Alex Michaelides / Book Review / Speedy Spoilers

Alex Michaelides | The Silent Patient

silent patient alex michaelides

The Book: 

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides, 2019

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Characters: 

Alicia, the patient
Theo, her therapist

Get it on Amazon.

The Plot (from Goodreads):

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.

silent patient alex michaelides
Get it here.
Click here for book spoilers for The Silent Patient
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read The Silent Patient, I suggest you turn back now.

The Ending:

Theo is a psychiatrist determined to crack Alicia, a patient who hasn’t spoken since she killed her husband. He gains her trust and she gives him her diary from before the murder, in which she insists someone was stalking her. When Theo finally gets her to speak, she says the stalker tied her up and killed the husband in front of her. Theo didn’t believe her, and eventually she admitted that she did it. The plot twist was that Theo was the stalker. The timeline of his wife cheating on him was earlier, and she had been cheating with Alicia’s husband. Theo fired the warning shot into the ceiling, but since Gabriel picked his life over hers Alicia killed him after Theo left. Theo drugged her into a coma, but she wrote what happened in the back of her diary and hid it. The book ended with the police showing up at Theo’s door to question him.

The Review:

I read this book a while ago, before starting my blog and Bookstagram, but wanted to write a review because I loved it so much. This was probably my favorite book of 2020, and definitely my most recommended. Since I’ve read it there has been a lot of hype, but I definitely think it is warranted. 

It’s hard to write a review for this without spoiling anything, and I certainly don’t want to provide any spoilers. As usual, I didn’t even read the summary before starting, and I was glad I did. It’s best to go into this one completely blind so that you’re just as surprised as I was! Alex Michaelides is an absolute genius. 

As this was a plot-driven thriller, there were some shortcomings in regards to the research. There were some aspects of Theo’s psychology practice that had me saying, “That would never happen.” Some further commentary on mental health could have added some depth to the book, but the author didn’t really get into it much. 

Overall an amazing debut and an excellent thriller. Don’t read too many reviews before you start, you definitely don’t want spoilers! Just read it, it’s worth it.

Check out my review of The Maidens too!

silent patient alex michaelides

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