The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
About The Book
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….
This is a psychological thriller, addictive and twisted, but I have to admit that even if there were a few surprises during the book, the ending was something I smelled since the beginning! This doesn’t mean I didn’t liked the book, it was very well written and I kept passing pages till the last one, simply that I’ve read so many books that I discovered the ending too soon!
The story is told between the present, where the criminal psychotherapist Theo Faber, intrigued by the famous case of Alicia Berenson, is starting to treat her. And on the other side, we will be reading Alicia Berenson diary, from a few months before the murder till the day of the killing. She seems to be a famous painter with a quite successful life, one day decides to kill her husband and not pronounce another word. Everyone is quite interested in the case, but Theo seems obsessed to discover the truth about the killing and its motive. The question is, will he be ready for the answers that are awaiting him?
I didn’t like much Theo’s character, he seems too eager to satisfy everyone and never search for conflict; his personal life is not as good as he likes to think, but as always he tries to keep a smile on his face and hide the problems in the closet. I don’t think that a good therapist (no matter which speciality) would do, he has a lot of “friends” to ask for help, but he denies any problems, both personal and professional.
Alicia is not a nice character neither, but you could totally sympathise with her after reading her diary and how everything happened; she is a traumatised person, she needs helps, but no one had given her what she needed till now.
I am sure you’ll be glued to this story since the first page, be prepared for a gripping story with hidden surprises and difficult characters, they are human, with their own goods and faults, and that makes this book special and original. Ready to make “The Silent Patient” talk?
About The Author
Born in Cyprus to a Greek-Cypriot father and English mother, I studied English literature at Cambridge University and got my MA in screenwriting at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. I wrote the film The Devil You Know (2013) starring Rosamund Pike and co-wrote The Con is On (2018), starring Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, Parker Posey and Sofia Vergara.