The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

4 stars

Alicia Berenson is The Silent Patient at the center of this tragic story. After being sentenced to a mental institution for murdering her husband, the famous painter refuses to speak. Criminal psychologist Theo Faber gets a job at the institution where she works and takes on her case in an attempt to get her to break her six years of silence.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Although it is billed as a thriller, this is more of a traditional murder/suspense novel that pays tribute to the author’s Greek roots. A Greek tragedy by Euripides inspires the storyline, as does the author’s work in a secure physiatric unit and his love for Agatha Christie’s works.

“Love that doesn’t include honesty doesn’t deserve to be called love.”

Alex Michaelides, The Silent Patient

I was instantly drawn in by the premise. I wanted answers to all the questions the book raises – Will Alicia speak again? What happened on that fateful night? Is she actually guilty?  

And although I sensed things weren’t as they appeared with some characters, I was surprised by the ending.

I listened to the audiobook, and the narrative story style lends itself well to the audiobook format. Both narrators were excellent, enhancing the listening experience. I suspect I wouldn’t have liked this book as much if I’d read the hard copy, which is rare for me to say since I typically prefer to consume fiction books in printed format.

Although this book wasn’t a life-changing five-star read for me, it was compelling and original. I would recommend it to others, and I will be looking forward to reading other works by Michaelides.

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