The Silent Patient engages the reader from the very beginning to the fantastic ending!
Raised in privilege, Alicia Berenson has continued to live in privilege in adulthood. Living in London with her somewhat older well-known photographer husband, she is a talented and famous painter. But Alicia's life has not been happy, either in childhood or adulthood. Late one night, a neighbor calls the police after hearing gunshots at Alicia's home. When the police arrive, the find Alicia's husband bound to a chair, dead with five gunshot wounds to his face, and Alicia standing in the shadows bleeding from lacerations to her wrists and with a gun that has only her fingerprints on it. She is unable to or refuses to speak. A trial ensues with Alicia continuing to remain silent. A plea of diminished responsibility is entered and Alicia is found guilty and placed in a mental hospital, the Grove. Six years later, Alicia remains at the Grove, still silent Theo Faber, a forensic psychotherapist, has also had a brutal childhood and believes he can help Alicia. When a position opens at the Grove, he joins the staff with the sole intent of bringing her out of silence and learning the whys of the murder.
Not having read mysteries or psychological thrillers in the past, I wasn't sure what to expect when I began reading this ARC provided via BookishFirst. Mr. Michaelides' writing is clear and concise and yet very descriptive. I easily pictured the locales of the narrative in my mind's eye and the character's were fully drawn. The story did seem to plod mildly at a few points, but not to the point of boredom. The conclusion of the book; OMG is too mild! The author rolls all elements into a tight, neat ball and then blows it up with dynamite. I daresay that this ending will be one of the biggest surprises of the 2019 publishing year.
The Silent Patient is a great read if you are a mystery or psychological thriller fan and it is a great read if you are not.