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Theo is a pyschotherapist who is somewhat obssessed with the story of Alicia Berenson, a successful painter who murdered her husband, a celebrity photographer. After police find her holding the gun over her dead husband’s body, she doesn’t say a word. She paints one more picture and that’s that. The courts send her to a psychiatric hospital, where years pass and she largely fades from the public’s short-lived memory. Theo takes a job at her hospital and hopes to succeed in reaching her though so many have failed.
I’m in the minority here, but I was not impressed. My contrarian streak shows up in all these twisty thrillers about women, which all seem to have the word girl in their title. I gave up on Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train; this one must be better since I actually finished it. Maybe the title wasn’t as derivative so it didn’t bother me as much. Who knows?
I was searching for something like Shutter Island, which is one of the books that really had a twist that blew my mind. It’s a high standard to meet. I found The Silent Patient high on a list of twisty thrillers and decided to give it a try.
Did it twist? Yes. Did I anticipate the twists? No. But did the twist make sense? Not really, not to me. It was just a shocking revelation for the sake of being shocking. I felt there was absolutely nothing that led to the conclusion. Call me naive, but do real people act this way? I don’t think so.
I initially rated this 3 stars on GoodReads because I thought it was forgettable. Two months have passed since I read it and I pretty actively dislike it now. I’m knocking it back to two stars.
The Silent Patient has ridiculously high ratings on GoodReads and it’s been optioned for a movie. I am very much in the minority in my dislike of this novel, so give it a try, especially if you liked Gone Girl, etc.
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Buy The Silent Patient from Malaprop’s Bookstore in Asheville, NC.
I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe in beautiful Asheville, NC. I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you if you purchase merchandise through links on my site.