperate to work with Alicia. He is determined to get her to talk and reveal the truth behind the murder. Theo definitely becomes "too involved" in the case, and his personal issues become somewhat blurred with events from Alicia's past. As Theo builds his relationship with Alicia, the reader begins to question Theo and what his motivations actually are!

I haven't been reading as many thrillers lately since I started working full-time, but I will say that I had a great time reading THE SILENT PATIENT. I don't want to say too much about the plot beyond what I described above, but suffice it to say that this book has some major twists. (Notice that I said twists with an "s")! I honestly didn't see them coming until I was almost right up the reveal, and I loved how much this book kept me guessing.

One thing I really enjoyed about this book was the way the author revealed events from the past. Alicia kept a journal that she shared with Theo, and these entries gave a lot of insight into her marriage and her past. I especially appreciated how the journal was used to reveal the last-minute twists too!

This is Mr. Michaelides' first novel (and it's a great debut), but he does have experience as a screen writer. I have little doubt that THE SILENT PATIENT will be made into a movie... and it would be a great one in my opinion. I don't know what I'm looking forward to more -- the movie or Mr. Michaelides' next book!

If you are a fan of psychological thrillers, I highly recommend reading THE SILENT PATIENT!

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher at the 2018 Book Expo.


bermudaonion said...

This title didn't sound familiar to me so I looked it up and discovered I got it at BookExpo last year too. I can't wait to dig in!

Dorothy N said...

Thanks for this great review! It sounds right up my alley.