Cover image for The silent patient
Title:
The silent patient
ISBN:
9781250301697

9781250230782
Personal Author:
Edition:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Celadon Books, [2019]

©2019
Physical Description:
325 pages ; 25 cm
Summary:
Alicia 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 him 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 spotlight of the tabloids 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 search for the truth leads him down a terrifying path and threatens to consume him.
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On Order

Summary

Summary

The instant #1 New York Times bestseller

"An unforgettable--and Hollywood-bound--new thriller... A mix of Hitchcockian suspense, Agatha Christie plotting, and Greek tragedy."
-- Entertainment Weekly

The Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller of a woman's act of violence against her husband--and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive.

Alicia 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 him 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 spotlight 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....


Author Notes

Alex Michaelides was born in Cyprus in 1977. He studied English literature at Cambridge University and earned his MA in screenwriting at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. He wrote the film The Devil You Know. His first novel,The Slient Patient, was published in 2019.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Psychotherapist Theo Faber, the emotionally fragile narrator of Michaelides's superb first novel, finagles his way to a job at the Grove, a "secure forensic unit" in North London, where artist Alicia Berenson has been housed for six years since she was convicted of murdering her prominent fashion photographer husband, Gabriel. The evidence against Alicia was clear-Gabriel was tied to a chair and shot several times in the face with a gun that had only her fingerprints. Since the day of her arrest, Alicia has never said a word. Before the murder, Alicia painted a provocative self-portrait entitled Alcestis, based on a Greek myth that seemed to echo her life. Her current therapists reluctantly agree to let Theo treat the heavily drugged Alicia to get her to speak. The boundary between doctor and patient blurs as Theo, who admits he became a therapist "because I was fucked-up," seeks to cure his own emotional problems in the course of treating Alicia. This edgy, intricately plotted psychological thriller establishes Michaelides as a major player in the field. 200,000-copy announced first printing. Agent: Sam Copeland, Rogers, Coleridge & White (U.K.). (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

Alicia Berenson is a famous painter, living a life that many envy with her handsome fashion-photographer husband, Gabriel. With a gorgeous house, complete with a painting studio, and that perfect marriage, Alicia couldn't be happier. Until one day Gabriel comes home late from work, and Alicia shoots him in the face. In the brutal aftermath that leads to an indefinite stay in a psychiatric hospital, Alicia mutely accepts her punishment. Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is put in charge of her therapy; however, since the night of the shooting, she hasn't spoken a word. With a nod to Greek mythology, art, and love, debut novelist Michaelides effectively blurs the lines between psychosis and sanity. Multiple story lines are told with a writing style that combines past diary entries with present-day prose, becoming more tangled as they weave together, keeping readers on edge, guessing and second-guessing. The Silent Patient is unputdownable, emotionally chilling, and intense, with a twist that will make even the most seasoned suspense reader break out in a cold sweat.--Erin Holt Copyright 2018 Booklist


New York Review of Books Review

HAVING FUN? FEELIN' GROOVY? A new novel by Lars Kepler will wipe that smile off your face. STALKER (Knopf, $27.95) opens with a gruesome crime scene ("a display of extraordinary brutality," in Neil Smith's blunt translation from the Swedish) and becomes more explicit as it creeps along to its conclusion ("suddenly his head rolls over"). But that's the way it goes with Lars Kepler, a pseudonym for the husband and wife team of Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril and Alexander Ahndoril, who have a taste for the macabre and a surefire recipe for the lurid serial-killer thriller. The essential component of their formula is a worthy villain, someone just like the sieko here, who shoots videos of unsuspecting women to study at his leisure ("He takes his time, enjoys himself"). Once he's whipped himself up into a froth, this merciless madman returns to claim his prey with another horrific murder. The sadistic twist here is that he sends the videos of his future victims to the National Crime headquarters in Stockholm, daring the police to outwit him before he kills again. Margot Silverman, a police expert on serial killers, spree killers and stalkers, is properly worked up by these taunts, which also prods into action Joona Linna, a living legend in crime circles and the heavyweight of the Kepler series. The third member of the team is Erik Maria Bark, a specialist in disaster trauma and an authority in clinical hypnotherapy, who treats us to an impressive example of his skills ("The only thing you're listening to is my voice ... "). This is not a book for anyone on heart medication. Kepler is a virtuoso at delivering scenes of suspense, proving it here with an unnerving sequence in which a woman senses the silent killer who is stalking her. He also loves to drop severed body parts into a story, even when it isn't strictly necessary to advance the plot. But that's the deal with Kepler: If you want the thrills, you've got to expect the chills. PETER ROBINSON writes the kind of mysteries they don't write anymore: smart, civilized whodunits that are intellectually challenging, emotionally engaging and always discreet. Can you imagine a cop who concludes a suspect interview by saying: "Sorry to have bothered you at dinnertime. And I apologize if some of our questions caused you discomfort." That gentlemanly policeman is Alan Banks, a Yorkshire homicide detective who appears in CARELESS LOVE (Morrow/HarperCollins, $26.99), his 25th outing in the series dedicated to his sleuthing. No one expects cops to be au courant with the latest fashions. Nonetheless, Banks knows that a young woman found dead at the scene of an auto accident would not get all dolled up and neglect to take her handbag, and that a man who supposedly fell to his death in a ravine would not have gone for a stroll on Tetchley Moor wearing an expensive suit. The double-sided puzzle, which strikes Banks as "a three-pipe problem," involves, among other things, a sex-trafficking racket. But we also appreciate the well-drawn women, the keen character analysis and, of course, the company of a true gentleman. Wearing red to a wedding reception might seem rude, but wearing red while dead seems downright uncouth. The bride certainly doesn't take it very well when a dead woman in a red dress spoils her big day in THE WEDDING GUEST (Ballantine, $28.99), Jonathan Kellerman's latest mystery featuring Alex Delaware. A child psychologist who is often consulted by the Los Angeles Police Department, Delaware has no children to tend to here, but he does find a lot of childish grownups at the Aura, the former strip joint Brearley and Garrett Burdette whimsically chose for their "Saints and Sinners"-themed party. Although the corpse is admired for her fashion sense - "The dress is Fendi, the shoes are Manolo, and the hair is awesome" - no one seems to know who she is. This means Delaware has a suspect pool of about 100 people, from the mother of the bride ("Botoxed as smooth as a freshly laundered bedsheet") to the busboys. One-on-one interviews are Kellerman's strong suit, so expect some shrewd instant analyses and unwittingly funny observations - like "Destroying a wedding has a personal feeling." "No crazy thoughts allowed," promises the diarist who narrates THE SILENT PATIENT (Celadon, $26.99), a predictable if disturbing first novel by Alex Michaelides. Don't fall for that one; there are plenty of crazy thoughts - and crazier events - in this psychological thriller. The two main characters, both inclined to craziness, are extremely well matched. Alicia Berenson appeared to be a happily married woman when she tied her husband to a chair and shot him five times in the face. Why she did it remains a mystery, because she never spoke again. Theo Faber, her psychotherapist at the institution where she is locked up, seems normal enough at first. And it's obvious that he's giving it his all. But Alicia is a tough nut to crack - "I know all this sounds crazy," she admits in her diary - and therapy increasingly becomes a battle between crazy and crazier. Marilyn STASIO has covered crime fiction for the Book Review since 1988. Her column appears twice a month.


Library Journal Review

DEBUT Psychotherapist Theo Faber is obsessed with the case of Alicia Berenson, an artist convicted of murdering her husband six years ago. Ever since she was found standing over his dead body, splattered with blood, she's remained silent, not even speaking up in her own defense at trial. When the judge sentences her to Grove Psychiatric Hospital instead of prison. Theo sees his opportunity to work with her firsthand, leaving a more prestigious and stable job to work at the financially strapped hospital. Through Theo's first-person narration and excerpts from Alicia's diary that document events taking place before the murder, readers slowly learn about the circumstances leading to the deadly event. As Theo struggles to connect with mute Alicia and secretly conducts his own investigation into her past, he hopes to uncover clues about her marriage and what set off such a violent episode, wrestling with his own psychological demons along the way. Clever plotting, red herrings, and multiple twists ensure most readers will be surprised by the ending of this debut thriller from screenwriter (The Devil You Know) Michaelides. -VERDICT Dark, edgy, and compulsively readable. [See Prepub Alert, 9/17/18.]-Kiera Parrott, Library Journal © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.