Book: The Silent Patient
Author: Alex Michaelides
This is going to be a micro review because the whole world has read this one and loved it. I want to put this out here for people who’re waiting for a review from the wholeworld+1 th reader. Here I am.
Six years ago Alicia, an artist of repute, tied her husband to a chair, shot him six times in the face, slit her wrists and waited for the police. She then went quiet and refused to speak. Six years later she is housed at The Grove, a facility for mentally disturbed patients and she still hasn’t spoken, not one word.
Enter Theo Faber, a criminal psychotherapist. He gives up his job at a thriving facility to come to The Grove. He is intrigued by Alicia, to the point of obsession and is determined to get her to talk. For that, he is ready to flout all rules and go to any lengths. He looks for clues in her past and in her art, he investigates her relationships with her dead husband, her agent, her friends and family.
All this while, he also struggles to hold together his troubled marriage.
If you like thrillers, you might also like Lock Every Door.
Having heard a lot about the book, I had put aside an entire weekend for it and I’m glad I did because it turned out to be unputdownable.
The story unravels through Theo’s narration in the first person and, parallelly, through pages of Alicia’s diary. We come to know that Alicia had a difficult past and suffered from some form of depression. However, her relationship with her husband wasn’t troubled at all. That’s when we begin to wonder why she shot him. Did she discover something that led her to take the drastic step? And also, Did she shoot him at all?
The suspense builds up through the pages as Theo begins to unravel the layers of her mind.
Even though I caught on to the end a little before it came, I found it spectacular. That’s just how it should be in a psychological thriller. And then I wanted to re-read the entire book with the end in mind.
Last thought: A pacey psychological thriller that’s worth your time. Do read it if you haven’t already.