The Silent Patient will be the leading psychological thriller of 2019 – I mean it already is. While writing this review I’m happy to say that the US version of the book is already out and the UK comes out tomorrow (7th). The Silent Patient is a book that surprised me in a good way and didn’t have that cliché psychological thriller stuff in it [I’ll discuss this in the review].
The Silent Patient introduces us to Theodore Faber, a forensic/criminal psychotherapist, who gets a job at a facility that helps mentally ill criminals. Theo has a goal set in mind when it comes to taking this job and it’s finding out why the mysterious artist Alicia Berenson killed her husband Gabriel and after the murder stopped speaking. Theo is determined to find out what lead to the murder and being that he’s a psychotherapist he begins his search with a Freudian approach where the therapist delves into patient’s past to find out if the past has influenced the present in any way. The book is told from two voices – we have Theo and we have Alicia Berenson’s diary/journal – which makes you get the full picture of the story.
This book is a fast-paced one and I read two-hundred-and-fifty pages of it in a day! When I say fast-paced I truly mean it because the author doesn’t bother you with over-description or long sentences that wander off into nowhere, everything is there to keep your attention. After doing a bit of googling of Alex Michaelides I found out that he wrote a few movie scripts and The Silent Patient felt like one – I can definitely picture it on the big screen. What I most appreciated was how focused the book was on its events and there weren’t any scenes that dragged so that’s a plus in my book! Towards the end of the book I did manage to figure out what exactly happened but still the shock was there – very clever! I also appreciated the ending because I found it satisfying and well done which not many psychological thrillers manage to do [at least ones I’ve read]. Michaelides managed to include some psychology into this story which was awesome!
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides shows us that even though we’ve seen many psychological thrillers over the years there’s always that one that manages to surprise us and we end up thoroughly enjoying it.
I would like to thank the publisher Orion Publishing for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions written here are my own and weren’t influenced by anything.
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Born in Cyprus to a Greek-Cypriot father and English mother, I studied English literature at Cambridge University and got my MA in screenwriting at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. I wrote the film The Devil You Know (2013) starring Rosamund Pike and co-wrote The Con is On (2018), starring Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, Parker Posey and Sofia Vergara. THE SILENT PATIENT is my first novel.
Find him on: Publisher’s website, Goodreads and Twitter.
I have been waiting for this book to come out for a while now. I have read the first chapter somewhere in December 2016 and got excited like crazy about it. I even put the US cover of the book as my background for my tablet (and emailed the author with it haha). I waited and waited (good thing I had other books to read or else I’d die) until it finally came out and I immediately picked it up and read it. There has been a lot of marketing for this book even before it came out with the hashtag #WTFthatending on Twitter which I’m sure everyone has seen. Here’s the thing – whenever books are over-hyped they seem to fail the reader in one way or the other because of their high expectations . I have to say that this book was flipping good and worth the hype.
Behind Her Eyes is the first psychological thriller from Sarah Pinborough which follows two women – Louise and Adele. While reading the book we learn their stories each from their point of views. These women are connected through David – who is Adele’s husband and Louise’s man-from-the-bar and also her new boss. Louise works as a secretary and is a single mom of a sweet boy named Adam. One night she meets David and has a brief tender encounter with him and then he leaves the bar leaving her full of hope that she’s still got it. Louise goes to work and sees David and learns that he’s her new boss. Not much longer after that while dropping her son off to school she bumps into Adele – who she knows now is her boss’ wife. Both end up chatting and continuing their chat over at the restaurant. She begins to get close to both of them – the beautiful and angelic Adele and the good-looking and charming blue-eyed David. As she gets to know them better she uncovers that not everything is what it seems. Why is Adele’s presence fearful and anxious? Why is she saying that David – the charismatic and magnetising David – is the reason behind it?
I have to agree with Annie from TheMisstery that the ending didn’t ‘follow the rules of its genre’ which sort of bothered me a little. The last chapter was a surprise but ended abruptly which left me frustrated hence this rating. What I loved about it was that feel of the book – the first chapter and Pinborough’s story-telling skills pull you in and you just read on. I loved the characters because they were brilliant and had depth to them. I must say that Adele was the most fascinating because she’s nothing like ordinary people and a person can’t relate to her but with Louise it’s a different story because she’s relatable. The plot didn’t feel over-done (except that part) and I found it really easy to read through (even tho Louise annoyed me at times). The way Pinborough created this mystery in both Adele and David and their marriage made me want to dig deeper and find out their secrets along with Louise. There’s no doubt that Pinborough is a great story-teller.
I don’t want to spoil this book by saying anything further except that this is a great book which lovers of psychological thrillers (with a little genre bending) and mystery should definitely check out!
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Sarah was the 2009 winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Short Story and also the 2010 and 2014 winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Novella, and she has four times been short-listed for Best Novel. She is also a screenwriter who has written for the BBC and has several original television projects in development.
Her next novel, Behind Her Eyes, coming for HarperFiction in the UK and Flatiron in the US (January 2017) has sold in nearly 20 territories worldwide and is a dark thriller about relationships with a kicker of a twist.
Find her on: Website, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads