Alex Michaelides’ The Silent Patient is the thrilling and fast-paced story of a famous artist who – seemingly unprovoked – shoots her husband in the face and then goes completely silent, and the psychotherapist whose mission is to get her to talk.
Alicia has been silent for six years, since the evening that she murdered her husband. The last time she really communicated was with a self portrait days after the attack. She is housed and heavily sedated in a psychiatric hospital.
Theo, a psychotherapist, is familiar with Alicia’s story – as is everyone in England; she’s famous for the incident and for her art. He leaves his stable job at another hospital to treat her. He wants to save her, wants to help her begin to speak again, but he may not be ready for Alicia’s reaction to his therapy.
Can Theo help Alicia find her voice? If she does begin to speak, what will she have to say about that night six years ago? Alex Michaelides’ fast-paced tale is wickedly alluring and utterly shocking.
Take caution when reading The Silent Patient if any of the following topics may trigger you:
- Self harm and suicide
- Death / dying
- Mental illness
I love psychological thrillers, but it is very rare that I think so highly of their literary merit that I give them five stars. Michaelides absolutely knocks it out of the park with The Silent Patient.
The story is consistently intriguing – even if there wasn’t an amazing twist I would still have really enjoyed it. Each chapter provides a new piece of the puzzle that adds so much depth to the story. Michaelides’ writing style is compelling and fast-paced and the chapters are very short, which I personally love and think helped immensely in maintaining the story’s pace. There is truly not one chapter that I didn’t find interesting.
There are a few awesome plots occurring simultaneously in this book. Alicia shot her husband and then never spoke again, so we’re left wondering why she shot her husband and why she won’t speak. Do her paintings hold any clues? Theo has some serious issues he’s dealing with, too (can’t tell you what, no spoilers). How will these affect his ability to treat Alicia?
There are so many red herrings throughout the story, which keep you on your toes at all times. Michaelides is a master at distracting you from what’s really going on, and you’ll just about die when you realize the truth.
The Silent Patient is one of the absolute best psychological thrillers I’ve ever read. Everything, from the first to the last page, is done exceptionally well. I highly recommend this novel.
Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts on The Silent Patient! I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments or at my Instagram, @bookmarkedbya!