Book Review: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

The Silent Patient

“You become increasingly comfortable with madness – and not just the madness of others, but your own. We’re all crazy, I believe, just in different ways.” 

One evening, Alicia Berenson shoots her husband in the face 5 times and then never speaks another word. Theo Faber followed the case in the media closely and being a criminal psychologist becomes obsessed with her and the case. He is determined to help Alicia Berenson talk and discover the real mystery surrounding that night and how a perfectly happy seeming couple came to that end. Theo applies for a job at the facility where Alicia is being held on grounds of insanity and his search for the truth leads us and him down a rabbit hole that threatens to consume him.

“As you will see, it’s an incredible story—of that there is no doubt. Whether you believe it or not is up to you.”

I can see why this book is receiving all the hype that it is. First of all, the premise is incredible and makes you want to pick up this book. Secondly, It is really difficult to put down once you start. I don’t think this book is fast paced but I do think it’s very compelling. This book is narrated in first person by Theo and he is such a compelling and incredibly unreliable narrator. This is the only psychological thriller that I have heard compared to Gone Girl that I can see why. This book starts off as your standard mystery book, you’re fascinated by Alicia, you too want to know why she hasn’t spoken since the night she allegedly took her husband’s life. Not to her lawyers, not her psychologists, not at the trial, not to proclaim her innocence or guilt, Alicia Berenson has never said a word since that night. As Theo digs further into that night, more and more suspects other than Alicia emerge, and you always think you’ve got it figured out but I promise you, you don’t.

“At the time I didn’t understand. But that’s how therapy works. A patient delegates his unacceptable feelings to his therapist; and she holds everything he is afraid to feel, and feels it for him. Then, ever so slowly, she feeds his feelings back to him.”

I personally didn’t see the answer to the mystery coming until almost 75% into the book and even then, I just had my suspicions, I never fully figured it out until the book was almost done. I can’t give you more than this because obviously, this book depends on the big twist, and I don’t want to say anything that’ll spoil that. This book was very well written, I was incredibly delighted by the language and the level of research that went into this book. This book is a slow burn that builds into an explosion. I wholeheartedly recommend this book. Gave it 3 stars on goodreads.



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