Author: Alex Michaelides
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Format: Hardcover 352 pages
Release Date: 7th February 2019
My huge thanks to Tracy Fenton for inviting me to join this tour and to the publisher for the review copy provided to me. I had seen so much buzz about this book on social media and the concept sounded right up my street so I jumped at the chance to read and review this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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 late from a fashion shoot and Alicia shoots him five times and then never speaks another word.
Theo Faber, a forensic psychotherapist, has been consumed with the case for five years, and is the only person able to unravel the mystery of why.
The Silent Patient is a heart-stopping debut thriller about a woman’s brutal and random act of violence against her husband – and the man obsessed with discovering why.
I absolutely loved the concept of this book, just reading the blurb I knew this was a book I would want to read in it’s entirety as there is nothing I love more than a big mystery and that mystery here is why won’t Alicia speak?
Theo is a psychotherapist who seems to have quite an unhealthy interest, bordering on times, obsession, with Alicia and the facts surrounding her case. He lands the opportunity of a lifetime when a job becomes available at the facility where Alicia resides. Theo starts working with Alicia and investigating into her background and family members and slowly but surely starts to piece together what makes her tick.
Throughout the book snippets of a diary Alicia kept in the weeks leading up to the murder of her husband are given. I thought this way of telling the story worked really well because as I read about Theo making progress in the present day, I was also reading along with Alicia’s state of mind. This helped to give Alicia a voice in the book and let me see in to her state of mind.
The author poses a really interesting concept in this book, that of ‘transference’, which is a theoretical phenomenon first described by Sigmund Freud as the ‘unconscious redirection of the feelings a person has about a second person to feelings the first person has about a third person’. Sounds a bit complicated right? But the way this plays into the story is how Theo experiences Alicia’s emotions when he meets with her and how he try’s to understand her on a non-verbal level.
I really enjoyed reading about the way how Theo, as a psychotherapist, tackled Alicia as a patient and how his sessions with her forced him to look closer at himself at the same time.
I was completely drawn in to this story from the very beginning with a desperate need to know what happened. As I was reading I was trying to pick apart the various characters that are involved to see what hidden motives could be lurking but I can honestly say I didn’t see the ending coming. In the final chapters I began to start having a suspicion and when all the truths were finally revealed I found myself thinking ‘very cleverly done’.
About the Author
Alex Michaelides was born in Cyprus in 1977. He wrote the film The Devil You Know staring Roasmund Pike and co-wrote The Brits are Coming, starring Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, Stephen Fry, Parker Posey and Sofia Vergara. The Silent Patient is his first novel. He was inspired to write it while doing a post graduate course in psychotherapy and working part-time at a secure psychiatric unit for two years. Brad Pitt’s Plan B are developing the film of the Silent Patient: they have won Best Film Oscars for The Departed, 12 Years a Slave and Moonlight.
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