The silent patient

Alex Michaelides, 1977-

Book - 2019

Alicia Berenson's life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London's most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word. Alicia's refusal to talk or give any kind of explanation turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery... that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the spotlight of the tabloids at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London. Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His search for the truth leads him down a terrifying path and threatens to consume him.

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Subjects
Genres
Psychological fiction
Suspense fiction
Published
New York, NY : Celadon Books [2019]
Edition
First U.S. edition
Language
English
Physical Description
325 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN
9781250301697
1250301696
9781250230782
1250230780
Main Author
Alex Michaelides, 1977- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Alicia Berenson is a famous painter, living a life that many envy with her handsome fashion-photographer husband, Gabriel. With a gorgeous house, complete with a painting studio, and that perfect marriage, Alicia couldn't be happier. Until one day Gabriel comes home late from work, and Alicia shoots him in the face. In the brutal aftermath that leads to an indefinite stay in a psychiatric hospital, Alicia mutely accepts her punishment. Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is put in charge of her therapy; however, since the night of the shooting, she hasn't spoken a word. With a nod to Greek mythology, art, and love, debut novelist Michaelides effectively blurs the lines between psychosis and sanity. Multiple story lines are told with a writing style that combines past diary entries with present-day prose, becoming more tangled as they weave together, keeping readers on edge, guessing and second-guessing. The Silent Patient is unputdownable, emotionally chilling, and intense, with a twist that will make even the most seasoned suspense reader break out in a cold sweat. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

All seems well for celebrated painter Alicia Berenson, who lives in a lush London house and is married to an equally celebrated fashion photographer. So why does she shoot him five times in the face one night and refuse to say another word? A big-buzz debut. Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

DEBUT Psychotherapist Theo Faber is obsessed with the case of Alicia Berenson, an artist convicted of murdering her husband six years ago. Ever since she was found standing over his dead body, splattered with blood, she's remained silent, not even speaking up in her own defense at trial. When the judge sentences her to Grove Psychiatric Hospital instead of prison. Theo sees his opportunity to work with her firsthand, leaving a more prestigious and stable job to work at the financially strapped hospital. Through Theo's first-person narration and excerpts from Alicia's diary that document events taking place before the murder, readers slowly learn about the circumstances leading to the deadly event. As Theo struggles to connect with mute Alicia and secretly conducts his own investigation into her past, he hopes to uncover clues about her marriage and what set off such a violent episode, wrestling with his own psychological demons along the way. Clever plotting, red herrings, and multiple twists ensure most readers will be surprised by the ending of this debut thriller from screenwriter (The Devil You Know) Michaelides. VERDICT Dark, edgy, and compulsively readable. [See Prepub Alert, 9/17/18.]{amp}mdash;Kiera Parrott, Library Journal Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Psychotherapist Theo Faber, the emotionally fragile narrator of Michaelides's superb first novel, finagles his way to a job at the Grove, a "secure forensic unit" in North London, where artist Alicia Berenson has been housed for six years since she was convicted of murdering her prominent fashion photographer husband, Gabriel. The evidence against Alicia was clear—Gabriel was tied to a chair and shot several times in the face with a gun that had only her fingerprints. Since the day of her arrest, Alicia has never said a word. Before the murder, Alicia painted a provocative self-portrait entitled Alcestis, based on a Greek myth that seemed to echo her life. Her current therapists reluctantly agree to let Theo treat the heavily drugged Alicia to get her to speak. The boundary between doctor and patient blurs as Theo, who admits he became a therapist "because I was fucked-up," seeks to cure his own emotional problems in the course of treating Alicia. This edgy, intricately plotted psychological thriller establishes Michaelides as a major player in the field. 200,000-copy announced first printing. Agent: Sam Copeland, Rogers, Coleridge & White (U.K.). (Feb.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A therapist becomes dangerously obsessed with uncovering the truth about what prompted his client, an artist who refuses to speak, to murder her husband in a way that triggers mass public speculation. A first novel.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Criminal psychotherapist Theo Faber becomes dangerously obsessed with uncovering the truth about what prompted his client, an artist who refuses to speak, to violently murder her husband in a way that triggers mass public speculation.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Alicia Berenson's life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London's most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word. Alicia's refusal to talk or give any kind of explanation turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the spotlight of the tabloids at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London. Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His search for the truth leads him down a terrifying path and threatens to consume him.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

**THE INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER**"An unforgettable—and Hollywood-bound—new thriller... A mix of Hitchcockian suspense, Agatha Christie plotting, and Greek tragedy."—Entertainment WeeklyThe Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband—and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive.Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him....