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The Silent Patient Hardcover – February 5, 2019
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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."
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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.
This book right here is the reason that I love psychological thrillers. This has become an overly saturated genre with every one taking a stab at writing these twisty little thrillers but more often than not they fall flat. It takes a talented mind and writer to pull off a really shocking twist successfully. Alex Michaelides has done just that because I did not see that coming at all and for that I thank you! *claps hands*
Alicia Berenson appears to have it all. She's a successful painter and her husband, Gabriel, is a famous fashion photographer. What would drive this seemingly happy woman to shoot her husband five times in the face only to never speak again? Psychotherapist, Theo Faber, is desperate to work with Alicia to see if he can breakthrough her silence to finally find out the truth.
That's it. That's all you get. I don't want anyone to be spoiled. I suggest not reading too many reviews as it is inevitable that some jerk will spill the beans. Don't be that jerk!
If this is any inclination as to the type of reading year 2019 is going to be then HURRAH! Dare I say that this has made it to my "favorites" shelf. Highest recommendation! All the twisted stars!
Thank you to Celadon Books and Alex Michaelides for kindly sending me an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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.
Top international reviews
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.
I really enjoyed reading this book and I couldn’t wait to find out if Theo was going to achieve his goal. I think the anticipation of wondering if this was going to be the moment that Alicia spoke is what made most parts of this book a really intense read and Alex controlled this really well, it did keep me turning those pages, and reading onto the next chapter.
There is some excellent character development here; we have Theo, who is mysterious and unnerving, and Alicia who I wanted to get to the bottom of, and find out what was really going through her mind the night she killed her husband, Gabriel. Like Theo, I wanted to drag the answers out of her and I couldn’t wait to see what she finally had to say. Although we don’t hear from Alicia, we do have her diary extracts, which again I raced through as I was reading as I tried to uncover what really happened.
This is very much a psychological story, and the reveals that came at the end of the book left me thinking, whoa, and I had to flick back just to see what it was that I had missed but it definitely did make so much sense and the way in which everything was pulled together was very good. The tension is really turned up a notch in the final chapters.
The Silent Patient has bestseller written all over it. It’s tightly plotted and very well written. I’m looking forward to seeing what Alex Michaelides comes up with next. If you’re a fan of character-driven psychological thrillers, then you should definitely pick up this book.
I loved this book. The story entices you in starting off with Alicia’s diary. Although not every time, the chapters to alternate between Alicia’s diary and Theo’s POV.
Its hard not to spoil this book with my review. I’m about to write something down and then realise that it would give too much away. There are so many twists and turns to this story that once you’ve started, you just can’t stop. And I love thrillers like that. In fact, I love any novel like that.
Alex’s writing is outstanding! There were point in the book where I was a little bored with Alicia’s silence (my problem – I’m impatient – not Alex’s) but once I got to the end of the book and had a few days to stew over what actually happened, I realised that it makes total sense and is absolutely necessary for her to be silent for as long as she was.
There is a shocking twist at the end of this book. As always, you wonder how you didn’t see it coming. But with this one, it is literally staring you in the face the whole time. I gasped when I read the ending, I also laughed and shouted at myself for not seeing it coming.
I couldn’t get enough of this book, of Alex’s writing style, of the twists and turns, of the journey he takes you on. I’m already itching to get my hands on something else written by him.
I highly recommend The Silent Patient. I originally gave this book 4/5 stars when I reviewed it straight after reading, however, a few weeks have gone by and I have mulled it over, and it really does deserve 5/5 stars. So, that is now my revised rating. 5/5 stars.
- The Silent Patient, Alex Michelides
About the book:
Promising to be the debut novel of the season. 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...
The perfect catch of the book is in starting itself to reveal the heinous crime done by protagonist Alicia Berenson. It was clear to the investigating team that Alicia was the accused and the gripping theme of the book is that she does not speak. That becomes the mere mystery. It was made out from her silence that there was more to the story and behind the murder of his husband Gabrial.
The story narrated by Theo Faber is really hooking. I enjoyed the history of Theo Faber and his motivation to become Psychotherapist. A genuine lover. Any girl would long for. He is another protagonist of the book. His efforts to save Alicia and make her talk is the main thriller of the book because that reveals the line sequence of Alicia's life before killing her husband.
I read such an intriguing book after a long time. This reminded me of "The girl on the train"
Overall, I loved the writing style of the book, The sequence of incidents mentioned. The characters of the book are all independent, determined and tough. To take the situation under control no matter the consequences. All the characters were really provoking in the sense of living up to the things we ever wanted. This book is excellent from an entertainment point of view, heavy to handle because it has heart-breaks and also concludes how to be like Theo. Even after having a difficult childhood, Theo gets out so strong with the help of Ruth and also manages to save his married life. I really really loved Theo. A lot!!!
Apart from the sudden twist in the story, my part love for this book exists because of the quotes and psychological way of writing it.
Book rating- 5/5 for the love of Theo!!!
Not well researched. Forensic mental health facilities are not run the way he describes.
I found the diary entries fairly pointless until the very end; the vast majority of them simply didn't add anything of value go the novel for me. The problem is that I didn't find Theo's perspective riveting either. I never found myself caring about any of the characters, except perhaps the clinical lead who has precious little screen time. It doesnt help that whilst the personal scenes from Theo's perspective are eventually relevant, I spent my time bored by them. They didn't increase my interest in this character, somehow they did the opposite.
Either way, this is a subject matter that would normally have me hooked and it failed to do so at any point. Even at the big reveal, I was left wondering if that was it. Don't take my word for it, mind. Most people seem to have loved this so I am definitely in the minority. But the only adjective I can pro-offer is perhaps the most damning of all. I was bored. I have no vivid feelings at all. It didn't wow me, it didn't piss me off. It's just... meh.