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...
I read this book as a buddy read with Amy and Steffi, and we all ended up powering through it in record time (and completely ignoring any deadlines we’d set ourselves), so I think that says a lot about what The Silent Patient is like.
I have to admit that I was a bit hesitant about the plot in the beginning. I didn’t like the idea of a guy becoming obsessed with fixing a woman because she’s a challenge or thought of as unfixable. Thankfully, the main character wasn’t portrayed like that, and it turned out to be a really good plot.
I absolutely flew through The Silent Patient, mostly because it had such short chapters and the plot just didn’t stop. I don’t think it would have worked as well as a longer book, and it certainly wouldn’t have been as thrilling.
I loved getting to know the female main character, Alicia, through her diary. Her story was told really well, and I was totally invested in seeing her side of things and wanting her situation to improve.
Of course, the ending was explosive, and I loved how the author wove the story together. The author dropped little hints throughout the story and in the end it all came together and made so much sense. I was reading faster and faster towards the end because it was all starting to make sense and I finally had a decent theory on what was happening!
While I really liked The Silent Patient, I didn’t love it, unfortunately. I have nothing really bad to say about it, but it wasn’t a favourite of mine, which is why I’ve only given it four stars despite the positive review!