The Silent Patient
By Alex Michaelides
pp. 336 Celadon Books $14.79
There’s so much I want to say about this book, but then I’d be giving away spoilers.
The basic plot centers around the eponymous character, Alicia Berenson, who after being charged with killing her husband is committed to a psychiatric institute.
Alicia was a respected artist and had what some thought was a perfect life. What would make her shoot her husband five times in the face? That’s what therapist, Theo Faber, plans to find out. She’s been a fascination of his for years. And now that he’s managed to get a job at the Grove, he’s in a position to finally ask.
The author weaves back and forth in time leaving the reader slightly off-balance, which is exactly where he wants you. Combined with a well-drawn cast of characters, the final blow sneaks up on you.
This was a popular book club pick, most everyone gave it a thumbs up. Personally, I enjoyed the fast pace and psychology of the characters’ motivations. Aside from Alicia, there’s the love-struck brother-in-law, the eccentric neighbor Alicia confided in, the studio owner she was about to leave, the cousin and aunt who have their own issues with her, the asylum inhabitants each with their own motivations and Theo himself with his obsession. Nothing is quite what it seems.
The Silent Patient was fun to read. I recommend to anyone who likes Thrillers. It would make a great podcast episode, like a real crime profile behavioral analysis.