Orion Books February 2019 (Hardback)
‘I love him so totally, completely, sometimes it overwhelms 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 far deeper than he first thought.
And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth?
High on my wish list since publication earlier this year, The Silent Patient is, put simply brilliant and most definitely worthy of all the hype.
Set in the world of forensic mental health, Alicia is the Silent Patient, incarcerated since her husband’s death and believed to be guilty of his murder, Alicia mutters no words, ever.
Theo, the Forensic Psychotherapist seeks out Alicia, familiar with her case and determined to work with her, but why?
What follows is a perfect piece of writing. Told mainly from Theo’s perspective we witness his sessions with Alicia and his professional life at The Grove – the secure therapeutic facility in which she resides. We also learn of his private life, his troubled past and his perfect marriage to Kathy.
Interspersed throughout are chronological excerpts from Alicia’s diary, commenced in the weeks preceding Gabriel’s murder.
The story unfolds in this way, wholly engaging until its splendid crescendo. Crammed with secrets and lies throughout, Theo seeks to understand Alicia using his own unconventional investigation. But everyone has their own agenda and no one is telling the whole truth.
This book kept me guessing to its very end and frankly this book was nothing short of brilliant. At 340 pages it was an absorbing read which I found hard to put down. Consequently I finished it in just over a day and rated it a 5 star read that I am confident will be in my top 10 read of this year.
About the Author
Alex Michaelides was born in Cyprus to a Greek-Cypriot father and English mother. He read English at Cambridge University and received a MA in screenwriting from the American Film Institute. He wrote the film Devil You Know, starring Rosamund Pike, and co-wrote The Con is On, starring Uma Thurman and Tim Roth. The Silent Patient is his first novel.