BOOK REVIEW: THE SILENT PATIENT By ALEX MICHAELIDES

This book was suggested to me by the book club created by the residents in the apartment I’m living in. The club was created two months ago – a product of the lockdown. Honestly, if not for the club, I may never have read the book. I’m glad I did. For not only was it different from the kind of books I generally read but it’s exceptionally well-written.

‘The Silent Patient’ is a psychological thriller that kept me hooked till the end. It was my first in the genre. By the end of the book, I was completely in awe of the author’s mastery over his craft. ‘Brilliant,’ is the only word that comes to mind. The writing style was simple, the plot exquisitely weaved It was like a slow dance where the author lead and I followed not knowing when it would end or what the next step was. I believe the book has been made into a movie. I don’t think though I’d be able to watch it because I’m sure the sound and lighting effects (especially in case of a thriller) would spook me out.

The plot took me by surprise – kind of like eating wasabi and the spice hits you. I though it was only me since I’m not into thrillers but when we discussed it at the book club, apparently everybody felt the same.

The story as per the author

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….

What I liked about the book?

I liked the arrangement of the chapters as either narrated by Theo or pages from Alicia’s diary. The language is simple allowing the reader to enjoy the book. And the story keeps moving- though the reader might know where it’s going. Yet, with each chapter a little more information is revealed but it leaves you guessing. I ended barking up the wrong tree- honestly till the end.

Since it’s my first in the genre and because of the finesse with which the plot was written, it’ll stay with me. It’s tempted me to check out more of the genre and from the author.

What I did not like about the book? Maybe just the very end. It kind of fizzled out. But leaving that the book was still amazing.

Rating : I’m not going to rate the book because it’s rated a success already. But will say kudos to the author for the way he weaved it together.

If you have not read the book, please do. You’ll enjoy it, even if psychological thriller is not your type. If it is, and you’ve already read it, let me know how you found the book in the comments section. If not, what are you waiting for? 🙂

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9 responses to “BOOK REVIEW: THE SILENT PATIENT By ALEX MICHAELIDES”

  1. Manja Maksimovič Avatar

    Fascinating! Thank you for the recommendation. I was surprised of the genre, I thought you were a more gentle person. 😉 Now that you say it was your first book in this genre, it makes sense. I agree, the very end is a bit less than it could have been, but the entire thing is effective nevertheless. I was reading it and couldn’t stop and almost didn’t sleep that night. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Wow, Manja. You’re such a fast reader. Lol…you thought right 😀. I’m not into thrillers or horror stories or movies. I’m so glad to know you enjoyed reading the book and you managed to catch your sleep too🙂. You surprised me though with your reading speed. 😘

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Manja Maksimovič Avatar

        I couldn’t stop! And it went so fast.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Smitha V Avatar

          😊 sounds you really liked it.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. boundlessblessingsblog Avatar

    A nice review and the book sounds like a mystery to me and why the wife killed her husband. Thanks for the lovely share, Smitha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Its an amazing book Kamal. You should read it if you have the time. Thank you for reading the review. Have a wonderful weekend.

      Like

      1. boundlessblessingsblog Avatar

        Yes will definitely do so Smitha. Welcome and you too have a wonderful weekend 💖💖💖

        Liked by 1 person

  3. James J. Cudney IV (Jay) Avatar

    Great review. I agree about the ending. But otherwise very strong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thanks James for the appreciation. I’m so glad you agree. The ending was too rushed and somehow didn’t go with the rest of the book which was so very well put together.

      Liked by 1 person

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