Today I’m reviewing The Silent Patient, a book which you’ve likely already heard of as it’s being shouted about everywhere. Many thanks to Poppy Stimpson and Orion Books for sending me a copy of this to review.
Alicia Berenson writes a diary as a release, an outlet – and to prove to her beloved husband that everything is fine. She can’t bear the thought of worrying Gabriel, or causing him pain.
Until, late one evening, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times and then never speaks another word.
Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia’s silence goes far deeper than he first thought.
And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth?
My Review: I’m going to be completely upfront at the beginning of this review. I loved the sound of this book when I heard about it, it sounded just my sort of book and like something I would love and, honestly, I didn’t love it. It was good, don’t misunderstand, but I feel I’ve missed what everyone else is seeing.
The book is well written, we find out Alicia’s side of events leading up to her husbands death through her diary which adds a lot to the one-sided story that Theo gets from people. There were aspects that I didn’t understand, such as why Theo gives up a good job just to get Alicia to speak but these are made clear later in the book and make perfect sense then. The ending is not at all what I expected and fitted with the story though I found it read almost like an afterthought. What did impress me about this book though, was the fact that it kept me reading despite everything I’ve mentioned above. There is something in it that kept me coming back to it time and again. It is immersive, I read some of it at work (I have a fab job for a book lover!) and when work demanded my attention it took a second for me to remember where I was. Now that I find impressive, especially considering I don’t work in the quietest of places!
I can recognise the good points in this story, the immersive quality of it, the research that has gone into ensuring the psychiatric parts are accurate, the character creation that has gone into both Alicia, Theo and a few of the other characters. This is clearly a book which many people loved and I’m in the minority of people who didn’t but not everyone is going to adore every book they read and that’s ok. Despite my comments above I am going to see what this author produces in future, who knows, I might love his next book.