The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
I’ve heard so much about this one, and I’m sure most of you have read The Silent Patient already. I finished it in few hours the other day, and now I’m a bit on the fence about it. It was selected by Amazon editors as Best Thriller 2019. (as mentioned I’m late into this one)
The Silent Patient is a psychological thriller/mystery.
Alicia’s life seems to perfect. She’s a famous painter and married to a photographer, Gabriel. They live in a nice house in London. One evening her husband returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times, and then she stops speaking altogether. She refuses even to speak in her own trial. She’s sent to a mental hospital
It’s a pretty quick read. The story is written from the POV of a psychotherapist, Theo. The premise was good, Theo gets a job in the hospital where Alicia has been for eight years. She’s never said a word. He wants to treat Alicia to get her to talk again. Theo then goes onto describing what he does, and what happens. The final twist was pretty good. But, I had issues concerning the descriptions of the patients, methods and the hospital. The writing was a bit sloppy too, a lot of poorly written dialogue and a lot of the side plots or red herrings weren’t tied up in the end. And the big WHY, as in why Theo wanted to get her to talk was left dangling, so the beginning and the end didn’t really tie up.
When I’m two minds about a book, I go to Goodreads and read reviews there to see if I’m the only one. This book has a staggering 1.5million (!!!) ratings and 137K reviews, and 56K of those are 5 stars! So clearly a lot of people liked it.
I checked the 1-star ones, of which there are 2500. And most of those reviews had very valid concerns how mental illnesses and treatments were described in this book. The 1star reviewers were also very disappointed with lack of research by the author. For an author, that kind of reviews are very bad if they’re about your own book, but very helpful and educational to read as what not to do, if they’re about someone else’s book.
Have you read it, and if so, what did you think?