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The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

The Silent Patient is an edgy thriller with an intriguing plot about a woman’s random act of violence against her husband and the man obsessed with discovering why.

Alicia Berenson is a famous painter who lives in London with her fashion photographer husband Gabriel. Her life is seemingly perfect as she lives a life, most can only dream of. Until one evening, when she is found gun in hand, beside Gabriel, who has been tied to a chair and shot five times in the face.

Alicia’s life unravels in an instant. Only Alicia knows what happened, but she never speaks another word. She is convicted of murder and held at the Grove, a secure forensic unit without uttering a single word.

After six years Alicia remains steadfastly silent. Psychotherapist, Theo Faber is newly appointed at the Grove and is determined he can make Alicia speak once again. Theo is reluctantly given permission to work with Alicia and it soon becomes his personal mission to break her silence. However, the boundary between patient and doctor soon blur as Theo tries to cure his own emotional issues while treating Alicia.

The Silent Patient is a highly satisfying read that gripped me from its opening paragraphs. Within the first few pages, I desperately wanted to know what led Alicia to commit such a brutal murder and why she remained resolutely silent. The Silent Patient’s devastating conclusion left me speechless!

Alex Michaelides is a screenwriter and this is his first novel. He was inspired to write The Silent Patient while completing a post graduate course in psychotherapy and working at a secure psychiatric unit.

Reviewer: Andrea Molloy Hachette, RRP $34.99