The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: February 2019
Publisher: Celadon Books
Recommended Age: 15+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Thriller, Mystery, Psychoanalysis


Thanks to this book, Thriller has officially become one of my top three favourite genres, behind Fantasy and Romance. There’s something deeply satisfying about reading a story that gives you opportunities to make up your own mind about what happened but at the same time takes you on an unforgettable and twisted roller-coaster that unsettles the hell out of you. You also wonder how far the author will go and feel respect for them when they push limits and steer clear of predictable paths. I won’t lie, I am a tiny bit terrified of Alex Michaelides right now. I’m sure he’s (probably) a decent human being but it doesn’t change the fact that he has a mind that can conjure nightmares in me or any other reader. He reminds you that the world is a safe place—it was built to sustain communities—but anyone can be triggered and disrupt your safe haven in a second.

I cannot and will not tell you anything that happens in this story, other than the fact that the narrator, a psychotherapist, is trying to make a disturbed patient at a psychiatric unit open up about her past and what led her to kill her husband. It is profoundly messed up. If you are the kind of person to believe the world is made of unicorn-people and rainbows and sunshine, stay far far FAR away. It will not only play with you but also betray you. I feel quite betrayed right now, truthfully, both by the characters and the author. I have no idea whom I relate to or like more or just think deserves a second chance, the patient or the psychotherapist? No idea whatsoever. This is good because it means the protagonists are three-dimensional and memorable, but it’s also bad because there is very little amount of decency here and part of me tries to see the good in everyone. I could write a thirty-page essay on this and still I may not arrive at a conclusion. Addictive, shocking and thought-provoking story.


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