The Silent Patient

Length: 8 hrs and 43 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (48,518 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

2019 Goodreads Choice Awards

2020 Thriller Awards - Nominee

2019 Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year

2019 Amazon.com Best Books of the Year

2019 Barnes and Noble Best New Books of the Year

"The perfect binge listen." (Yahoo Lifestyle)

Instant number one New York Times best seller 

This program includes a bonus interview with the author. 

The Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband - and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive. 

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening, her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face and then never speaks another word.  

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London. 

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations - a search for the truth that threatens to consume him....

©2018 Astramare Limited (P)2018 Orion Publishing Group Limited

Critic Reviews

“Absolutely brilliant.... I read it in a state of intense, breathless excitement.” (Stephen Fry)

“Smart, sophisticated storytelling freighted with real suspense - a very fine novel by any standard.” (Lee Child) 

The Silent Patient sneaks up on you like a slash of intimidating shadow on a badly lit street. Michaelides has crafted a totally original, spellbinding psychological mystery so quirky, so unique that it should have its own genre.” (David Baldacci) 

Barnes and Noble Best New Books of the Year
Amazon.com Best Books of the Year
Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year
Goodreads Choice Awards

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What listeners say about The Silent Patient

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

So disappointed.

This book never engaged me. I frankly did not care about any of the characters and had no interest in what happened. This surprised me because it was such a popular book and I am pretty careful to choose a book that I will like. I am seldom disappointed. The other popular book that I disliked was Gone Girl, so call me peculiar.

163 people found this helpful

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Suspense at its best!

This recently released debut novel by Alex Michaelides has been called a psychological thriller, but I think the more appropriate term would be a psychological suspense, and a fantastic one at that. The reader is not anxiously awaiting another attack from an unknown villain, but rather sits in page-turning anticipation of understanding the ‘why’ of a known killer. Since the murder takes place in the very beginning of the book and we are pretty sure (with occasional moments of doubt) that we know who the murderer is, the brilliance is how the author takes us through numerous twists and turns as we follow the mystery of why and how this event occurred. The writing is tight, the characters engrossing in a macabre sense, and the darkness so well orchestrated that the reader is left with the sense that one can really never know oneself, let alone someone else…or what we/they are capable of. Bravo. Great debut novel.

419 people found this helpful

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Amazing debut!

This is an AWESOME book. It doesn’t rely on cheap thrills or shock for shock’s sake. It’s a mystery, full of tension and suspense. I love the Greek mythology component. One of the best I’ve listened to or read in a long time (and I read and/or listen to a LOT)! Highly recommend!

492 people found this helpful

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Intriguing. Mysterious. Twisty-Turny.

I didn't see that coming! I read this genre often, so I think I'm good at looking for what's to come, but I didn't put the clues together in the right order this time. You will FEEL this story! It is so well written with clear imagery of the characters, the setting, the emotions. It is definitely a "credit-worthy" work! Don't miss this one. Narration from both Jack Hawkins and Louise Brealey were exceptional!

110 people found this helpful

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No superlatives can describe how exceptional this book is

As someone who has been reading the mystery genre for over 60 years and was a former book buyer who read ARCs voraciously this is one of the finest mystery thrillers I have ever read. Simply stunning-the kind that leaves you speechless.

431 people found this helpful

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Librarian vs. Reader: Silent Patient

Librarian: This will be a good one for all your fans of psychological thrillers. Picture the readers at your library who absolutely devoured Gone Girl and Girl on a Train. You know who I'm talking about, the readers who wanted to spend forever chatting to you about every twist and turn. This is their next obsession. It's dark, and twisty, and you never know what's going to happen until it does. Get this into the hands of the right readers and I can easily see this one blowing up. Reader: I'm not normally a fan of psychological thrillers. The whole unreliable narrator thing drives me crazy. This one might have changed my mind. Maybe. Probably not, but it did come closer than any other I've read. I'm still processing it, but I'm still not sure if I love it or hate it, which is more than can be said for anything else in this genre. Listener: The audiobook narration on this one is excellent. The narrator makes the characters all come alive in uniquely chilling ways. The suspense builds with every scene, thanks at least in part to the narration.

572 people found this helpful

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Just O.K.

First of all, I did listen to the whole book, which is saying a lot, Usually, when a book is YA level and bland, I say blah, blah, blah to myself and turn it off and return it. But, I felt like it was time to write a review of this sort of "best seller" so I listened to the end and I kept it. This book, like so many I have started in the last three years, is akin to cotton candy at the fair - full of air and lightly colored sugar but not much there there. Having said that - do go ahead and listen! It's not dreadful. It's an okay book. If you loved "The Girl on the Train," or any other newly published book in this thriller genre, you will like this as well.

(Gone Girl is the best of this genre.) Back to my review. I knew what was going on: I guessed the who, what etc very early on. It had so many improbable plot elements. Mostly, I felt it was missing something. It seemed - bland. An example of a truly great psychological mystery is Rebecca. It has the mystery, the build up, the TWIST you never saw coming but more than all of those important elements, it has beautiful language, writing, exposition and atmosphere. The most important element being beautiful writing; language used exquisitely. 

Books today are written like screen plays. You can see it in your mind's eye as if it were playing on a TV or as a PBS Mystery or a Netflix original. This book would actually be perfect as a Netflix Original. I think I understand why books like this and others like The Girl on a Train are so well regarded and popular. Our collective reading and writing skills are morphing into something an 8th grade education will support. Or, I should say, eighth grade in 1979 which is more like the average high school education today. If you want to get published this is an important thing to know. Gear your book to this level. I do get it. The more people who can read it and enjoy, the better. I do believe that the publishing companies have determined this and are no dummies when it comes to book sales. This is understandable. The flip side is, at least SOMEONE is reading. Hurrah! But, this book won't stand the test of time like Rebecca has. Cotton candy. And it's okay to buy cotton candy. It's FUN. But it feels like the quality of so many books anymore is cotton candy and you can't live healthily on a diet of cotton candy.

34 people found this helpful

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No crazy thoughts allowed ;)

Fascinating.... I really enjoyed the psychological aspect of this story, which is pretty much the entire book. It was a bit slower in the first half but like most thrillers, it develops slowly and over time. It's interesting, during that slower section I did wonder... am I going to like this. I was very surprised with my feelings on that... I did really like it. It doesn't feel like a thriller per-say during that first half but more a mystery. However, that last half was definitely a thriller. Alex Michaelides is a fantastic writer. His story is thorough and well-paced. I really had no idea where he was taking us and I loved being totally side-swipped at the end. I really love a book that I can't pick apart! I'm going to be watching this author for another book! I see lots of good things in the future for him (and us for-that-matter). The narrators, Jack Hawkins and Louise Brealey were both fantastic! I was captivated with Brealey's voice. She really portrayed emotions. They both were a pleasure to listen too. I would happily listen to either of them again and again.

88 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable but could have been a short story.

Oh Sigmon Freud, while you may not have been correct in all of your practices, you did allow an enjoyable book to be written using them. I think that it was a fascinating story, however, it felt “stretched out”. This novel could have easily been a short story. Ironically, I still do not feel that there was much character development. But all-in-all, a fun and intriguing listen.

72 people found this helpful

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What’s wrong with me?

I read several reviews. Most folks liked the book over all, with some minor complaints. I agree with one reviewer that Theo sounds aggressive, and is condescending in words and in narrator’s tone. He seems rather defiant and passive aggressive, spitting words with an edge..There are a few horrible cliches in the book that a high school English teacher would mark off. Made me enroll my eyes. Went back and listened to chapters twice as i worked thru the recording. I love a good thriller, however, much to my dismay I found the whole thing frustrating. Hard to keep the characters straight, and the plot was muddled to me. Reflections on past and present events/relationships left me confused..who did what, who thought what. Couldn’t keep the numerous people straight. I wanted to like this book....too many avenues that were supposed to keep us hooked for the reveal at the end. I would not recommend the book to a friend.

166 people found this helpful

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  • shrouq
  • 07-02-20

Brilliant

didn't see that ending coming! I thought about different endings but this one was a surprise. LOVED IT ❤ I would buy the book and read it again

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  • niamh bonner
  • 02-28-20

It reads like a Greek tragedy

Great book with lots of confounding sub carachters. Never sure who is the real patient and kept guessing until the end.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-23-20

captivating twists

captivating twists, good characterisation, but not that promising climax. should make into a film i guess.