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The Silent Patient – A Masterfully-Crafted Character Study Or A Run-Of-The-Mill Thriller?

Imagine this.

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You’re a psychologist, and you have a patient, who’s the prime suspect of killing her husband, who refuses to utter a single word. Now, it’s your job to unentangle her from her mind and find out who she really is beneath the mask.

Sounds pretty thrilling, right?

Well, that’s how Alex Michaelidas’s “The Silent Patient” pans out in 323 pages.

When I started reading the book, I actually felt like it’d be a run-of-the-mill thriller story that somehow topped the New York Times’ “Bestseller” list.

However, I was proved wrong, and quite tragically, I must say.

On the table, “The Silent Patient” seems like a psychological thriller that’s solely dependent on the twist that’ll turn your world around. 

But, fortunately, the British-Cypriot does a great job by adding a tinge of a character study to make the story even more captivating.

In my opinion, rather than exploring the actual crime, “The Silent Patient” penetrates through the mind of a criminal. And, it does the job so eloquently that I couldn’t take my eyes off of the pages for a single second. 

It’s just an attention-gripping experience that I thoroughly enjoyed till the end! 

And, as it’s a good story, I’ll strongly urge you to buy the book from the store and show your appreciation to the writer. 

But, if you’re currently penniless (I can relate, trust me), you can always read the free PDF of the same from here.

The Plot And Everything In Between

Here’s something cool about the book.

The story of “The Silent Patient” doesn’t really start like any other murder-thriller story. 

Instead of throwing you into a gruesome crime scene, it starts with a prologue taken from Alicia Berenson’s diary. Well, she’s the “silent patient” here, and you’re not going to hear too much from her until the end.

So, I think, the beginning (or, prologue, should I say?) is definitely worth reading. Also, not-a-spoiler-alert; you might find a detail or two about the true story here.

Anyway…

The plot of “The Silent Patient” revolves around Alicia Berenson, who’s been living an envious life of a painter. She’s filthy rich, has a seemingly-charming husband, and a huge public recognition that I, as a part-time painter, do dream of.

However, her life literally turns upside down when her husband gets murdered one night. And, obviously, she’s taken into custody as the prime suspect of the case. 

However, instead of pleading for her life, she becomes silent all of a sudden. No matter what others tried to do, she simply refused to talk.

And, that’s where our protagonist, Theo Faber, comes in. 

He’s a criminal psychotherapist whose job is to traverse through the “sickest minds” and unearth the reasons behind their unnatural animosity.

So, what does he find behind Alicia Berenson’s mind curtain?

Well, that’s for you to read! 

What’s My Opinion?

Hmm, I think I might’ve said a little too much about how I feel about the book already. So, I’ll skip the drama here and stick to the points.

First things first!

I’m kind of an impatient reader. 

So, if something doesn’t match my wavelength from the get-go, I’ll most likely drop it (cough, cough, Kafka On The Shore, cough). 

However, I can’t say the same for the intricately-woven premise of “The Silent Patient.” It was brilliant, made me feel intrigued, and subdued my urge to pick up another book.

And, that’s not where it ends.

I loved the art of characterization throughout the storyline. 

If I’m being particular, I definitely admired how Alicia made the story so colorful even while being silent for a large chunk of time.

And, yes. 

The twists (because there are two!) were something I definitely didn’t see coming. And, the way the story builds up, you won’t see them bashing your mind out either! 

Should You Buy It?

Okay, I won’t be biased in my love of psychological thriller fiction anymore.

So, from a neutral viewpoint, I think “The Silent Patient” is definitely worth buying. It offers a different vibe than usual and has the writing style to hook you up till the end. And, (yes, I know I’m saying it for the third time), the premise is brilliant! 

However, if you’re not into mystery-thrillers too much, you may want to sit this one out. It’s a great book, but not something that “you must read at least once in your life.”

For that, I suggest you go for “The Silence Of The Lambs.”

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