THE SILENT PATIENT BY ALEX MICHAELIDES
he Silent Patient is a slow burning mystery delving deep into the heart of Alicia’s story or so it seems. She was just thirty three years old when she killed her husband. Alicia was a painter and her husband Gabriel was a fashion photographer. He was only forty four years when he met his death. What triggered her to kill the love of her life? They were so in love. Gabriel truly cared for her.
Since Alicia’s arrest, she has remained silent. She is placed at the Grove, a psychiatric facility, where Theo applies for a job. Theo Faber is a psychotherapist who has twenty years in therapy trying to heal from trauma caused by his father’s upbringing. He believes he has what it takes and a similar experience to make Alicia speak.
The narration of this exquisitely plotted thriller is driven by excerpts from Alicia’s diary and Theo Faber’s voice. So naturally, we, the readers can’t tell the why’s or reason out some of the ‘hints’ unless Theo let’s us in. We are at Theo Faber’s mercy to unravel the tale for us. Sadly, at his speed.
How does Theo plan to make her speak when all the seasoned psychotherapists have failed? Perhaps it’s a case of one damaged soul can assist another? Alicia’s diary quickly invites the readers to take notice of how interwoven their lives really are. It’s not mere doctor- patient relationship but much much deeper and so the mystery thickens.
My Thoughts on The Silent Patient
The Silent Patient was Alex Michaelides debut novel as an author, of the thriller sought so to speak. And he did an extraordinary job at it. He took his time to develop the main characters, Alicia and Theo Faber by intricately building the plot that justifies their actions.
Just when you think you can predict the next turn of events, Alex pulls a fast one on you. Evidently, page after page even through the ( sometimes dull slow progress in Alicia’s journal), I find myself patiently waiting to unravel if Alicia will speak. And when she finally does what will I find out? Will Theo succeed?
I have seen mixed reactions from reader reviewers including, ‘Amateurish with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.’ Of course I may not be a sassy thriller connoisseur but I disagree. The ending is the plot twist we were all waiting for, yet we didn’t see coming. And it was worth it!
Have you read The Silent Patient? I would love to hear your thoughts.