Review: The Silent Patient

Posted February 5, 2019

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Silent Patient The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Published by Orion on 7th February 2019
Genres: Psychological, Thriller, Mystery
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

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....

A Wee Summary

Alicia Berenson, artist, murdered her husband Gabriel, a well-known fashion photographer, six years ago and has not uttered a word since.

Theo faber, psychotherapist, had previously been working in Broadmoor before recently attaining a role at The Grove, a secure forensic psychiatric unit in North London. It’s at The Grove that Alice Berensen has been housed. With no progress being made by other professionals, Theo feels that he could be the one to get through to Alicia. He’s taken the role with the aim of getting Alicia to speak, to help uncover why she killed her husband, and why she has held her silence.

The story is told from Theo’s perspective, interspersed with Alicia’s own diary from the weeks leading up to her husband’s murder.

My Thoughts

When I originally read the synopsis for this novel I added it to my 2019 wishlist. It’s a book that I found so hard to put down.

I was thoroughly drawn into The Silent Patient. It’s such an interesting concept – how can one help his patient if that patient won’t speak?

As such, I found Alicia to be such an intriguing character. With so many questions attached to her – why is she silent, why did she kill her husband, why hasn’t therapy helped? – I couldn’t put this book down until I’d uncovered all of the answers.

Michaelides’ writing held me captive. I liked how he slowly revealed the details, using Alicia’s diary to allow us an insight into her life pre-murder. I had many theories as to how and why the murder had gone down, and why Alicia stopped talking… every single one was wrong! I love that, when a book outfoxes you!

Easy to read, with an interesting concept and an unravelling story that will keep you guessing, it’s a great psychological thriller.