• Rachel Penate

THE SILENT PATIENT by Alex Michaelides

Updated: Apr 10, 2020


★★★★★/ 5 (Standard)

★★★★★/ (Mama Scale)


Psychological thriller about a murderous wife and the psychiatrist trying to uncover the truth.


I've had a really bum run of thrillers recently. There is so much promise in these stories. So much plot to uncover, so much mystery, so much anticipation. But, in one way or another, they usually fizzle out. Something is usually always missing for me.

But, this one. AGH. It was so good.

Alex Michaelides brilliantly weaves together a tale from two different perspectives: the diary of silent Alicia Berenson (convicted of murdering her husband) and the narration of Theo Farber, her Psychiatrist. As we learn more about Theo we, in turn, learn more about Alicia. And vice versa. You think they aren't connected in any way, and then theirs a twist, aaaand another twist. Both unexpected. Both incredibly well planned.

Don't get me wrong, I love when twists are done well - it's kind of the litmus test for thrillers. But, Michaelides goes beyond the twist in his execution of this book. His writing - to me - is flawless. Not only does he create rich characters with complex backgrounds but he does so in a way that truly enhances the plot. One example in particular that I loved was although Theo is a psychiatrist, he isn't perfect - he doesn't have all the answers. Throughout the story, as he treats Alicia, he too is experiencing his own crisis. He, too, is encountering very human imperfection. In this, we see the very multi-layered complexity of mental health and what happens when patients aren't treated appropriately.

This one was really such a treat. I read it as an audiobook and give HIGH ratings for that production. Or, maybe I'm just a sucker for narration with a British accent. Hah! Either way, the audiobook was excellently produced and thoroughly enjoyed!

Overall, one of my favorites of this year so far!


ABSOLUTELY if you love a good binge-worthy psychological thriller.

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