The instant #1 New York Times bestseller
"An unforgettable—and Hollywood-bound—new thriller... A mix of Hitchcockian suspense, Agatha Christie plotting, and Greek tragedy."
The Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband—and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive.
Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.
Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.
Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him....
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
In this confident debut, Alex Michaelides mixes the meticulous pacing of an Agatha Christie thriller with the dark tragedy of Greek myth. The Silent Patient starts with an unforgettable image: Artist Alicia Berenson stands in her living room soaked in her husband’s blood after apparently riddling him with bullets. After that, Alicia goes mute for years—until psychotherapist Theo Faber finds his way to the institution that houses her, armed with unconventional ideas about unlocking her past. Michaelides has crafted a binge-worthy, slow-burn psychological thriller that explodes in one final twist.
Psychotherapist Theo Faber, the emotionally fragile narrator of Michaelides's superb first novel, finagles his way to a job at the Grove, a "secure forensic unit" in North London, where artist Alicia Berenson has been housed for six years since she was convicted of murdering her prominent fashion photographer husband, Gabriel. The evidence against Alicia was clear Gabriel was tied to a chair and shot several times in the face with a gun that had only her fingerprints. Since the day of her arrest, Alicia has never said a word. Before the murder, Alicia painted a provocative self-portrait entitled Alcestis, based on a Greek myth that seemed to echo her life. Her current therapists reluctantly agree to let Theo treat the heavily drugged Alicia to get her to speak. The boundary between doctor and patient blurs as Theo, who admits he became a therapist "because I was fucked-up," seeks to cure his own emotional problems in the course of treating Alicia. This edgy, intricately plotted psychological thriller establishes Michaelides as a major player in the field. 200,000-copy announced first printing.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The twist was unexpected but the book ended with insufficient resolution. I’m curious what’s to come...
Excellent! Could not put the book down.
A little stuffy
It was clever. But find it hard to get past the Botox Bimbo he chose to represent an American in this book. Unfortunately her character spoke the wrong kind of volumes to me about this author’s view of us. If you want me, as an intelligent and VERY American reader, to continue to read your books- do not tread on my countrymen with such insulting depictions of us. The book was ok but that character was enough to ensure I will read no more of this author’s books.