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.
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!