About the book
Promising to be the debut novel of the season 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….
Published by Orion
Publication Date – 7th February 2019
It wasn’t only the patient who was silent as I found myself sitting in silence racing to turn every page as I got immediately caught up in this twisty, dark thriller that definitely lives up to the hype!
Alicia is convicted of the brutal murder of her husband – the evidence finds her at the scene of the crime, covered in blood and unwilling to say a word. And she stays silent for the years that follow when she is locked up in The Grove, a secure unit, and left to puzzle therapists and those treating her with her reluctance or inability to utter another word.
Theo Faber, a criminal psychotherapist, is fascinated by her case following the media coverage , and when he finds himself a job at The Grove, his mission is to meet her and unlock the secrets that Alicia is keeping from the world.
I think the main pull for me reading this book was the fact that Alicia seemingly had it all – a wonderful career as an artist, the perfect husband, a life we all dream of – but something happened that fateful night and as the story goes backwards and forwards you get to piece together the pieces and form your own opinions of what happened and how the truth is often skewed to fit a narrative.
The introduction of the diaries of Alicia was also another intriguing and genius way of telling the story. It becomes clear that there was a lot going on in her life at the time and it adds such an absorbing element to the main narrative and really explores the effect of mental abuse on others and how the smallest comments can often cut the deepest. Just why does she deal with the trauma by being silent? Why can’t she she open up to people and let them know her side of the story?
I read this in one sitting and I think it’s one of those books that has all the elements to make you lose yourself and forget the real world while you’re trying to work out the twists as they get darker and darker! LOVED IT!!
My thanks to the author, publisher and publicist for the advanced reading copy in return for a fair and honest review.