The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Author : Alex Michaelides
Title : The Silent Patient
Pages : 352
Publisher : Orion
Publication date : February 7, 2019


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. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

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…. 


If The Silent Patient has evaded your radar, you must have been living under a rock these past few months. There has been a massive campaign surrounding this one and a buzz so loud, it was almost deafening. Sold to more than thirty territories and with film rights snapped up before publication day, expectations for this one were immensely high!

Alicia is seemingly living the perfect life. She’s a famous painter, married to an in-demand fashion photographer, living in a big house in a very desirable neighbourhood. And yet, one evening when her husband returns late from a photoshoot, Alicia picks up a gun and shoots him in the face. Five times. And then, just like that, she stops talking, never to speak another word again.

A subject like Alicia’s condition is a dream come true for those who like to delve into people’s minds. Theo Faber, a criminal psychotherapist, has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. Can he find a way to make her talk and can he unravel the mystery surrounding the night Alicia’s husband died?

I can’t for the life of me even begin to imagine how hard it is to bring to life a character who doesn’t talk. You would think one-sided conversations would be utterly boring, but no. Alicia isn’t this cardboard version of herself and despite the fact she doesn’t utter a single word, she jumps from the pages and is immensely fascinating. Theo I had a harder time with, but I couldn’t quite figure out why that was. Sometimes someone just irks you, for no reason whatsoever, right? Just me? Okay then.

This character-driven psychological thriller with its intriguing premise makes for some extremely gripping and compelling reading. So full of suspense, so brilliantly executed and so well-paced, this is just one of those books I found impossible to put down. Somewhere along the line, things are turned completely onto its head and the theory I had floating around my brain from the very beginning was blown to smithereens. It made me feel as if I should have picked up some clues along the way but was way too immersed to see them. Mind —> blown!

And yet, I have no problem admitting that I initially felt a little underwhelmed. I felt it lacked something, something I couldn’t quite put my finger on, and it seemed to rely a bit too much on certain events that would redeem it somehow. I know, that’s immensely vague but I can’t say any more than that or I’ll ruin it for you. Yet, it’s also one of those books that I can’t seem to stop thinking about. It has been lingering on my mind for weeks and the more I go over it, thinking things through, the more I seem to like it. Isn’t it weird how that happens sometimes?

Still, The Silent Patient is an impressive debut by Alex Michaelides and he is most definitely an author to watch!

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  23 comments for “The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

  1. February 28, 2019 at 10:28 am

    Nice review! 🙂 Excited to pick The Silent Patient up!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. February 28, 2019 at 11:15 am

    My theory is that he’d left his dirty socks lying on the floor just once too often… #JustifiableHomicide

    Liked by 1 person

  3. February 28, 2019 at 11:18 am

    You had a theory eh 🙂 I didn’t have any theories at all! Saved me the trouble being wrong ;-). I do admit that the final part of the novel is the best part and it’s the ending that makes this novel so memorable! I have the same thing happening to me now, thinking about a novel and actually liking it more after I finished it, when I start analysing it and thinking back about what I read! Great review Eva!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. February 28, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    I’ve read a few books that have grown on me after I have read them, it’s like your brain needs extra time to process!

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 28, 2019 at 1:44 pm

      Yes, although in this case I think it may have been the hype somewhat. That pesky “is this it?” feeling. But looking back on it after a while, it is actually a really great book.

      Liked by 1 person

      • February 28, 2019 at 3:37 pm

        I’m glad you said that, I have it on my shelf at the moment 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  5. February 28, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    Fab review glad you enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. February 28, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    Don’t you love it when a book stays with you long after you’ve read the last page? I’m even more intrigued by this book. Wonderful review, Eva!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. February 28, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    Intended to read this book in February…maybe I will have more luck in March 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ChrissiReads
    February 28, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    I absolutely loved this book! Such a good debut. Wonderful review.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yvo
    February 28, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    Fab review! I can’t wait to read this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. February 28, 2019 at 10:50 pm

    Wonderful review! I plan to start it tomorrow. Now you have me wondering what theories I will have because I’m always coming up with theories (off the wall, usually) while reading suspense/mysteries! We will see, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 6, 2019 at 10:36 am

      Off the wall theories are the best! 😂


      • March 6, 2019 at 5:10 pm

        Yes they are! I finished this Monday night, and I wasn’t anywhere close with my theory. The ending was a shock then I realized the signs had been there but I wasn’t paying attention, Haha.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. March 2, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    I’m SO intrigued Eva! Starting this today so really looking forward to seeing what I think. You’re right, it’s had so much hype 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

  12. March 14, 2019 at 9:57 am

    I saw this book everywhere! 😀 And I am now slowly but surely starting to read the reviews for it… and, I am glad to see it will be turned into a movie- I would defo watch the movie!


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