Alicia Berenson writes a diary as a release, an outlet – and to prove to her beloved husband that everything is fine. She can’t bear the thought of worrying Gabriel, or causing him pain.
Until, late one evening, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times and then never speaks another word.
Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia’s silence goes far deeper than he first thought.
And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth?
My final blog tour of 2019 and I am delighted to be going out with a bang and joining the tour to celebrate the paperback publication of one of the standout novels of the year, The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. My thanks to Midas PR and Orion Publishing for my paperback copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.
I’ve been meaning to read this book all year and I’m not wondering why I’ve waited so long. What did I just read? OMG, my heart is still pounding from the final chapters of this amazing thriller. It was every bit as gripping, twisting, turning and unexpected as I had hoped from everything I had heard. Sometimes books are hyped so much they can never live up to the anticipation but this one actually delivered on every level.
This book is so cleverly crafted and plotted. How the author manages to give the reader so much empathy for a main character who doesn’t speak throughout the majority of the book and who is in a mental institution having been convicted of the brutal killing of her husband is quite a feat. Despite her silence, we ‘hear’ her speak throughout the book via some clever techniques and we are kept guessing about the truth and her motivations throughout. Her story is intriguing, ether must be more to her than we see at face value, but what is it, what is the truth? The author keeps us dangling, revealing tantalising clues that keep the reader turning the pages throughout. We glimpse different facets of her character, despite her lack of speech, which have our opinions swinging wildly from chapter to chapter. Victim or vixen? Manipulated or manipulator? It is masterfully done.
The main voice behind the narrative is Theo, her psychoanalyst, and the voice of reason in contrast to Alicia’s madness, trying to guide the world, and the reader, to the truth behind the murder and why Alicia did it and, more importantly, why she has remained mute ever since. Theo is a professional, and a man of science, so he should be able to sort the facts from the fiction, shouldn’t he? But has he been seduced by Alicia? And are events in his own life colouring his emotions about this case?
The insights into life in a psychiatric hospital were fascinating, the author’s own experiences giving a ring of authenticity to the narrative, and the tensions and rivalries between the professionals in the hospital certainly will seem familiar to anyone who has worked in a competitive environment. The descriptions were very visual and, again, the author’s pedigree as a screenwriter is apparent throughout and you can see why this book has been optioned as a movie.
This is a book where nothing is what it seems, shocks and surprises abound and there really is no getting to the truth until you turn the very final page. It truly had me on the edge of my seat from first page to last and, at the final hurdle, delivered on every promise made throughout. I honestly think I gasped out loud at one point. Beautifully constructed, with gorgeous character development and a taut story. Worth every moment of anticipation. A must read.
The Silent Patient is out now in all formats and you can buy a copy here.
Please do follow the rest of the blog tour for the paperback release:
About the Author
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 at 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 stayed at the top 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.
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