Book Review The Silent Patient a Novel by Alex Michaelides

Book Review: The Silent Patient a Novel by Alex Michaelides.

When we hear the word “Thriller”, we automatically clench our fists and our teeth in anticipation, questioning – “What is going to happen ?” “What is coming next ?”.
Thriller is a genre that keeps us on our toes, makes us wonder and also makes us question.
Alex Michaelides’s debut novel “The Silent Patient”, a psychological thriller, had the same effect when it was published in 2019.

Alex Michaelides is a British Cypriot author, whose first novel “The Silent Patient” became “The New York Times” and “Sunday Times” bestseller and sold over 3 million copies. If you are wondering about the authenticity of this psychological novel, the author himself studied Psychotherapy for three years and worked at a unit for young adults for two years.

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His professional experience during this time period helped him in gaining content and inspiration for “The Silent Patient”.

The novel is a work of Fiction and the author has acknowledged his knowledge of Greek Myths, as the inspiration behind this novel. The story revolves around Alicia Berenson who murders her husband and remains silent afterwards. She is sent to a psychiatric hospital where Theo Faber, who is also the narrator of the story, analyses Alicia and tries to figure out the reasons behind the incident.

This mind-bending novel has the power to hypnotise the reader, without giving any classic plot twists or flashy descriptions. The narration remains very grounded while explaining something as gruesome as a murder and the maze which is Alicia’s mind.

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The recent boom of Real-crime has taken over the world with its visual documentaries, movies and series. If a reader likes to pick up a fast-paced thriller, he or she often turns to the classics Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie. The Silent Patient, on the other hand, is much more contemporary yet climactic in its own way. It is a book which is nothing less than a feeling of living the character’s life or in this case, inside the mind.

The author’s ability to not use the classic techniques of a Thriller, but the art of modern psychological characterisation, is what differentiates and makes this book stand out.

Alex Michaelides immersed the reader first, and then layer by layer started removing each coat of the character.

Theo Faber, a criminal psychologist is the one who peels the layers from the criminals’ minds, yet he himself is too scared to witness the truth.

“The Silent Patient” has an age rating of 15 and above. It contains instances of violence, sexual content, and a few triggering moments. This novel is suitable for beginners as well as seasoned readers, as the work has proved to be a step forward in the world of thrillers. One question readers might think of while picking up this book is that- “How is it any different from other works of Thriller ?” “How is it different from the brilliant visualization of true crime ?”

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What we are not going to tell you are the cliches which are attached to Thrillers – but it definitely is a page-turner.

“The Silent Patient” is reliable in all senses, be it the multiple narrators who are introduced from time to time, or the storytelling device used by the author where he is throughout the story creating chaos in the readers’ mind, while also having a calm temperament.

Alex Michaelides has given his readers a piece of fiction, which is beautifully curated from a professional and knowledgeable standpoint.

Alicia Berenson’s character is hiding behind multiple layers, which are removed using psychological techniques, while also giving a hint of the dark and gloomy reality of the work of a criminal psychologist.

It is never too late for Halloween when you always have a sinister story on your bookshelf. For those readers who are attracted to the workings of the mind, and the countless efforts that it takes to uncover the thoughts, “The Silent Patient” is bound to give you a feeling of uneasiness, a discomfort so sharp, that you will smile in the chaos along with the storyline and you will wonder in silence when the chaos finally reaches the last page of the book.

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For a debut novelist, Alex Michaelides has definitely gained a name for himself in the world of Thrillers and suspense. This novel is a perfect winter read, or if you are spooky all year round, then you can feed yourself with this mind-bending story any time of the year.

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Focusing on Literature and Lifestyle of the Urban Youth of the Country, LitGleam is a monthly magazine, an intrinsic part of BlueRose Publishers.

Within its pages, our readers find provocative essays on literature and lifestyle, guidance for getting published and pursuing writing careers, in-depth profiles of poets, fiction writers, and writers of creative nonfiction, and conversations among fellow professionals.

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