The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
323 pages | Published Feb 5th, 2019
Rating: 5/5 stars
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.
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?
Another book for my Read the World project ♡
I didn’t know much about The Silent Patient when I started reading – I only knew that the story followed a psychologist (or something of the sort), and that they would be treating/studying someone with a mental illness, namely someone who had committed murder. However, this story is much more than that. It is incredibly well-built and the writing had me hooked right from the start. If you can, don’t read much about the story itself, go into it as blindly as possible.
Alicia’s character is rather intriguing, mysterious, and almost mythical. In fact, references to Greek mythology are pretty common throughout this read, which, if you’ve been here for a while, you would know is right up my alley. This being the case, The Silent Patient had everything it needed to be a great book. The recurring mythological reference present in this book is Alcestis, the main character in a Greek tragedy that I read a couple years ago, but had forgotten much of. In spite of this reference, you definitely do not need to have read the play beforehand – in reality, I think I enjoyed it much more this way, as knowing too much would probably ruin it a little bit. This is one of those books in which the less you know, the better – and the more you will enjoy it!
Regarding Theo, our protagonist, I found him to be very captivating as a narrator, but even more so as a character. As we read on, Theo describes what goes on within the clinic where he works, what the different patients are like, how they interact, among other details of his professional life. Simultaneously, Theo also lets us in on his personal life, including his relationship with his parents and his marriage. Thus, we are able to explore and see every side of him, as Theo himself tries to get to know Alicia and investigates her past in search for the truth.
However, as great as the characters may be, the strong point of this book is its plot. Michaelides creates an incredible story that completely blew my mind. He goes places I never expected him to, and that is one of the best parts of this read. Just so you understand how obsessed I am with this book, I think I would risk saying that this is right up there with The Wife Between Us, which is basically one of my favorite books of all time – and probably my favorite thriller of all time. So this is a serious statement 😁 What can I say, I’m a sucker for good plots and being mindfucked 🤷🏻♀️
Overall, The Silent Patient is an addicting, compulsive read that features mind games and intriguing characters, all the while exploring human behavior. As you can probably guess, I absolutely loved this read, and I definitely recommend it to everyone, especially crime/thriller lovers. I still haven’t recovered from it, if I’m being honest – it’s genius!
I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on The Silent Patient and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!
Have you read this amazing debut? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!
Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡