Books

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

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…

Psychological thrillers are – hands down – my favorite genre to read. The only problem is that after a while they all start to blend together. It’s hard to come up with something brand spanking new. With that in mind, I was pleasantly surprised with The Silent Patient.

The story surrounding Alicia grabbed my attention early on. The way Alex Michaelides unfolds the events of her past while also telling us a story in present day kept me pretty engaged It was hard to ever find a good “stopping point” because the end of each chapter left me wanting more. You know those books where you say you’ll read just one more chapter and then find yourself finishing the book at 3a? Yeah, that’s this one.

There were times I was frustrated at certain things happening. It wasn’t so much within the main plot, but just at how Theo uncovered some truths. I’m not sure the actions of Theo are entirely…believable as a psychotherapist. It’s hard to describe without spoiling certain events, but there were a few times I asked myself “can he do that?” or “does no one else find this odd?”. Other than that, I enjoyed how the story played out.

★★★★☆

On Goodreads? Let’s be friends

The provided summary of The Silent Patient can be found here

★★★★★: Unforgettable, one of a kind. A book that will be hard to forget.
★★★★☆: A good read with little to no flaws.
★★★☆☆: A decent read, but not one I would put on the top of your “To Be Read” pile.
★★☆☆☆: Needs major work, did not enjoy but was able to finish.
★☆☆☆☆: Did not finish.

Book 7/50 for 2020

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