So, I got this book in a giveaway ages ago. It was the very first ARC I ever received, and kept slipping down my TBR pile, likely because I am primarily a fantasy/sci-fi reader. However, when I finally did get to it, I was so glad I did – not just because it helped break me out of a rut, but because it is one hell of a story.
Alicia lives a life most dream of. She lives in a house in one of the most desirable areas of London. She is a famous painter, and her husband, Gabriel, is an in-demand fashion photographer. Her life is perfect. That is, until one evening when Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.Alex Michaelides – Book Cover Synopsis.
Enter Theo Faber, a forensic psychotherapist who is obsessed with working with Alicia to unravel the mystery of why.
This twisting and turning novel doesn’t really keep you on the edge of your seat in an action packed kind of a way. It’s a slow burn. It get under your skin, feeding you half truths from all the characters you get to watch the narrator interact with. By the climax you, are desperate for the truth.
I don’t want to ruin anyone’s reading experience. This novel is full of surprises, well drawn characters, and a surprise ending. In retrospect, I feel like I should have been able to take a guess at the outcome a lot sooner than I did, but I think I was in the perfect frame of mind for this novel when I picked it up. I think seasoned phychological thriller readers will probably find this less surprising than I did. The Silent Patient is best consumed with a generous mug of tea (or glass of wine, if that’s your thing) on a rainy day, and when you can spend time getting lost in the book. Let the novel sweep you up and surprise you.
I spent a lot of this novel trying to decide if Alicia was actually guilty, and if she wasn’t, which of the handful of characters that we had been introduced to was actually the guilty party. Michaelides deftly lets you think the worst of almost everyone you meet. No one seems completely honest. Alicia seems guilty because she won’t speak. Her best friend was jealous of the relationship between Alicia and her husband. As we meet her family we realize a lot of her life is a charade, and the family members she still has left are extremely broken. Even Theo comes across as obsessive and more than a little in need of his own therapy – especially as you progress through the narrative.
This novel feels like the ultimate vacation read if you’re not the beachy type. It’s easy, surprising, and will hook you right from the get go. You can just relax and let the book take you on an adventure. I feel this novel is especially good for readers who tend to stick to a single genre (that isn’t psychological thrillers), it’s a solid read and can help you break out of a rut, and will likely be a real surprise come then end!