Staff Review – The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

If you’ve been reading my reviews, you know that I’ve been looking to expand my horizons and read more titles from other genres – specifically diving into the world of mysteries. While “The Silent Patient” has a lot of mystery to it, it’s also a thriller, and even though I scare easily, I really wanted to read this novel. I’ve heard patrons and staff alike give this title great reviews, plus I heard it had a twist ending, so I decided to pick it up for myself. In “The Silent Patient”, we learn that Alicia Berenson has killed her husband six years ago. What’s interesting about her is that she has not spoken a single word since that night. The narrator of the novel, Theo Faber, is a psychotherapist that is determined to be the one to heal Alicia and get her to speak again. He transfers jobs to work at the facility she is at, and the story bounces between the present time with Theo and Alicia to Alicia’s diary in the months leading up to the murder.

Alicia is a very interesting character. At the start of the novel, all the reader is told is that she killed her husband (shot him 5 times while he was tied to a chair) and then never spoke again. If that doesn’t grab your attention, I don’t know what will! As the reader gets a glimpse into her past with her diary entries, we learn that Alicia, a painter, had some interesting creative expressions, seemed to have a good relationship with her husband Gabriel (though not with his brother), and overall doesn’t strike you as someone who would murder their husband. As the reader learns more about Alicia, everything really falls into place. While she seemed stable in the past, the Alicia we meet at the facility is heavily medicated to protect herself and others from her violent outbursts.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. As I’m new to the genre, I’m sure I fell for all the red herrings and misleading characters that Michaelides hoped I would fall for. As Theo looks into Alicia’s past, he acts more like a detective than a psychotherapist, meeting some interesting men from Alicia’s life before Gabriel was murdered. We also meet Theo’s wife and the struggles happening between the couple. At first, I wondered why we needed as much detail as we did about their relationship, but that became very clear by the end of the novel. I loved all the twists and turns the novel took, and that twist ending! I had to flip the pages back a few times after reading that one; I was in shock! If you’re looking for a page turner with lots of mystery and an interesting cast of characters, check out Alex Michaelides’ The Silent Patient today!