The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides is a thriller that I picked up because of the recommendation of other bookstagrammers. I opened the novel with anticipation as I had not seen anything negative about the story.
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
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 did not see the end coming of this novel – and I love that the author took me by surprise! The unexpected twist had me shaking my head in glee. The perfect ending!
Throughout the novel there are many red herrings as the author leads the reader down a certain path. I made so many guesses on what had happened; guesses which I had to re-evaluate from time to time. Slowly, Michaelides gives hints and small clues which increase an understanding of the story.
Readers are told the story from 2 POVs – that of the therapist, and that of the patient’s diary. Through the two points of view, I was introduced to how the lives of both the patient and the therapist are intertwined and how they each impact one another’s lives. The pacing of the story is perfect for this genre and the author drew me in and kept me reading.
This is definitely a thriller to pick up and enjoy. For a debut novel, it packed a punch. I look forward to reading another of this author’s novels.
I give this novel ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4 stars
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020
(This novel was the 45th novel in my book pledge for 2020)