Alicia’s 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 gum 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 spotlights 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.
I was planning to rebel this year by avoiding new releases, especially the hyped ones. I also wasn’t keen on reading this particular title because I assumed that it would be set a psychiatric ward where nothing much would go on apart from therapy leading to some kind of shocking reveal. However, your reviews certainly got to me. After reading reviews by Nikola,Berit, Mack, Holly, Meggy and Inge, there’s no way I could resist this one.
Alicia is an artist accused of having killed her husband, Gabriel. Due to her refusal to talk, she ends up in a psych ward instead of a regular prison. Theo is a psychologist who seems fascinated by Alicia’s case. He is challenged to unlock the secrets behind her silence hence discover exactly how Gabriel died. His mission is not going to be easy.
I enjoyed the narrative style of this story. Theo is a great narrator and I liked getting to know him even as he worked with Alicia. I thought he was a sympathetic character especially due to his upbringing and other issues that came up in his adulthood. On the other hand, Alicia was a mystery. I was curious about her, why did she kill Gabriel?Did she really do it?Was she framed? Luckily, the author gave our silent patient a voice through her diary.
This story is suspenseful, fast-paced and quite unpredictable. I was only able to complete the puzzle in the final chapters. The twist was so good! The kind of stuff that makes one who doesn’t curse, inwardly utter a word that will never be said aloud. I enjoyed the twisty ride that Silent Patient ended up being.