Book Review: “The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides

silent patientCriminal psychotherapist Theo Faber has been doing his best to get an opportunity to work with convicted murderer and famous artist Alicia Berenson for some time. He finally gets his chance when he is taken on as part of the staff at the Grove, a secure facility in London, where she and several other patients are being housed. Alicia hasn’t spoken a word since the night she shot her husband, and Theo is determined to get her to open up to him. He looks into her past and meets with people who were significant in her life as he tries to uncover the truth of what took place in hopes of achieving a breakthrough with Alicia. The book is largely told from Theo’s perspective, and he does make for an interesting protagonist, though understandably it is Alicia who really stands out, despite her silence. We get excerpts from her journal scattered throughout, and these provide some much needed insight into the character. The central mystery is compelling and the novel moves along at a brisk pace, keeping the reader turning the pages well into the night, all leading up to a shocking conclusion. The writing was fairly ordinary, which holds this book back from being a true classic, but it is still a fun and suspenseful read with an ending that will have people talking throughout the Summer. ★★★★ – Sean Farrell

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★★★★★ = Excellent | ★★★★ = Very Good | ★★★ = Good | ★★ = Fair | ★ = Poor

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