#TheSilentPatient by @AlexMichaelides #review @orionbooks

Alicia shot and killed her husband Gabriel out of the blue five years ago and has never spoken since. Theo is a psychotherapist who has taken an interest in her case and when he gets the opportunity to work in the facility where she is being held, he jumps at the chance. He is convinced that he will be able to succeed where others have failed and get Alicia to talk and explain exactly why she did what she did that night.

Much of the book is told from Theo’s point of view and through him we find out not just about his therapy sessions with Alicia, but also about his own domestic life. Through his discussions with other significant people in Alicia’s life, we also start to be able to build up a picture of what kind of a person she is. My goodness, talk about a man obsessed! I wasn’t sure quite who was needing the therapy in this book. Theo was so absolutely convinced that he could get through to Alicia that all his professional ethics seemed to go out the window! His own personal life was also extremely interesting, particularly the deep love he had for his wife.

We get an insight into Alicia through her diary which is interspersed throughout the narrative. The diary entries take place in the weeks leading up to her husband’s murder and it was fascinating trying to work out what exactly was going on and what happened to make her snap the way she apparently did. I was never quite sure whether she was a reliable narrator or not, particularly when you add in what you were finding out about her from the other part of the book. Although she was silent, she was certainly still a fascinating character.

Much has been said about the twist in this book which of course I’m not going to give away. I usually hate when it is mentioned that there is a twist as it means I read a book looking for it the whole way through. But as I had seen it spoken about, I knew something big was coming. And for once in my life, I guessed it! Did that spoil my enjoyment? Well no, because even though it was revealed eventually, the author was still putting doubts in my mind that I may not have been correct in my suspicions. And there were many more things happening which took me by surprise!

The Silent Patient is a very intriguing book which will keep you guessing throughout even if, like me, you do guess the twist. It reads almost as if a detective novel at times with Theo investigating his client. I liked the connection to the Greek tragedy Alcestis, a story I wasn’t familiar with but which tied in perfectly in many ways with Alicia’s story. With its pacy short chapters, The Silent Patient was a quick read for me. There’s plenty happening in this compelling debut novel to keep those pages turning till the very end.

The Silent Patient was published by Orion Publishing in February this year. It is available in hardback, ebook and audiobook formats. A paperback edition will follow in December this year. It should be available to buy or order from your usual book retailer or you can order a copy online here: The Silent Patient

The Silent Patient was published by Orion Publishing in February this year. It is available in hardback, ebook and audiobook formats. A paperback edition will follow in December this year. It should be available to buy or order from your usual book retailer or you can order a copy online here: The Silent Patient

From the back of the book

ALICIA
Alicia Berenson writes a diary as a release, an outlet – and to prove to her beloved husband that everything is fine. She can’t bear the thought of worrying Gabriel, or causing him pain.

Until, late one evening, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times and then never speaks another word.

THEO
Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia’s silence goes far deeper than he first thought.

And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth?

About the author

Alex Michaelides
Author photo from Amazon

Alex Michaelides was born in Cyprus in 1977 to a Greek father and English mother. He studied English literature at Cambridge University and got his MA in screenwriting at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. He wrote the film The Devil You Know (2013) starring Rosamund Pike and co-wrote The Brits are Coming (2018), starring Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, Parker Posey and Sofia Vergara. THE SILENT PATIENT is his first novel.


4 thoughts on “#TheSilentPatient by @AlexMichaelides #review @orionbooks

  1. I think this was one that, for me, suffered from the hype around it. Not that I didn’t like it, far from it. But I was expecting more somehow. It’ll be interesting to see where Alex goes next though. Great review, Joanne! xx

    Liked by 1 person

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