The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
This story was pretty much all-consuming for me from the time I started with page one, until the last word. Wow! From the synopsis, I thought this was going to be an interesting read, and I was not disappointed. A psychological thriller with so many twists and turns, and and ending that, literally, I had to read TWICE... this is a book not be missed if you enjoy the genre.
At every new chapter, I had a clear understanding of what was happening. My sympathies were in line with the right characters, and I was, just like the narrator, confused and beyond curious about the motives behind such an unspeakable act. As the story progressed, it made sense that the patient would want to remain silent. The story was confusing for her, too. Anything she would have to say wouldn't fit; in her mind, nor in anyone else's.
The subplot characters made perfect sense. Their motives were beyond reproachful understanding, although at times, I thought they should have or could have done more to save the victim... or at the very least, offer a bit of stronger protection. One detail that certainly drew me in was the introduction of the patient's journal and artwork. What Mr. Michaelides does with those two plot devices, how he intertwines them, working them into the main plot line, is extraordinary.
When, at the last couple of chapters, my understanding of EVERYTHING in this story became unraveled, I had no where to turn for answers. I discovered that my logical brain had stepped out, and I simply couldn't make sense of it all on my own. I had to wait for the author to give me the final clues, and the final confession. This story is so well crafted. The confession offered, veiled, unmasked, and in the end, turned inside out. It's a book that had me staring off into space at the end of the last sentence, trying so hard to remember every detail, and figure out how I had missed so much along the way. It is an "oh my goodness, but that's good," kind of ending.
This book is super popular, and with good reason. This is a debut novel from Mr. Michaelides (although he's written successfully for film); and I hope, and hope again, that he will write more!
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