Publisher: Celadon Books / Macmillan Audio
Release Date: February 05, 2019
Genre: Adult Fiction / Psychological Suspense
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…
You know what’s fun? When a book actually lives up to the hype, and that is exactly what happened with The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides! This book is just so well done, and I’m having a hard time thinking of it as a debut. I’ve seen it compared to an Agatha Christie mystery but since I haven’t read her yet I can’t speak to that. However, I loved that it was a classic whodunnit mixed with a psychological suspense and the formatting made it even more intriguing. The book is mostly told from our psychotherapist Theo’s viewpoint with excerpts from Alicia’s diary mixed in and since this is a slow burn, that really helped me with the pacing.
I ended up listening to the audiobook and loved that there were two narrators, one for Theo and one for Alicia. Jack Hawkins and Louise Brealey did such an excellent job voicing their characters and even though I’ve never listened to them before, I would definitely listen to more audiobooks performed by either of them! They helped the book come alive for me, and the ending suddenly became all the more shocking and chilling. I am actually a little surprised I didn’t guess the ending, but I’m glad I didn’t, and it will really blow your mind.
Even though the pacing is slower, I would still consider The Silent Patient a quick read, and I ended up reading it all in one sitting. There is a desperate need to know what is going on and just why Alicia refuses to talk. I wasn’t a huge fan of Theo as a character, but his viewpoint was interesting, and I loved that this book went deeper than a superficial level. It was very twisty, if a bit unbelievable (looking at you readers who don’t like that!), and I enjoyed almost every minute of it. Highly recommend to people who like slow burns and books that are more of a psychological suspense than thriller.
Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an advance review copy of this book via Bookish First. All opinions and thoughts are my own.