The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides hits the ground running with a vicious domestic murder, a disturbing asylum for the criminally insane, and a lead suspect who no longer speaks, this psychological thriller will keep you thinking and the final twist will leave you speechless.
The story is set in London and has Theo Faber, a psychotherapist, as the main protagonist. The story revolves around Alicia Berenson and her seemingly perfect life. She is a famous painter and is married to an in-demand fashion photographer. She has everything a person dreams of- fame, a great husband, a happy life. Nevertheless, one evening her husband Gabriel returns home late after a fashion shoot and Alicia murders him by shooting him five times in his 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. Throughout Theo’s investigation of what happened to Alicia, he traces snippets of Alicia’s past life, interviewing friends and family. Meanwhile, he also encounters his own mental strife, which threatens to consume him.
This nail-biting thriller includes the greek tragedy of Alcestis in its plot and the final twist left me in utter disbelief.
You become increasingly comfortable with madness- and not just the madness of others, but your own. We’re all crazy, I beleive, just in different ways.The Silent Patient
The characters are incredibly complex. Each time I thought I had figured it out, a new door opened leading me to a completely different conclusion. Through Theo’s narration and Alicia’s diary entries, Alex creates a suspicious and hair-raising atmosphere throughout the book only to get that final mind-blowing twist at the end which literally made me shut the book for a while to make myself calmer, for my excitement was on peak.