Gah! I did *not* see that coming, so kudos Mr. Michaelides.
The book starts off with reference to the murder, which is now 6 years past, a shocking and creative way to draw the reader in. I was impressed with Alicia from the moment she was introduced and I found myself thinking, "could she have done it?". But then quickly dismissed that notion, she just didn't fit for the killer.
The book starts us off meeting Theo, a psychotherapist who purposely gets a job at the Grove, the hospital where Alicia has lived for the past 6 years since her husband Gabriel's murder. She hasn't said one word since, and it's fascinated Theo, though as an artist, she did paint one final picture, one that is mesmerizing and perplexing to many. The story is told by Theo, alternating chapters of his life outside of the hospital, specifically with his wife Kathy, and then his life at the hospital and his interactions with Alicia. I enjoyed the alternating chapter views immensely.
So let's talk about possible suspects!
His "foe" for lack of a better term is a colleague Christian, whom he had worked with briefly in the past. They work together at the grove and they're off to a rough start as Christian is Alicia's doctor, and Theo is stepping on his toes.
Theo wants to learn more about Alicia, (and the murder) but how do you do that when she won't talk? So he plays low-key detective interviewing people that knew her. Her brother-in-law Max, who gave me a bad vibe from the beginning, especially when he mentioned Gabriel's property.
Then we meet Jean-Felix, who was Alicia's close friend. He also owns the gallery in which Alicia displays her work, her final piece is there as well. He's a bit overbearing, and he had me questioning him as a suspect as well. Then there's the mysterious man that was following Alicia. So in short, we had a lot of possible suspects as to who really killed Gabriel.
Alicia's silence speaks volumes and The Silent Patient was extremely well-written. It was a fast-paced, edge of your seat thriller filled with suspense that had you constantly guessing what really happened. The characters were remarkable and I think that played a really key part in keeping the reader guessing. Very well done!