The Patient is one prolonged cliff-hanger. Written in the format of an online medical forum, each entry flies by and makes it easy to whip through in just a couple of sittings (it’s also only 224 pages). I loved the way this was written. It made for such a unique interpretation of the story and a really fun reading experience. The forums are written by Parker as he begins a job as a doctor at a mental hospital and volunteers to work with the most feared patient there: Joe. Joe has been there since he was a child, and no one knows what’s wrong with him. Furthermore, the orderlies and doctors who care for him can only seem to do so for a few weeks or months before experiencing psychotic breaks themselves. The terror that Joe inflicts is often graphic and disturbing, and is definitely where the horror aspects of this book come into play.
The reason this book isn’t rated higher for me is perhaps because of a misunderstanding of what genre it is. I was expecting some sort of science-based conclusion of Joe’s ailment, but what I got instead was a sudden sci-fi/supernatural twist that frustrated me. Although the concept ended up being innovative and interesting, it wasn’t what I anticipated, or wanted, from the conclusion of Joe’s story. If this had been marketed as including more aspects of science fiction, I likely would not have had such a big problem with how it turned out.