The Silent Patient – Book Review

By: Alex Michaelides

My Goodreads Review: 4/5 Stars

“…we often mistake love for fireworks – for drama and dysfunction. But real love is very quiet, very still. It’s boring, if seen from the perspective of high drama. Love is deep and calm – and constant.”

My Summary:

Theo Faber, a psychotherapist, whose captivated by a domestic murder in London, England, is the main character in this thriller. England is shocked by this story and gripped by the court case.   Alicia Berenson allegedly tied up her husband and shot him in the face five times.  She was found with his blood on her and with cuts on her wrist.  Alicia refuses to speak, going through her trial and sentencing completely emotionless. All witnesses to her life claim she was in a loving marriage, and they cannot understand how this happened.  Alicia is convicted of murder and sent to a mental institution.  Many years later, Theo has an opportunity to work in the institution that holds Alicia; he can’t help but be intrigued by her and takes the job. He spends time trying to get Alicia to talk and speaks with her friends and family.  Theo tries to unravel the story of Alicia and the murder.

“Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive, and will come forth later, in uglier ways. —SIGMUND FREUD”

My Review:

I haven’t read a thriller with this type of shocking ending in a very long time, and I absolutely loved it.  Although the initial few chapters were a bit slow, and I found the main character to be a bit flat, the story itself was captivating. 

In the beginning, I found myself struggling to connect with Theo Faber.  His character was quite dull, but as the story unravels, especially when he begins meeting with Alicia, he becomes much more interesting.  Alicia, however, captivates me from the very beginning.  I wanted to understand who she was, how she grew up and what brought her into this situation. The painting she completed after her husband’s murder added to her intrigue.  As I learned more about Alicia, I became more attached to this story.

I really enjoyed Michaelides’s writing style.  I never felt overwhelmed by unnecessary detail or confused with any of the plot twists.  I think this story flowed very well, building up along the way, entangling you more into the plot.

By far, my favourite part of this book was the ending.  In no way did I predict how this story would end.  It all concluded in such a shocking way I couldn’t put the book down and when I did, I was still shocked that I re-read the final chapter to ensure I didn’t miss anything.  The ending perfectly concluded both characters.

Overall, this was a captivating, mesmerizing thriller that kept me on my toes for most of the book.  I would recommend it to people who love a good thriller.

“No one is born evil. As Winnicott put it, “A baby cannot hate the mother, without the mother first hating the baby.”

New Book by Alex Michaelides:

‘The Maidens’ Book Summary:

Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A handsome and charismatic Greek Tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike—particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens.

Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana’s niece Zoe, is found murdered in Cambridge.

Mariana, who was once herself a student at the university, quickly suspects that behind the idyllic beauty of the spires and turrets, and beneath the ancient traditions, lies something sinister. And she becomes convinced that, despite his alibi, Edward Fosca is guilty of the murder. But why would the professor target one of his students? And why does he keep returning to the rites of Persephone, the maiden, and her journey to the underworld?

When another body is found, Mariana’s obsession with proving Fosca’s guilt spirals out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility as well as her closest relationships. But Mariana is determined to stop this killer, even if it costs her everything—including her own life.
Goodreads Summary

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