I’d heard such good things from other bloggers about The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides, and a copy of the book has been on my TBR since the beginning of the year, so when Amber Choudhary at Midas PR asked me if I’d like to be part of the paperback blog tour I knew this was my chance to read it and I’m delighted to share my review today.
The Silent Patient is available for purchase in all formats through the links here.
The Silent Patient
Alicia Berenson lived a seemingly perfect life until one day six years ago.
When she shot her husband in the head five times.
Since then she hasn’t spoken a single word.
It’s time to find out why.
My Review of The Silent Patient
Convicted of her husband’s murder, Alicia Berenson is considered too mentally ill for prison.
The Silent Patient is the perfect psychological thriller that inveigles itself into the reader’s brain so that it is impossible not to be drawn in to this brilliantly plotted book. I thought it was elegantly written, intelligent and utterly compelling.
The plot is stylishly crafted and although I guessed some elements, I didn’t uncover them all so that The Silent Patient surprised and entertained me completely. I loved the division of the narrative into five sections, rather like a five act play with Alicia’s diary acting almost as a Greek chorus; and the naming of the characters was pure genius. Theo, for example, trying to play God as he attempts to unlock Alicia’s silence. With the myth of Alcestis underpinning the story, Alex Michaelides has created a superb modern narrative that is both shocking and believable.
I loved the characterisation. There’s a menacing exploration of what can be deemed ‘normal’ behaviour and how individuals might fit on that spectrum or be defined by the actions of others. From the beginning, I couldn’t warm to Theo, finding him arrogant, but my goodness he fascinated me and I loved the way his personality unfolded so that I felt I came to know and understand him. He held my attention far more than Alicia whose story is at the heart of the action, even though I was also desperate to find out why she wouldn’t or couldn’t speak. Sexual, romantic, professional, obsessive and platonic relationships swirl and eddy amongst the characters making The Silent Patient truly bewitching.
Aside from the wonderful level of entertainment, The Silent Patient raises all manner of concepts for the reader to ponder too. The use of medication for the mentally ill, therapy and its impact on patient and therapist, the need to be loved, how we deal with guilt and desire and justify our actions are just some of the elements I found thought provoking and not a little unsettling so that The Silent Patient has great depth as well as exceptional entertainment value.
I thought the The Silent Patient was a brilliant book and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I really recommend it.
About Alex Michaelides
Alex Michaelides is an author and screenwriter born in Cyprus to a Greek-Cypriot father and English mother. After graduating from Cambridge with a degree in English, he received an MA in screenwriting from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. He wrote the film The Devil You Know, starring Rosamund Pike, and co-wrote The Brits Are Coming, starring Uma Thurman and Tim Roth.
The Silent Patient is Alex’s debut novel, the inspiration for which came in part from when he worked in a secure unit for two years. A Sunday Times bestseller, it went straight in at # 1 in The New York Times bestseller lists which is a first for a UK debut novel, and then stayed in the top ten for seven months, the first UK debut novel to do so. It has sold in 44 territories so far, which is a record for a debut novel. The film rights have been acquired by Brad Pitt’s production company Plan B.