Author: Alex Michaelides
Publishing date: 15 July 2019
“We are made up of different parts, some good, some bad, and a healthy mind can tolerate this ambivalence and juggle both good and bad at the same time. Mental illness is precisely about a lack of this kind of integration – we end up losing contact with the unacceptable parts of ourselves.”
I am stunned after reading The Silent Patient. It took me a week to write this book review. I just cannot find the right words to describe this thriller. I saw it in the ‘new releases’ section in Amazon and I was intrigued by the blurb. I thought ‘why not’? I’ll tell you why not! The Silent Patient is a novel you won’t forget so easily, an absolute page-turner which will keep you at the edge of your seat.
The Silent Patient in this thriller is Alicia Berenson. She is a gifted painter and her life seems to be perfect. She is married to Gabriel, a famous fashion photographer. Alicia has a beautiful home in London. One day Gabriel comes home, late from a shoot, and Alicia shoots him at point-blank range and never speaks a single world again. She has been silent for over six years now.
Alicia’s silence gives this domestic tragedy a deeper, mysterious meaning. It becomes a mystery which catches the public eye and casts her into notoriety. The price of Alicia’s paintings sky rocket and people gather in her friend’s art gallery to view the painting she made just after the murder. Meanwhile, the silent Alicia is remanded to a secure mental institution called The Grove.
Here Alicia comes across Theo Faber, a psychotherapist who has waited a long time to treat Alicia. He is obsessed with her case and wants to help her desperately, Theo is determined to get Alicia talking and unravel the mystery surrounding the murder. But the truth is not so easy and threatens to consume them both.
WHY SHOULD YOU READ THIS BOOK?
The Silent Patient is a taut, fast-paced thriller with an intriguing story-line. There are many layers to the story which I found interesting. There are little twists at every turn and some interesting questions come up during the course of events happening in the novel.
The Silent Patient is the very definition of a page-turner. Nothing is as it seems. That’s what makes this a good psychological thriller. The characters and the plot are unpredictable and you won’t see the twists coming. It’s a compelling tale of love, loss and revenge. Though The Silent Patient is a contemporary novel it has layers of Gothic undertones.
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE SILENT PATIENT:
I loved the characters. It sounds simple, but as a reader, I am sure you know how important good characterisation is to a novel. Some novels, despite having good story lines, have lost that element of intrigue due to badly written characters. But that’s not the case with The Silent Patient.
Michaelides writing is magnificent. Theo and Alicia are richly-layered characters. There are little reveals here and there, enough to make you wonder who is the unreliable narrator here. There are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ characters in this novel, All have some shades of grey in them. It made the reading experience interesting for me.
Theo announces early on that he is ‘pretty fucked up’. The reader gets a look into his complicated relationship with his father. The backstory of Theo added another layer of intrigue to the plot. Alicia is a mysterious character and I was trying to figure her out the entire time. Reading The Silent Patient was quite an experience for me. I found the story enthralling, the suspense was pulse-pounding and the characters were unforgettable.
The Silent Patient is one of the best books I have read. You won’t be forgetting this novel for a long time. I know I won’t! If you are looking for an engaging, clever and an interesting read then you MUST get a copy of The Silent Patient.