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…
I really enjoy physiological thriller books, I don’t read a lot of them, I saw this one and added to my wish list and a wonderful friend gifted it to me. I was in a bit of a book slump so I picked it up, these type of books always get me reading, because you just want to know what is going to happen.
It sucks you right in straight away, it is such a compelling read.
The story follows Theo Faber, a psychotherapist who takes a job at The Grove, a mental health facility with an array of woman patients who have committed crimes seemingly stemmed from mental health problem.
Alicia Berenson is one of those patients, she murdered her husband several years previously, and she hasn’t spoken a word since. Theo has always been interested in her case and takes it upon himself with he gets the job to try and help her, to make her speak.
Theo does end up connecting with Alicia, she reacts to him more than she has done to anyone else. He is desperate to make her talk, to find out what she isn’t saying any why. He digs around her past, contacting old friends and family members, trying to unearth anything he can.
The book was fast paced and there seemed to be more and more unearthed the more you read, the writing was interesting and kept you gripped the whole time. I was completely hooked the whole way through, I ended up having to put it down to sleep, but picked it right back up the next morning.
I did guess the plot twist about three quarters of the way through, but I still wasn’t entirely sure. Even if you do guess, you’ll still enjoy it, as nothing is properly revealed until the last chapters. I was definitely left reeling and wishing there was more.
The Silent Patient was one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read, it’s really got me in the mood to read more. If you’ve read it and have any suggestions of similar books, please let me know!
I high recommend giving this a read!