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…
The Silent Patient – Review
The Silent Patient has been on my TBR for some time. In fact, I even had an audio CD I won in a giveaway sitting on my bookshelf for about a year. Unfortunately, it’s unexpectedly difficult to listen to a CD as a mother in 2020. My laptop doesn’t have a CD player, my car doesn’t have one, and I couldn’t play it in my Blu-Ray player with my children around. This led to me sending the discs to a friend and waiting months for the audiobook to become available through Overdrive. At long last, I’ve listened to the story and understand the numerous reviews mentioning “that ending!”
I loved how the unique writing style meshed with the excellent dual narration of this story. I was told well, though it was admittedly quite slow in the beginning. Alicia’s diary entries kept me invested, however, and I ended up finishing the story rather quickly. A few people mentioned they thought the audio worked better for this story than print and I think I would have agreed, had I read the print.
Overall, this book was very nearly perfect for me. I think the ending of a thriller is the most important part of the whole book, and this one shocked the heck out of me. I didn’t know what was coming until it was revealed. I loved that the plot didn’t seem too far fetched, as many thrillers tend to be, hoping for the shock value this story attained. The storyline felt plausible, which added to the excitement. However, the slow start and the ending, which felt too rushed for my taste, made me knock a star off my overall rating. Nonetheless, I think this was a fantastic example of a psychological mystery. I hope to see more from Alex Michaelides in the future!
Rating: 4 stars