Saturday, 18 January 2020

Review: The Silent Patient

The Silent Patient The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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 is definitely a compelling book. It delves into how our behaviours are shaped by childhood events. Gradually, through the interaction Theo has with Alicia and through extracts from her diary, we discover what led to the murder of her husband and why she will not speak. I wanted to know the outcome. Would she speak? Why did she kill her husband? It's quite a slow burner and then ..... a twist I did not see coming. Could not put it down.

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