The Silent Patient – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5 Stars)
Audio Book Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5 Stars)
Total Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5 Stars)

The murder seemed cut-and-dry, as pristine as a realistic portrait on a canvas: Alicia Berenson murdered her husband Gabriel. But then, she went silent. Six-years later, psychotherapist Theo Faber is determined to get her to speak in an obsessive fixation that seems to consume him. But what could Alicia be hiding?

And when she reveals the truth, can she be trusted?

In a striking narrative, the reader builds a trust with Theo, and grows just as consumed as he does in what happened with Alicia and her husband? Why won’t she speak? Is it an act? Or is she a deeply disturbed individual that influences those around her? Alicia has almost a supernatural-like quality to her, and you become connected to her story from the get-go.

Or at least, that’s what the story wants you to believe.

Filled with red herrings, surprising twists, and a truthful examination of human nature, The Silent Patient asks you to question not just Alicia but yourself. What experiences have shaped your life? Is everything really what it seems? Alex Michaelades does an amazing job wrapping the audience in the twists and turns.

It took me a week to put together this review, as I reconciled my thoughts and tried to decide what made this book great. It’s one of my top reads of the year so far, and I think it has to do with the humanity of the story. The world is just far more complex than it lets on, and sometimes when you think you know something, life throws a curve ball. It leaves you with this unrelenting sense of paranoia, and any good thriller makes you look over your shoulder once or twice.

That being said, this novel would not be recommended though to those who are made uneasy by psychiatric wards, suicide attempts, toxic relationships, and murder. But, if you are one to dive into a psychological thriller, you’ll be on the edge of your seat throughout the whole narrative.

It’s really quite a phenomenal story…that is, if you choose to believe it.

What’s it about?

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…

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