Book Review: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Only she knows what happened.
Only I can make her speak.

I love him so totally, completely, sometimes it threatens to overwhelm me.
Sometimes I think-

No. I won’t write about that.

Alicia Berenson writes a 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?

What I Thought:
It’s a risky business hyping a book and telling people it is a must-read. I mean, can it ever really live up to all that hype? The Silent Patient not only lives up to the hype, the twist in it by far surpasses anything that anyone told me about the book and could quite possibly have you yelling a swear…

Told from both the perspective of psychotherapist Theo Faber, a man who becomes obsessed with breaking through Alicia’s silence, and through the diaries of Alicia Berenson, it creates a tense thriller and the book is really impressive for a debut novel.

I felt that, despite the sensationalist nature of Alicia’s crime, the book started with a slow burn but, as her diaries become more frantic and indicative of a woman on the edge, the urge to read right to the end was compulsive and once all is reavealed, it really is breathtaking!

Right from the off, Theo is an unconventional psychotherapist in that he alone feels that he can break through Alicia’s silence when everyone else has written her off. He visits members of her family, trying to understand her and gets into trouble for going way beyond his remit as her caregiver. What that does do though is give us a deeper understanding of Alicia as a character when put alongside her own diaries which, in the end, provide all the words that are needed.

The style and format of this book is great – the voices are interwoven in such a way that, just when you think you’re getting somewhere, the other voice will continue the story instead – it truly is tantalising!

The book is not out until Feb 2019, so it’s quite a wait but, I assure you, it’s worth it, so Pre-order or add it to your wish lists now.

The Silent Patient will be published by Orion Books in February 2019. For more information on this book and Alex Michaelides, you can connect with him on Twitter.

Please note: I received a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are, as ever, my own.

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