Review: The Silent Patient

2019-02-18 19.09.22

Rating: 3.5 Stars

I read some gushing reviews for The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides which made me want to read it immediately. So, instead of waiting for the book to get to me by post, I opted for the Kindle version which is a kind of instant gratification for impatient people like me. I wouldn’t call the book a disappointment, because it kept me hooked and I really wanted to know where it was going, but I wasn’t blown away by it, like some reviewers I really look up to.

Alicia Berenson is the titular Silent Patient in this book. She hasn’t spoken a word in six years, ever since she shot her husband five times, and tried to slit her own wrists. Theo Faber, a forensic psychotherapist becomes obsessed with her case, and vows to make Alicia better again. From the beginning, you see Theo getting caught up in a web of emotions and personal feelings towards his patient. The only thing that remains to be seen is whether he will be able to come out of the whole thing unscathed.

As the book goes back and forth between Theo’s first person narrative, and Alicia’s diary entries, you get the feeling that something doesn’t add up. It takes a while to work it out, but by the time all is revealed in the book, you have managed to guess more or less what it is. Of course, the fact that I have lost count of the multiple-narrative psychological thrillers that I have read might have something to do with why the twist didn’t hit me really hard.

This doesn’t mean that the book is not worth reading. It is a good book with crisp writing and short chapters that keep you hooked; a page-turner for sure. I really enjoyed reading it, until I came to the part that I didn’t enjoy so much… the ending of the book. I feel the end warranted something explosive and unexpected. I find that when reading such thrillers, I don’t really enjoy neat conclusions. Most writers like to wrap things properly and tie up all ends, which doesn’t make for exciting reading.

Recommended for people who like fast paced psychological thrillers.


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