The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

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OHHHH! I finally understand why The Silent Patient book is getting so MUCH buzz: It’s virtually unputdownable! I came across it on kindle and thought why not? Well, I’ll tell you why not. You must absolutely NOT read this book if you want to wake up in the morning for real life. You won’t be in a condition to face it.

To say I was engulfed by this thriller would be a gross understatement. My eyes were pleading for mercy but every other cell in my body was alive on its last legs to just get done with it. That’s the motto: Just one more chapter, please!

Best taken with coffee!


So, what is the Silent Patient about? What makes it appear everywhere? Let’s see, VERY compelling! A psychotherapist called Theo Faber narrates the story and he announces early on that he’s pretty “screwed 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.

But let us not forget that while Alicia Berenson may be a murderer, she was also an artist.


Theo finds himself connecting with Alicia and feeling a desperate need to figure out why she did it. And, what’s more, he wants to figure out why she is silent. What can’t she say? What won’t she say? The more he digs into her life, her family, and her past, the deeper in he gets.

Remember those exotic foreign toffees which have awesome wrappers, even better flavour and left a sweet taste lingering in your mouth? This book is best described that way. PS: There’s also loads of mythology reference in here;)

What can I say?

Michaelides’s first novel is THE complete package with all those extra frills on the borderline.  The story went backwards and forwards from events in The Grove to Alicia’s diary which told of events up to the murder of Gabriel.

Her diary was very enlightening as it appeared she was surrounded by people who were a threat in some way or who she disliked. What we learned especially about her childhood was shocking and helped in some way to explain the events that led to Gabriel’s death and things that occurred in the Grove.

Is The Silent Patient worth the hype?

Let’s dig a little deeper to understand. Whilst reading this book, I was completely, absolutely hooked and couldn’t bear to leave it unfinished. The meteor(final twist) was humungous, shocking and left me smacking my face. And therein lies the reason for all its hype.

Once your nerves are rested and calm again, you can vividly see the loopholes staring at your face that till now had been drunkenly obscure.  I felt like the author was so determined to deliver the big ‘twist’ that he lost sight of the actual plot. I would call it impractical than unpredictable because I simple COULD NOT see a single motive behind any of the actions taking place.

Though the end hit me like a hurricane, the book as a whole left me feeling utterly drained logically for there was none in the book itself. In thrillers, usually, the character description is dome meticulously and is the core of the entire novel.

I felt that the character development here in this book was misleading only so that it could deliver the final twist in flair. In a whole, it was disastrous character development. Nothing like The Girl on the Train, which according to me, is the gold standard for thrillers.

Why you should read it

It’s riveting and hair-raising. No other word to describe the writing style. Apart from the many loopholes, this book is one hell of a read. It may be sensed that the writer also works for the big screen. Fast-moving pace, twisty, edgy tricks, reminded me of “Gothika”, “AHS-Asylum” movies landed on Hitchcockian suspicious, dubious atmosphere! Mind games confuse the hell of you and surprises punching your face!

I house mixed feelings for The Silent Patient as the character development is quite okay(despite my ranting) and the major twist felt like a bolt out of the blue. But. If you already have quite a few thriller books under your belt then I’d strongly suggest you skip this.

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