The Silent Patient
Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (2/4/2019)
Paperback, Large Print (3/2/2021)
Library Binding, Large Print (2/27/2019)
Paperback, Chinese (7/31/2020)
Paperback, Chinese (12/1/2020)
February 2019 Indie Next List
— Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA
View the List
**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."
Alex Michaelides's 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....
Praise For The Silent Patient…
"Impressive first novel... with an ending worthy of a classic Agatha Christie mystery."
—The Wall Street Journal
"Superb... This edgy, intricately plotted psychological thriller establishes Michaelides as a major player in the field."
—Publisher's Weekly, starred review
"Pulling off a novel where the protagonist stays mum isn't easy, but this impressive, immersive debut—Brad Pitt's company has snapped up film rights—establishes Michaelides as a writer to watch."
—People, Book of the Week
"Impressive debut...The Silent Patient is intelligent, imaginative and a terrific read."
—The Times (London), Book of the Month
"The Silent Patient may be a first novel, but it has the pace and finesse of a master."
"That rarest of beasts: the perfect thriller. This extraordinary novel set my blood fizzing—I quite literally couldn't put it down. I told myself I'd just dip in; eleven hours later—it's now 5:47 a.m.—I've finished it, absolutely dazzled."
—A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window
“The Silent Patient sneaks up on you like a slash of intimidating shadow on a badly lit street. Alex Michaelides has crafted a totally original, spellbinding psychological mystery so quirky, so unique that it should have its own genre. I read it in two nights and savored every luscious word, every grim encounter, every startling twist. The pages will burn with the friction from your hands turning them.”
“Smart, sophisticated storytelling freighted with real suspense—a very fine novel by any standard.”
"One of the most spellbinding psychological thrillers we’ve read in years. Beautifully written, exquisitely plotted, the story relentlessly pulls you in and doesn’t let you go until the last shocking (and yet brutally logical) twist. This is an absolutely fantastic and extraordinary read."
—Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, #1 New York Times bestselling authors of the Pendergast series
“Alex Michaelides has written one of the best psychological thrillers I have ever read. The Silent Patient is a swarming, paranoid nightmare of a novel with an ending that is destined to go down as one of the most shocking, mind-blowing twists in recent memory.”
—Blake Crouch, New York Times bestselling author of Dark Matter
"This is a wonderful new voice. Listen to it. It's about to tell you a thrilling and scary story. The Silent Patient paints a picture, crawling into your soul in the very best way. Take a chance."
—Brad Meltzer, author of The Escape Artist
"Dark, edgy, and compulsively readable."
"The Silent Patient isn't quiet at all. It loudly announces that Alex Michaelides is a new talent in the field of psychological thrillers."
"Unputdownable, emotionally chilling, and intense, with a twist that will make even the most seasoned suspense reader break out in a cold sweat."
"A taut, meticulously plotted and compelling novel."
Celadon Books, 9781250301703, 352pp.
Publication Date: May 4, 2021
About the Author
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
1. The story begins with the revelation Alicia murdered her husband. Why do you think the author made this admission at the very start?
2. Alicia’s diary plays a key role in the book. What purpose do you think it serves? And does your perception of Alicia change the more you read?
3. Alicia’s silence is related to the Greek myth of Alcestis. How do you feel about the story of the myth? Why do you think Alicia is silent?
4. Theo’s motives to work with Alicia are complicated. Do you think he wanted to help her?
5. Both Alicia and Theo had difficult childhoods. Early on, Theo says no one is born evil. That who we become depends on the environment into which we are born. By the end of the novel he appears to change his mind, saying that perhaps some of us are born evil, and, despite therapy, we remain that way. Which do you think is true?
6. Weather plays a large role in the book, such as the heat wave during the summer. What purpose do you think the description of the weather serves in the novel?
7. Do you think the world of a psychiatric unit was convincingly portrayed? How do you feel about Diomedes and the other psychiatrists?
8. We never enter Kathy’s mind in the book. Do you have any sympathy for her?
9. What do you think happens at the end of the book? The last line is ambiguous.
10. It’s a psychological thriller with a twist. The author has said he was influenced by Agatha Christie. Did you feel this was simply a detective story or are there any other influences you can spot?