“The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides: Book Review

Photo by Mika Dang

Photo by Mika Dang

Huyenmi Dang

With just the first sentence, #1 New York Times bestseller Alex Michaelides hooks in his readers with his mesmeric psychological-thriller novel, and shows promise of a wild ride throughout his book.

“The Silent Patient” is full of twists and turns topped with an unexpected ending, the strong imagery and vocabulary painting exactly what the author wanted the reader to see. The story focuses around a criminal psychiatrist and his favorite patient, Alicia Berenson, who shot her husband in the face five times before becoming mute.

Theo Faber, the psychiatrist, is given the chance to work with her at his psychiatric unit in North London, and as he continues to provide her with treatment, he discovers that she might not have been the one to commit murder on that night.

As I read the novel, it slowly became clearer that there was something we as readers were missing, something that only Alicia and Theo knew, but the audience wasn’t allowed to know this secret just yet. The secret was slowly revealed as each chapter brushed off the illusions until in the last chapter, the true culprit behind the incident is revealed.

Suspense and suspicion clearly depicted between the words on our pages only made the ending so much sweeter, and as the story neared its end, I as a reader felt a sense of bittersweet satisfaction. In the end, the murderer would face legal consequences, but I felt almost betrayed as I had suspected someone else as the killer.