The Silent Patient

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

An absolutely thrilling story of a young woman and the psychotherapist who tries to get her to break her silence on her husband's murder.  It's a gripping read with twists and turns that make it impossible to put down.
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Okay, now this.  This was good!  A suspenseful psychological thriller that actually had quite the twist that i did not see coming! Usually i pick these things quite early on, but wow - that threw me through a loop!

Thank you to the publisher for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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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.

Absolutely loved this book! It's very compelling. A psychotherapist called Theo Faber narrates the story and he announces early on that he's pretty "fucked up". He worms his way into a new job at the Grove mental health facility because of his fascination with the artist Alicia Berenson, who murdered her husband in an open-and-shut case and hasn't spoken a word since.

I have heard mixed reviews about it from people who have read a lot of thrillers, but I still loved it. It does have an ending that you don't expect as you read it, but once you know, it explains SO much! It has such a creative narrative style and will leave you not wanting to put it down. Big fan of this book!
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A thrilling read which kept me turning the pages, characters you care for and just brilliantly written.  Great novel!!  Absolutely fabulous and I cannot rate it highly enough!!
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Thank you for the ARC. This book rubbed me completely the wrong way. I have a mental health background and have worked in psychiatric institutions, this was such a bad representation. The professionals were so unprofessional and it was all too sensationalised. None of this would ever happen, it is way too far fetched and I'm sorry, but I couldn't finish it. I made it to about half-way before I threw it away with a huff and a puff.
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So glad i finally picked this one up, one of the best thrillers I have ever read. It was fast paced and was able to read in one sitting. Theo's character  was such an interesting point of view to read from, and was really interested in the insight you got from his past life.
That twist had me shook. Like I was not expecting that at all, like it really blew my mind. I liked how the ending left things open.
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Thankyou to NetGalley, Hatchette Australia, Orion and the author, Alex Michaelides, for the opportunity to read a digital copy of The Silent Patient in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.
What an ending!!!!! Loved reading this book. The plot was well woven and highly enthralling.  
Well worth a read.
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*thank you to Netgalley and Hachette Australia for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

4 stars.

Wow! That twist at the end of the book was so brilliant! I did not see that coming but as expected, once its hit, I got the chance to look back on what I'd read and reflect and I realised that all the clues had in fact been there. Hindsight is an amazing thing. 

The story had my attention from the start. If was easy to get sucked into this story and wonder what was going to happen next. It was a hard one for that matter to out down and come back to later because I just wanted more and more of it. I would highly recommend.
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EXCERPT: As she stared at me, I became aware of what had been troubling me the whole session. It's hard to put into words, but a Psychotherapist quickly becomes attuned to recognizing mental distress, from physical behavior and speech and a glint in the eyes - something haunted, afraid, mad. And that's what bothered me: despite everything she had done, and endured, Alicia's blue eyes remained as clear and cloudless as a summer's day. She wasn't mad. So what was she? What was the expression in her eyes? 

ABOUT THIS BOOK: 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.... 

MY THOUGHTS: I had a grandfather who was very fond of saying 'Believe nothing of what you hear, little of what you read, and only half of what you see.' And it applies perfectly to this book, which I devoured in less than twenty-four hours. 

And at the end, I sat like a stunned mullet thinking, 'What the? That shouldn't have worked.' But it did. Beautifully. 

The story is told mainly from Theo's point of view, with occasional flashbacks from Alicia and excerpts from her diary. 

I didn't like the characters. None of them. Well, except for Ruth. I thought Alicia a nervous ninny, Theo pompous and self-righteous, and don't even get me started on the supporting cast. 

But I couldn't put it down. And not once did I have any idea of the ending. Well done, Mr Michaelides. 


THE AUTHOR: Born in Cyprus to a Greek-Cypriot father and English mother, I studied English literature at Cambridge University and got my MA in screenwriting at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. I wrote the film The Devil You Know (2013) starring Rosamund Pike and co-wrote The Con is On (2018), starring Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, Parker Posey and Sofia Vergara. THE SILENT PATIENT is my first novel.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Hachette Australia via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. 

Please refer to my profile page or the about page on for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my
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The Silent Patient, by Alex Michaelides, is a fabulously twisty thriller that sent chills running down my spine and had me muttering more than one ‘Phwoar!’.

Convicted of the murder of her photographer husband, famous painter Alicia Berenson spends her days locked up in a high security psychiatric hospital. Nobody knows why she killed her husband and Alicia isn’t giving away anything. She’s been silent since she was arrested.

Enter Theo Faber, a new psychotherapist at the hospital who is determined to bring back Alicia’s voice by getting to the bottom of why she did what she did.

As his unorthodox investigation and treatment continues he becomes more than a little obsessed with his silent patient.

I absolutely loved this story. I’d put it in the same category as Ghosted, by Rosie Walsh and, of course the usual Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

Though set in present-day England, the hospital setting is wonderfully gothic, with crumbling buildings and a failing staff. The head professor of the hospital is mad as a cut snake with an office to match:

Professor Diomede’s office was located in the most decrepit part of the hospital. There were cobwebs in the corners and only a couple of the lights in the corridor were working.

The attitude to the patients is incredibly gothic as well, with staff seemingly viewing them as experiments rather than real people. Theo Faber is almost grotesque as he tries to ‘conceal [his] excitement’ at being allowed access to the famously mysterious murderess, Alicia Berenson. His attitudes to psychotherapy don’t seem particularly modern either, with his conviction that all adult behaviours can be traced back to trauma in childhood.

My overwhelming feeling at the start of The Silent Patient was grief that such vulnerable people were left at the mercy of such apparently twisted protectors. This feeling didn’t quite dissipate, but my opinion of the patients certainly shifted a little as the story progressed.

The telling of the story shifts between Theo himself – in first person – and Alicia Berenson, via diary entries prior to the killing. It did make me laugh, in a black comedy kind of way, at the pscyhologist to patient ratio: Alicia is literally Theo’s only patient and he sees her maybe once per day at the most. I’m sure plenty of medical professionals would love to have anywhere near such a ratio in 2019.

The writing is fabulous and the handling of the complex story was brilliant. I slowly pieced together the puzzle and thought I’d solved what I thought was the mystery, only to have the rug pulled out from under me right at the end.

I highly recommend this to you if you’re a lover of psychological thrillers.
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A couple in love, a perfect marriage - what went wrong? Who is Alicia Berenson and why are there so many conflicting opinions about her? Why did she shoot her husband? Why is she refusing to speak? As I progressed through this gripping novel, I became increasingly engrossed and eager to learn the answer to these and many other intriguing questions. Every character is richly drawn and has his or her own idiosyncrasies which added to the mystery and aroused my suspicions about different characters at different times throughout the book. The ending was completely unexpected and left me astounded. This is a well written novel which I could not put down. Highly recommended.Thanks to Hachette Australia and NetGalley for the ARC.
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Wow. I have heard so many good things about this book. I couldn't wait to read it. Fast with a lot of twists and turns. I couldn't put it down. Thankyou for the opportunity to read it.
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Best book I've read in a long time. I was absolutely hooked from the beginning right until the last page. Genuinely shocking twists that felt unique and I audibly gasped whilst reading. Will recommend this to customers wanting a good read. I felt a rollercoaster of emotions for each of the characters involved and I wish I could unread the book so I could read it again for the first time.
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Oh my goodness what an amazing book! It absolutely lived up to the hype that is going around about it. I always worry when a book is so talked about that it will be a let down but in this occasion it is well deserved. Definitely one of the best books that I have read this year and it is going to be massive once it is released...  On my birthday here in Australia on February 12th. The fact that the film rights have already been sold for it tells you everything really. 

It is a very clever book and written in a way that keeps you guessing right til the very end. The story grows up many likely candidates for the guilty party but you never really know until the last few pages.  I was completely sucked into i early on and the opening few chapters are just brilliant. You need to get your hands on this book.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides tells the story of a woman and her therapist.  Alicia Berenson is an artist and married to Gabriel. She has had a tough life but she is finally happy.  So why does she shoot her husband 5 times on his return home from work one night? And why has she not uttered a word since?

Theo is a psychotherapist who believes that he can help Alicia. He changes jobs and moves to the same institution wher Alicia is being treated and soon stars to treat her. He becomes obsessed with the crime and does everything that he can to find out more about his patient and discover why she would kill her husband.

Thank you to Hachette Australia and NetGalley for my advanced copy of this book to. All opinions are my own and are in no way biased.
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A page turning, dark thriller. 
Alicia shoots her husband Gabriel in cold blood, 5 times in the face when he gets home from work one day.  ....she then stops sent a a secure facility..basically an asylum where she stays silent for years. 
Theo is a young psychotherapist, obsessed with the case and wanting to be the one person that can get Alicia to tell her story. 
The story then unfolds through Theo and we are introduced to Alicias journal to tell the story....  no spoilers will be mentioned, this needs to be read with knowing the bare storyline only.
What a ride.... suspensfull, well written and i have to say likely to be one of the big psychological thrillers of 2019.
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Theo is a psychotherapist who relates all too well to his patients. Having had his own traumatic upbringing, he becomes determined to help his newest patient Alicia. The thing is, Alicia doesn’t speak. Not since she brutally murdered her husband years earlier. Theo begins to take drastic measures, launching his own investigations into the murder to find out how to make Alicia talk. 

This was one of the best thrillers I’ve read in awhile. Fantastic concept, packed with mystery and so many turns I didn’t see coming! That ending, my god! I can see this being a huge hit upon release!
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Well I never saw that coming. This is a very clever psychological thriller. Slow down, enjoy the journey as Psychotherapist, Theo, wins the right to work with accused murderer Alicia and begins to build her trust. 

She’s an odd character… at times you want to shake her and insist she talks to defend herself; other times, you feel the uselessness of it all and understand her silence. 

Is she guilty or innocent and why would she kill her husband… the man she adored? My verdict wavered throughout the book. Regardless, it’s just easier for authorities though to have her locked away, especially since she won’t talk and all signs lead to her as the killer. In fact, all signs indicate she might have been off the rails for some time. 

There’s a number of characters that could be behind Alice’s demise… some motives for murder, some motives for madness… see if you can guess the outcome. 

A very enjoyable read that will have you keen to keep turning the pages.
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Thanks to NetGalley for this eBook in return for an honest review. 

The Silent Patient is Alex Michaelides debut novel and didn't he start off with a bang! Alex, a screenwriter from Cyprus examines the psyche of the various characters in this book in great detail.

Renowned artist Alicia Berensen is arrested for the murder of her husband Gabriel, but remaining completely silent she is institutionalized for many years at  The Grove Psychiatric facility. Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can help her recover and discover the truth about that fateful night. 

I read this book in one sitting and could NOT put it down. It is one of the best books I have read in recent times and kept me on the edge of my seat (not literally as I was in bed) the whole time. The in depth of the characters and their stories was intriguing and I loved how much I got to know each one. 

This is a book for fans of Psychological Thrillers. Fans of Gone Girl, The Woman in the Window and Behind Her Eyes will love this book. I definitely recommend reading this!
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