Author: Ales Michaelides
Genre: Psychological thriller
First Publication: 2019
Major Characters: Alicia Berenson, Theo Faber, Gabriel Barenson
Book Summary: The Silent Patient
Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer; she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the 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.
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 into his own motivations―a search for the truth that threatens to consume him…
Book Review: The Silent Patient
At first, I wasn’t sure that I would like this book; The Silent Patient seemed, for all intents and purposes, like just another generic psychological thriller books. In many ways it was, but in other ways, it stood out because of its excellent characters and the depth of the story and its themes. Looking beyond the façade of a picture-perfect married couple to see the dysfunction beneath the veil of modern life, The Silent Patient calls into question the horrific events which left one dead and another living a mute existence in a mental hospital.
The main characters in this thriller are a psychotherapist, Theo, and a mysterious artist Alicia, who kills her husband; and then doesn’t speak a word for years. As you might imagine, Theo wants to treat Alicia, so he eventually gets a staff position at the hospital where she is being held.
We have sections mostly from Theo’s point of view as he tries to get Alicia to talk and then snippets from Alicia’s journal. This helps up piece together pieces of the puzzle from the past along with Theo talking to Alicia’s friends and family — almost like a detective. Interesting to learn that these actions aren’t recommended for psychotherapists, you are meant to just treat the patient.
We start to get the picture of what happened on that fateful night, and then there is a fantastic twist thrown in that I never saw coming!
This is a dark book, but a compelling mystery and powerful look at psychotherapy and the connection between a patient and a doctor. In spite of the strict bounds of ethics, it’s a strangely deep connection which takes somebody’s life into account; and as Theo tries to fit the scattered puzzle pieces of Alicia’s life together, what he finds is totally unexpected. In spite of being vaguely far-fetched and over-dramatic at times, The Silent Patient mostly carries a genuine, honest and realistic feature which makes it all-the-more gripping and engaging.
Buy Now: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
The Silent Patient
Rs. 320 in stock