Review: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

March 13, 2019
The Silent Patient, Alex Michaelides, Book Review, InToriLex
Published By: Celadon on February 5, 2019
Format Read: ARC Edition (326)
Genre: Psychological Thriller/ Mystery/ Adult Fiction
Series: Stand Alone
Source: From Publisher for Review Consideration
The Silent Patient~Amazon~ 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....


Content Warning: Mental Illness, Graphic Violence


I could not stop reading this book, I desperately wanted to know what happened next. The book alternates between Theo Faber, Alicia's therapist, and Alicia's diary which was written in the months before the murder. The opening chapters describe a disturbing final painting that Alicia completes after the murder and I was hooked immediately. Theo's psychological analysis throughout the book was insightful and refreshing. It added further suspense and intrigue to the disturbing details of this violent murder.
I was crying for all of us. There's so much pain everywhere , and we just close our eyes to it. The truth is we're all scared. We're terrified of each other.
There was a number of violent and disturbing behavior described as the mystery unfolds. I can usually predict twists, but I wasn't able to see past cleverly placed details. I appreciated the diversity of the side characters, although many of them were underdeveloped.The book interweaves  the details of a Greek tragedy that I was unfamiliar with. This mix of mythology, psychology, and mystery flowed perfectly together. There were small reveals throughout the book, but the ultimate reveal still surprised me. I would recommend this to all readers looking for a thriller with good character development and insight.

Recommended for Readers who
- enjoy suspense and plot twists
- appreciate psychological analysis
- don't mind gory descriptions of violence


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.

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