Wow! I did NOT see that coming! With mystery novels, usually the author builds up the story so much that the readers anticipate a mind-blowing end, and if it isn’t close to that, we get highly disappointed. With a plot like this one, there are many expectations and one could easily be deceived by a fantastic start to the novel, without any real meat to the story itself. To be fair, this novel was highly gripping right until the end. In fact, I was up all night trying to finish the last few chapters. Of course, it didn’t help that I had work the next day and I had to rely on heavy doses of caffeine to keep myself awake, but it was worth it, haha!
The publisher’s summary:
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….
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.
This book speaks from two people’s perspective: Theo, the psychotherapist and Alicia, the silent patient. It starts at the very beginning and keeps transitioning between the past and the present. Alicia has stopped talking after killing her husband, but we get a glimpse into her past when she tells us her story. Theo’s narration is more about his personal life and Alicia’s treatment. I was particularly interested in Alicia’s story more than Theo’s, I guess anyone would be since she is such an intriguing character. Theo is obsessed with Alicia, he tries to unravel her past by talking to people who knew her before the brutal crime took place. He wants to get to the bottom of it, to find out why she killed her husband? Why has she stopped talking?
I was hooked! It was a super-fun, thrilling read for me. In the end, when the big revelation happened, I put down my Kindle and just stared blankly at the window. It makes you question if you overlooked some clues? Not really, it is a well-written saga of love and revenge. Highly recommend this book for readers who love murders, mysteries and page-turners.
Favorite Quotes from the book:
“…we often mistake love for fireworks – for drama and dysfunction. But real love is very quiet, very still. It’s boring, if seen from the perspective of high drama. Love is deep and calm – and constant.”
“Remember, love that doesn’t include honesty doesn’t deserve to be called love.”
“Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive, and will come forth later, in uglier ways. —SIGMUND FREUD”
“You know, one of the hardest things to admit is that we weren’t loved when we needed it most. It’s a terrible feeling, the pain of not being loved.”
“No one is born evil. As Winnicott put it, “A baby cannot hate the mother, without the mother first hating the baby.”
(Disclaimer: All opinions expressed are strictly my own and in no way influenced.)