Published by Celadon Books on February 5, 2019
Genres/Lists: Fiction, Mystery/Thriller
Read synopsis on Goodreads
Buy the book: Amazon/Audible (this post includes affiliate links)
Have you ever finished a book and wished you could start over to see what it is that you missed? That’s how The Silent Patient, a debut psychological thriller by Alex Michaelides, was for me. Gripping and fast-paced, I flew through the chapters and when I got to the end, I realized I was completely and utterly unprepared. I feel like I need to reread it straightaway so that I can try to pick up on everything I surely missed.That, of course, would defeat the purpose of being blown away by the force of this debut novel but the temptation is very real.
The Silent Patient is two stories woven into one. First, it’s about a woman named Alicia who shoots and kills her husband and never speaks again. Known for her artwork and beloved by all who knew her, her friends and the public at large try to make sense of why she would commit such a horrific act. But soon her 15 minutes of fame recedes and she’s relegated to a facility equipped to handle violent criminals and is largely forgotten.
Forgotten until Theo comes along, that is. Because the story is also about Theo, a psychotherapist who was captivated by Alicia’s silence and intent on helping her speak her truth and share her side of the story. Once assigned to her case, he explores creative (if not dubious) ways to connect with a woman who has no intention of connecting with anyone. But he persists by digging into her past and tries fervently to piece together the woman that was a famed and beloved artist with a woman who kills in cold blood.The buzz is true: #TheSilentPatient by @AlexMichaelides is a thrilling debut that is nearly impossible to put down. Click To Tweet
But delving into the psychological depths of such a person can be risky, and the reader is taken on a journey into Theo’s own mind and past. It turns out, it’s easy to cast judgment on or dismiss a mind we do not know or understand, but it’s perhaps even easier to rationalize a mind we do know and understand. For as Theo tries to pull a story out of Alicia, he runs the risk of writing his own.
The Silent Patient is a quick read – fast-paced and impossible to put down. The characters range from bold to meek to unreadable, but each plays a careful and strategic role in a thrilling story that will leave the reader unable to walk away. After all, even the silent one speaks volumes and at the end of the day, sometimes it’s what you don’t say that says the most.
Recommended for: Readers looking for a psychological thriller that is gripping but not terrifying.