Monday, October 12, 2020

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Title: The Silent Patient
Author: Alex Michaelides
Publisher: Celadon Books
Release Date: February 5th 2019 

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....

I know a good twist when I see one, and this one was outstanding!

Alicia Berenson is accused of shooting her husband Gabriel and killing him. No one knows why she does this or why she becomes mute after it. Was she unstable before she shot him? Or did someone else do the deed and she became so traumatized by the experience that she was not able to speak again?

This is exactly what psychotherapist Theo Faber wants to know. He has waited six years for the opportunity to work with Alicia. He applies for a job at the Grove, the place were Alicia is a patient and thankfully, he gets it. He begins right away trying to get Alicia to open up to him. Theo hopes he can help her although everyone thinks it's a waste of time. Many have tried and they have all have failed. 

Can Theo be the one to break the cycle?

The Silent Patient was everything I thought it was going to be for me. A page-turner, good writing, interesting characters, and an end with a good twist. 

Did I see it coming? My answer is a resounding yes. Yet, in a way, it took me completely by surprise. Hard to explain without spoilers. 

I do hope to see this one on the big screen. It would be fun to watch Alicia and Theo's battle of wits.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

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