Review | The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Title: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Published: February 5, 2019

Read as: Large print library loan

Average Goodreads rating: 4.05

My rating: 3

⭐⭐⭐

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 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…. (from Goodreads)

You know, one of the hardest things to admit is that we weren’t loved when we needed it most. It’s a terrible feeling, the pain of not being loved.

Friends, I’m going to try to keep this short. Why? I have some conflicting emotions about this book. Lets take a couple paragraphs here and see if we can hash them out, shall we?

I don’t read thrillers often. I enjoy them but they just don’t get the bulk of my reading focus. But, for some reason, The Silent Patient called my name and I gave into the urge to read it with very little fuss.

For the bulk of this story I was 100% invested. It had me hook, line, and sinker. The characters were fascinating and the story itself had me wondering, puzzling the entire time. I’m not the kind of person that can figure out The Big Mystery in books like this. I never, ever get it right and that was the same for this story. I like that. I love the surprise and the wonder as we collect our suspects and clues.

I can’t say that I loved the characters in this book, though they were fascinating, but I don’t think that we were meant to. They are all human and deeply flawed in their own ways. It was easy to picture them as normal people going about their lives, such as they were. But likable? I wouldn’t go that far.

Despite the fact that up until the last couple of chapter I absolutely loved this story, I still gave it three stars. Up until the end I had every intention of giving a four or even a five I loved it so much.

And then we found out the truth of The Big Mystery and, folks, I was so completely underwhelmed it was painful.

The big reveal ruined the entire story for me. I can’t get passed it. I can’t overlook it. I understand that this book is up for an award on the Goodreads Choice Awards 2019 but, and I’m going to be brutally honest here, it doesn’t deserve it. So much emotional buildup and tightly wound emotions just for everything to fall apart.

Its that ball of yarn that you’ve left in the basket by your favorite chair. You were knitting it into a lovely scarf to keep you warm even on the most chill winter’s day. Then you realized that somewhere along the line a stitch was dropped and the whole thing is ruined and needs a complete rework.

Sigh.

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