The Silent Patient - book cover
Thrillers & Suspense
  • Publisher : Celadon Books; 1st edition
  • Published : 04 May 2021
  • Pages : 368
  • ISBN-10 : 125030170X
  • ISBN-13 : 9781250301703
  • Language : English

The Silent Patient


"An unforgettable―and Hollywood-bound―new thriller... A mix of Hitchcockian suspense, Agatha Christie plotting, and Greek tragedy."
Entertainment Weekly

Alex Michaelides's The 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....

Editorial Reviews

"Impressive first novel... with an ending worthy of a classic Agatha Christie mystery."
The Wall Street Journal

"Superb... This edgy, intricately plotted psychological thriller establishes Michaelides as a major player in the field."
Publisher's Weekly, starred review

"Pulling off a novel where the protagonist stays mum isn't easy, but this impressive, immersive debut―Brad Pitt's company has snapped up film rights―establishes Michaelides as a writer to watch."
People, Book of the Week

"Impressive debut...The Silent Patient is intelligent, imaginative and a terrific read."
The Times (London), Book of the Month

"The Silent Patient may be a first novel, but it has the pace and finesse of a master."

"That rarest of beasts: the perfect thriller. This extraordinary novel set my blood fizzingI quite literally couldn't put it down. I told myself I'd just dip in; eleven hours laterit's now 5:47 a.m.I've finished it, absolutely dazzled."
―A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

"The Silent Patient sneaks up on you like a slash of intimidating shadow on a badly lit street. Alex Michaelides has crafted a totally original, spellbinding psychological mystery so quirky, so unique that it should have its own genre. I read it in two nights and savored every luscious word, every grim encounter, every startling twist. The pages will burn with the friction from your hands turning them."
―David Baldacci

"Smart, sophisticated storytelling freighted with real suspense―a very fine novel by any standard."
―Lee Child

"One of the most spellbinding psychological thrillers we've read in years. Beautifully written, exquisitely plotted, the story relentlessly pulls you in and doesn't let you go until the last shocking (and yet brutally logical) twist. This is an absolutely fantastic and extraordinary read."
―Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, #1 New York Times bestselling authors of the Pendergast series

"Alex Michaelides has written one of the best psychological thrillers I have ever read. The Silent Patient is a swarming, paranoid nightmare of a novel with an ending that is destined to go down as one of the most shocking, mind-blowing twists in recent memory."
―Blake Crouch, New York Times bestselling author of Dark Matter

"This is a wonderful new voice. Listen to it. It's about to tell you a thrilling and scary story. The Silent Patient paints a picture, crawling into your soul in the very best way. Take a chance."
―Brad Meltzer, author of The Escape Artist

Readers Top Reviews

A.M.Joanne Connor
It was an okay read. I’ve been reading quite a lot of psychological thrillers recently and this one didn’t quite grip me in the same way some of the others have. I also disliked the way certain behaviours were dismissed along the lines of ‘she’s borderline; borderlines act like that’. Firstly, the term borderline (or borderline personality disorder) has generally been replaced with the term emotionally unstable personality disorder. Secondly, it’s unlikely a doctor would define a patient by her diagnosis. For example common parlance often describes people as ‘being bipolar’. A mental health professional would describe that person as ‘a person who has bipolar disorder’. There’s a subtle, but crucial, difference there. Finally, emotionally unstable personality disorder gets enough bad press - patients do not need books like this badmouthing their diagnosis. I am thinking here of the fact that the phrase ‘borderlines are seductive’ is used a handful of times, never mind the fact that we are told Alicia ‘is borderline’ and the whole book centres on the fact that Alicia, a mute in patient in a psychiatric facility, may have killed her husband. As someone who has the diagnosis of emotionally unstable personality disorder, I take issue with the things I have highlighted. Having said all that, the book did have some interesting twists and turns in it and the ‘borderline’ issue didn’t put me off to the extent that I couldn’t finish it. So, yes, all in all an okay read but I do think it is over hyped and I probably won’t bother with the film adaptation that is apparently going to be made.
Avid ReaderDCBBlueca
I don’t normally write reviews but on this occasion I feel so annoyed at being conned out of my fiver by the book industry moguls that I simply had to have my say. I succumbed to the hype and purchased this book only to end up being painfully (almost literally) disappointed. Like many of the other poor reviews I read on Amazon (and mercifully there are enough of them to support my opinion), this book is an example of how anything can make millions of it’s marketed well enough. But it’s so unfair to some of the talented writers out there struggling to get a look in. Plot? Ridiculous. Knowledge of psychotherapy? Verging on dangerous and for the most part unethically represented. Writing style? Cringe worthy , stilted and overly explanatory ... what happened to the ‘show not tell’ mantra of good creative writing? Character development? Embarrassingly one dimensional and frankly boring. Twists? Seriously ... it’s a joke! And as for the typos, the confusing misuse of tenses and basic grammar - horrifying! And the guy supposedly has a degree in English Literature from Cambridge! I predict that this, when played out on the silver screen, headlined no doubt by another big celebrity like Thurman or Lawerence, will flop in the same way Mr Michaelidis’ other two screenplays did. It’s inevitable. The guy may have a bucket load if high profile connections but he’s an average/poor writer at best. But I suppose what does he care? He’s making a fortune. That makes him a good business man .. . at least.
This is indeed the perfect thriller. Beautifully written, characters so real you feel like they're right there in the room with you. A truly surprise ending, but one that makes perfect sense. The word Perfect sums it up. This novel is flat-out perfect. Read it.
April DancerR. Meckl
SPOILERS! PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! Hopefully that's enough. I ended up hating this book. It was a complete cheat. A good twist is one you don't see coming, but if you go back and reread the book, the clues were there. You just didn't put it together. At the very least, nothing in the book is an outright lie or intentionally misleading. What a good twist is not is a first person POV narrator presenting events as if they're happening at the current time when they actually happened six years earlier. The author intentionally misled the reader when it came to the chronology so that they couldn't figure out the twist. That's just cheating and misdirecting in the cheapest, worst, most underhanded and manipulative way possible. That, to me, is not a good book. Plus the writing was meh. When I read a book, I highlight sentences and passages that I love. There are very few highlights in this book.
Amber M.
This was a great book with a twist I never saw coming. It was a true page turner and a great Sunday read.