The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
“Remember, love that doesn’t include honesty doesn’t deserve to be called love.”– Alex Michaelides
Book: The Silent Patient
Author: Alex Michaelides
Published: 5th Feb 2019
Genre: Novel, Thriller, Mystery, Psychological thriller, Suspense, Psychological Fiction
LGBTQIA literature: No
Publisher: Orion books, Hachette UK
My rating: 3.5/5
‘I love him so totally, completely, sometimes it threatens to overwhelm me. Sometimes I think…
No. I won’t write about that.’
Alicia Berenson writes in her 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 for deeper than he first thought.
And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth?
“You know, one of the hardest things to admit is that we weren’t loved when we needed it most. It’s a terrible feeling, the pain of not being loved.”– Alex Michaelides
Thrillers have never been my go to genre but I really liked suspense and I always wanted to try some. So, I picked up the most decorated psychological thriller and somehow, I knew I wouldn’t be dissapointed.
Alex Michaelides delivered what was promised and just like that, I am into thrillers now.
The book is mostly from Theo’s POV but we also get the ocassional intercepts from Alicia’s journal and they were so strategically placed that they made the biggest difference on the impact it had on me.
The chapters are really short and the book is fast paced. That’s something I loved about it and I think it is the kind of book you should read if you want to get introduced to a particular genre.
The blurb didn’t intrigue me much tbh but the first chapter was good that I couldn’t keep it down. The author also drops a lot of interesting twists every now and then to make sure that the reader stays hooked onto the story.
I absolutely loved the characters and the writing was so good that I couldn’t judge them correctly. I think that was what made it more interesting for me. I usually guess who the culprit is or get a sense of where it is going but I wasn’t even remotely close for this one.
One take back for me was that the ending felt stretched out. I got the dramatic effect that the author might have gone for but I didn’t think that it was necessary. It could have ended at the last excerpt from the diary and that would have been perfect. But, that’s just want I think.
I also feel like a lot of loose links have been left in the form of suspects. It’s like a few stories opened up but were not completely explored and have been kept hanging.
Overall, it was a great read and I really want to read more thrillers. The reference to a Greek Tragedy – Alcestis and how the story of connected to it is also something that made me like the book.
Somehow, the author chose a very predictable plot and made it unpredictable by hitting us with the truths in the most uncanny way possible.
I rate the book 3.5/5.
“No one is born evil. As Winnicott put it, “A baby cannot hate the mother, without the mother first hating the baby.”– Alex Michaelides
The book had a lot of twists but it didn’t go overboard. The biggest and the one I hadn’t seen coming was Theo’s version of Kathy being in the past and not in the simultaneous timeline as his work in the Grove.
I had a hunch that Theo might somehow be involved in the murder but I loved how it all came together. I also think that Theo has several unresolved issues and he needs to work towards them and given that he is arrested, I hope he does that soon.
Coming to the characters:
Alicia Berenson: I so badly wanted to believe that she was acting. I wanted to believe that she hasn’t committed the murder but is trying to protect someone. Boy, was I wrong! Alicia seems to be a good person haunted by her demons. She got help at the right time but for once, it would have helped her if people believed her. I think Alicia dearly loved her husband and was heartbroken to a point where she felt helpless. She was very creative and worked hard to be happy but you don’t always get what you want.
Theo Faber: Did I have a hunch that he’s our bad guy? Yes! Sort of! But listening to his past struggles and his current (or so I thought) betrayal with his wife, I thought he might not be as bad as I thought. I was proven wrong but I am happy about it. This guy needs help. He has destroyed so many lives just because he couldn’t confront his wife. I do have taken a liking to him though.
“There’s so much pain everywhere, and we just close our eyes to it. The truth is we’re all scared. We’re terrified of each other.”– Alex Michaelides
What I liked about it:
1. Short chapters
2. Fast Paced
3. Gripping story
4. Not predictable
5. Will take you by surprise more than once
“Sometimes it takes courage, you know, and a long time, to be honest.”– Alex Michaelides
What I did not fancy:
1. I felt like it was stretched in the end.
2. Murder can be a trigger but it is a psychological thriller!
“I suppose what scares me is giving in to the unknown.”– Alex Michaelides