Reviews

The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides

About the Book: Promising to be the debut novel of the season 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….

About the Author:  Alex Michaelides: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. THE SILENT PATIENT is my first novel.

My Review:  Those of you who follow my blog or are a member of THE Book Club on Facebook will know that I suffer from chronic FOMO and despite having over 400 books on my kindle, when a new book is being discussed over on Twitter and all the bloggers are literally salivating over it and the publishers have allowed some of them to read the sampler and it appears the entire blogging community are involved EXCEPT ME, I immediately contacted the delicious Ben Willis of Orion and said those 6 little words “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?”.  Obviously he does and immediately sent me a copy of this book which I started reading and devoured in a day.

It’s taken me almost a week to write this review because I genuinely don’t know how to put my thoughts down and give this book the justice it deserves so I shall start with the basics.  It’s a psychological thriller, so you know to expect a twist or two along the way and therefore I’m not even going to mention twists.

The story is about a famous painter, Alicia Berenson who kills her husband Gabriel, a famous photographer by shooting him point blank 5 times in the face when he comes home late from work (yes I know, we’ve all been there) and then she basically stops talking.  Staying absolutely shtum, not uttering a word Alicia is sent to a secure unit in my childhood home town Edgware where she remains THE SILENT PATIENT for years.

Then we meet Theo Faber, a young criminal psychotherapist who is obsessed with this case and feels he can help Alicia talk about her crime and why she did it.  So, when an opening at the secure unit comes up he grabs it with both hands and starts his journey to uncover the truth and be the “hero” who can get through to Alicia and get her talking.

The story unfolds through Theo’s point of view and then through Alicia’s journal which she was keeping up until her husband’s murder.  A fascinating and totally addictive story which kept me turning those pages (actually I was swiping my kindle but it sounds better the other way) faster than a contestant on Who Wants to be A Millionaire Faster Finger First.

I’m not going to divulge anything more, except there comes a point in this story when I had to STOP reading, take a huge breath and tip my hat to the author and think “Holy Motherf*cker, I did NOT see that coming”,  and from that point onwards I read the book with a wry smile on my face, shaking my head in admiration and respect to Alex Michaelides for creating a story which I believe will be HUGE when it is published next February 2019.

Just in case you weren’t sure – YES I LOVED IT.  5 HUGE STARS from me and totally recommend it to everyone who loves dark, psychological thrillers.

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