My Review | The Silent Patient

Photo shows the book cover of The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides - Photo by Peri McKinnis - Peri Reads -

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….

This book was a whirlwind of emotions for me. From the very beginning right to the end I was on the edge of my seat. My friend lent me this book giving it so much praise and I’m happy to say it met my expectations. Like it truly took me for a ride. Michaelides creates well-rounded characters that make you question who’s good or bad, the overall descriptions of the setting is incredible, and he manages to bring back flashbacks that don’t feel forced or over saturated. I almost forgot I was reading a book instead watching a movie I’d find on Netflix or something like that. 

“We're all crazy, I believe, just in different ways.”

The story revolves around our two main characters: Alicia Berenson, a famous painter who seems to be living the high life but suddenly kills her husband with no real motive and Theo Faber, a psychotherapist desperate to know Alicia’s story. Other characters are scattered throughout the book but it’s like they’re there to throw the reader off. A red herring, if you will. Theo goes to the ward that Alicia is being held in to gain some knowledge on why she’d murder her “perfect husband” even though everyone has given up on her considering that she hasn’t spoken since the accident. We are given bits and pieces of each characters life through snippets of chapters that give us genuine characterization. Michaelides organically moves the story by throwing in pages from Alicia’s diary days before the accident and what goes on in Theo’s life when he isn’t at the ward.

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I was entertained with these snippets because I didn’t feel bombarded with the information rather I was begging for it. I wanted to get to the bottom of Alicia’s case too and I was starting to get suspicious of anyone that was close to her. As Theo was as well. The ending was definitely something I wasn’t expecting and threw me for another loop. Every guess that I had was wrong and I’m still questioning if that was a good or bad thing. But I’ll give credit to Michaelides to finding a way to end a story with so many questions in the beginning and finding a way to perfectly fit the answers. 

“There’s so much pain everywhere, and we just close our eyes to it. The truth is we’re all scared. We’re terrified of each other.”

But I’ll say that was probably my only real complaint with the book. As much as I enjoyed the mystery and the ambiance the twist only confused me more. I don’t want to spoil it for you just rather giving you a heads up. Not that it didn’t make any sense rather it made me wonder how reliable of a narrator Theo was. Other than that I enjoyed every aspect of the book and would definitely recommend it to mystery and crime lovers. 






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Hey! I’m Peri McKinnis

Peri McKinnis of Peri Reads

I’m a creative, I’m a dreamer, and I’m an Aries. I’ll read any book with enough convincing, I enjoy weird movies, and I’m a caffeine fiend. From the day that I brought my first book catalog home from school I knew that books were going to have a special place in my heart. Now I want to spread that love here, to talk about the books that made us cry, fall in love, and scorn because we couldn’t finish them.