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Book Review: The Silent Patient

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides is a psychological thriller mystery surrounding the mysterious circumstances of Alicia Berenson’s act of violence against her husband. Supposedly, Berenson has the “perfect life”; she has a worthwhile career, is happily married to a man she adores, lives in a lovely house in London, and possesses a vast fortune. Yet, she murders her husband out of cold blood for no apparent reason on one fateful evening. After, she is tried and admitted to a mental facility, where she never speaks about the incident ever again. At least, until the protagonist, Theo Faber, a criminal psychotherapist, is assigned her case and goes to extreme lengths to uncover her motives. Throughout the story, the reader follows Faber’s journey to expose the truth of what happened, and discover whether Berenson is truly as determined to stay as silent as the title may suggest.

The Silent Patient was officially published in early February 2019 and is considered to be the first book Michaelides has written and released. Despite this, the book has received a substantial amount of praise and has sold around three million copies around the world. It has also won the Goodreads Choice Awards Best Mystery & Thriller in 2019.

Michaelides has a wonderful and intriguing style of writing. There are so many unexpected twists and turns throughout the story that the reader is often left shocked and wondering what may happen next. The characters are hard to like as well, and it seems that the author made this artistic choice intentional. None of them have redeeming qualities, in fact, some of them even have questionable behavior and controversial responses to events that occur in the novel. While the characters themselves may not be likable, their actions and the consequences they pay are certainly something to remember. Just a warning to those wanting to read this tale of enigmas and dastardly conduct, you may find yourself not being able to put this book down. If a score were to be given, a 5/5 is most certainly deserved.

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