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The Silent Patient Hardcover – February 5, 2019
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**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....
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"Impressive first novel... with an ending worthy of a classic Agatha Christie mystery."
―The Wall Street Journal
"Superb... This edgy, intricately plotted psychological thriller establishes Michaelides as a major player in the field."
―Publisher's Weekly, starred review
"Pulling off a novel where the protagonist stays mum isn't easy, but this impressive, immersive debut―Brad Pitt's company has snapped up film rights―establishes Michaelides as a writer to watch."
―People, Book of the Week
"Impressive debut...The Silent Patient is intelligent, imaginative and a terrific read."
―The Times (London), Book of the Month
"The Silent Patient may be a first novel, but it has the pace and finesse of a master."
"That rarest of beasts: the perfect thriller. This extraordinary novel set my blood fizzing―I quite literally couldn't put it down. I told myself I'd just dip in; eleven hours later―it's now 5:47 a.m.―I've finished it, absolutely dazzled."
―A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window
“The Silent Patient sneaks up on you like a slash of intimidating shadow on a badly lit street. Alex Michaelides has crafted a totally original, spellbinding psychological mystery so quirky, so unique that it should have its own genre. I read it in two nights and savored every luscious word, every grim encounter, every startling twist. The pages will burn with the friction from your hands turning them.”
“Smart, sophisticated storytelling freighted with real suspense―a very fine novel by any standard.”
"One of the most spellbinding psychological thrillers we’ve read in years. Beautifully written, exquisitely plotted, the story relentlessly pulls you in and doesn’t let you go until the last shocking (and yet brutally logical) twist. This is an absolutely fantastic and extraordinary read."
―Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, #1 New York Times bestselling authors of the Pendergast series
“Alex Michaelides has written one of the best psychological thrillers I have ever read. The Silent Patient is a swarming, paranoid nightmare of a novel with an ending that is destined to go down as one of the most shocking, mind-blowing twists in recent memory.”
―Blake Crouch, New York Times bestselling author of Dark Matter
"This is a wonderful new voice. Listen to it. It's about to tell you a thrilling and scary story. The Silent Patient paints a picture, crawling into your soul in the very best way. Take a chance."
―Brad Meltzer, author of The Escape Artist
"Dark, edgy, and compulsively readable."
"The Silent Patient isn't quiet at all. It loudly announces that Alex Michaelides is a new talent in the field of psychological thrillers."
"Unputdownable, emotionally chilling, and intense, with a twist that will make even the most seasoned suspense reader break out in a cold sweat."
"A taut, meticulously plotted and compelling novel."
- Publisher : Celadon Books; First Edition (February 5, 2019)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1250301696
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250301697
- Item Weight : 1.15 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.59 x 1.26 x 9.38 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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As usual with this publisher, the marketing and promotions were outstanding (I totally bought into all the initial excitement). The advance copy came belly-banded with a fictional newspaper article about the crime, which I thought was really fun. As far as the story goes, I'd expected something fast-paced, engaging and suspenseful, but feel like I got a slow-moving, go-nowhere book that wasn't even redeemed by the supposedly big twist at the end. The style is very generic (even for its genre), with pages of dialog that did nothing to further the story or give depth to any of the characters. The whole book just seemed like filler.
I'm in the minority here so chalk this one up to personal preference, I guess.
I decided to go into this novel with a clean slate, a blank canvas (no pun intended). I didn’t read any reviews because I didn’t want to see something that would give me any clues, either intentionally or unintentionally. When I know there’s a twist, or if I see hints of something, I usually figure out what’s going on. So I entered this story in the dark, curious to find what I would discover.
This is definitely an experience. For me, the author’s words painted a vivid picture (again, no pun intended). The timeline of the story was a bit hazy at points because the main character, Theo, talks in the past tense, but about a more recent past and a time that seems undefined. I won’t mention anything that could spoil what happens. All I’ll say is that I had several theories, varying in their levels of crazy. When I got to the end, I wasn’t knocked off my chair surprised because I read a LOT of books in this genre, but I also can’t say that I completely saw it coming either. Instead, I found myself trying to retrace steps and get oriented. At some point I feel like I want to read the story again to truly put the rubik’s cube in order.
At the end of the day, I think this novel has the potential to be one that is widely discussed, and may even become a motion picture. There’s an intentional murkiness (reminiscent of a movie like Memento) as the psychotherapist, Theo, embarks on a journey to find out why Alicia doesn’t speak, if she really killed her husband, if she’s insane, and/or the motive IF she did indeed kill Gabriel.
It’s not a fast-paced tale in terms of really big happenings or scary moments; but for me, the short chapters went quickly and I was intrigued throughout because I wanted to know what happened and I liked the author’s writing style. I’d recommend it for those that enjoy this genre, and those that enjoy being part of the buzzed-about-books experience.
By Amber M. on February 10, 2019
Hopefully that's enough.
I ended up hating this book. It was a complete cheat. A good twist is one you don't see coming, but if you go back and reread the book, the clues were there. You just didn't put it together. At the very least, nothing in the book is an outright lie or intentionally misleading. What a good twist is not is a first person POV narrator presenting events as if they're happening at the current time when they actually happened six years earlier. The author intentionally misled the reader when it came to the chronology so that they couldn't figure out the twist. That's just cheating and misdirecting in the cheapest, worst, most underhanded and manipulative way possible. That, to me, is not a good book. Plus the writing was meh. When I read a book, I highlight sentences and passages that I love. There are very few highlights in this book.
Top reviews from other countries
I succumbed to the hype and purchased this book only to end up being painfully (almost literally) disappointed. Like many of the other poor reviews I read on Amazon (and mercifully there are enough of them to support my opinion), this book is an example of how anything can make millions of it’s marketed well enough. But it’s so unfair to some of the talented writers out there struggling to get a look in. Plot? Ridiculous. Knowledge of psychotherapy? Verging on dangerous and for the most part unethically represented. Writing style? Cringe worthy , stilted and overly explanatory ... what happened to the ‘show not tell’ mantra of good creative writing? Character development? Embarrassingly one dimensional and frankly boring. Twists? Seriously ... it’s a joke! And as for the typos, the confusing misuse of tenses and basic grammar - horrifying! And the guy supposedly has a degree in English Literature from Cambridge!
I predict that this, when played out on the silver screen, headlined no doubt by another big celebrity like Thurman or Lawerence, will flop in the same way Mr Michaelidis’ other two screenplays did. It’s inevitable. The guy may have a bucket load if high profile connections but he’s an average/poor writer at best. But I suppose what does he care? He’s making a fortune. That makes him a good business man .. . at least.
Lovers of big twists may be tempted, but I found it both predictable and, paradoxically, implausible. The Stephen Fry who declares this to be 'brilliant' on the dust cover can't be the Stephen Fry we are all thinking of. Avoid.
The narrator , Theo Faber, is a young psychotherapist, who seizes on the opportunity to work with the patient, Alicia Berenson, in the hope of helping her, and in particular restoring her speech. To say more about the action would be to spoil the experience of being carried along by the plot. It's a novel that can very nearly be read at a sitting, and once past a certain point, is extremely difficult to put down.
On the basis of all this, it would seem the book falls automatically into the highest bracket, yet I do have some reservations. That it is a quick easy read is only partly owing to the intriguing plot. Some of the writing is flat and cliched; the diary sequences are not wholly convincing - I find them inconsistent with an agonised state of mind - there are lapses in grammar and the book needs more careful proof-reading.
The underlying idea is original and promising and it's not a book that anyone is likely to abandon half way through, but it lacks polish; it would have profited by the author standing back at the end and taking a hard critical look. At times I felt it was written in as great a rush as it is likely to be read. I have to admit, though, that it seems to have impressed a large number of people.
Having said all that, the book did have some interesting twists and turns in it and the ‘borderline’ issue didn’t put me off to the extent that I couldn’t finish it. So, yes, all in all an okay read but I do think it is over hyped and I probably won’t bother with the film adaptation that is apparently going to be made.