Book: The Silent Patient
Author: Alex Michaelides
Who should read this book: fans of a good thriller.
Okay guys, I don’t read a lot of thrillers. A lot of ones that I’ve read in my life, I figured them out or I wasn’t shocked by the outcome. That being said, I have a few that I have really enjoyed. Gone Girl and Dark Places by Gillian Flynn were great.
After reading this one, I’m thinking I need to read more thrillers. I did a poll on my Instagram for thriller suggestions and I got quite a few good ones. A lot of Peter Swanson and Ruth Ware. So I think I’ll be adding a few thrillers into the mix. They are always a quick read too because I power through them needing to know what’s going on.
Okay The Silent Patient. It’s a very interesting concept for a story. The main character Alicia, is in a psychiatric hospital after being charged with the murder of her husband. She’s not in jail because she hasn’t spoken a word to anyone since. After 7 years, a new therapist arrives at the hospital and starts working with her, his name is Theo.
There is a connection made very quickly to a Greek play by Euripides called Alcestis. Alcestis was a woman in Greek mythology that sacrificed herself for her husband, she dies in his place, and then she is brought back but she wouldn’t speak. So the author is connecting Alicia’s silence to the woman in this play. I did some research on the play after reading and there are conflicting summaries. But I am in no way prepared to read and review a Greek play from 400BC, so I will just take the interpretation the author gave.
The novel is broken into 5 parts and each part starts with an excerpt from Alicia’s diary. So although she doesn’t speak out loud, the reader gets these insights into her story. The rest of the narration comes from Theo. We learn about his process in trying to get Alicia to trust him enough to finally speak, but we also learn about the things going on in his life outside the hospital. He visits with multiple people from Alicia’s past trying to figure out the truth of what happened.
The ending was not what I was thinking it would be at all. The mark of a good thriller is that it has a great plot twist that shocks you and that definitely happened here. There was one tiny connection I saw but I did not predict the whole thing.
I gave this one 9/10 for one little thing. By the halfway point, I literally suspected every character of having killed the husband. There was no one that I trusted. Lot’s of people would say that is a really good thing, to be so thoroughly confused you have no idea what is going on, but I’m a know-it-all so that frustrated me! Pure honesty haha!
This was a well written thriller, that had me hooked in, desperate to know what happened to Alicia. The element of her silence was a brilliant feature to keep the reader and all the characters on the hunt for the truth.