Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Fiction
Published: February 5, 2019
Fast paced. Shocking. Lots of questions.
This book has a ton of 4 and 5 star reviews and the pre-marketing for it has been clever and original. The premise is thrilling and the twist at the end will have you turning pages backward to find clues.
Originally my rating was 4 stars, but after pondering it for a few days, I’m giving this debut title a solid 3 stars.
The plot was certainly suspenseful. Everyone is positive Alicia killed her husband Gabriel but no one can figure out why and why she went mute. Theo is a therapist who has followed the case and six years later takes a job at The Grove (psychiatric care facility) with the intention of getting Alicia to speak. Most of the book is from Theo’s point of view, but my favorite part was Alicia’s journal (Verity by Colleen Hoover vibes) as we see everything unravel.
Here’s why it lost some stars. The characters were flat and uninteresting. Most of the men in the book were awful. Theo was self absorbed and Jean-Felix was using Alicia. Gabriel’s brother was an awful letch and Christian was a manipulative jerk. Gabriel himself wasn’t an angel either.
The female characters were portrayed as either lunatics or weak or helpless second class citizens. One woman was described as a “tarty-looking blonde”, another “entirely narcissistic”.
There were a lot of loose threads that weren’t explained or were just brushed off. It didn’t feel cohesive, just a lot of puzzle pieces designed to confuse and shock.
Lastly, additional themes of suicide, self harm, drug use, infidelity, and stalking distracted from the main story, in my opinion.
I’d recommend this book for the entertainment value and the unexpected ending. Art history majors might also enjoy the symbolism of the Greek heroine Alcestis.
About the Author:
Born in Cyprus to a Greek-Cypriot father and English mother, he studied English literature at Cambridge University and got his MA in screenwriting at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. He wrote the film The Devil You Know (2013) starring Rosamund Pike and co-wrote The Con is On (2018), starring Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, Parker Posey and Sofia Vergara. THE SILENT PATIENT is his first novel.
QOTD: What’s your opinion on books with unreliable narrators? Has it become over saturated?
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