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The Silent Patient

Length: 8 hrs and 43 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (13,008 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

112 of 117 people found this review 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!

287 of 303 people found this review 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.

274 of 292 people found this review 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!

38 of 41 people found this review 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.

245 of 270 people found this review 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.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

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This One Should Not Be Missed<br />

I hate to call this the perfect thriller because its so much more. With a basis in Greek Mythology, a story about a psychotherapist and a painter, a great setting with a fresh story and plot twists you'll never see coming, in my opinion this is the best psychological thriller to come down the pike in quite some time. Fascinating, brilliant and intelligent!

Robin the Reviewer 😁

42 of 47 people found this review 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.

13 of 14 people found this review 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.

27 of 31 people found this review helpful

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🖌🎨🎭🔥ART AND MADNESS🔪💉💊🗄🖌💔🖤✏️📝

This is a book that really lives up to the “Psychological Thriller” label. For me, the male narrator’s slow, overarticulated delivery was annoying, so I enjoyed reading on my Kindle more than listening to his chapters. The female narrator is great, however. I enjoyed the twin focus on art and psychology. And the surprise twist was of the kind I’ve seen successfully pulled off in only one other book, Kate Morton’s The Secret Keeper. I literally gasped aloud and said “No way!” I was shocked and yet....when I thought back, everything fit.

Now for the downside. There’s no real heart to this book—it’s about madness and obsession, like a Poe story—and the one character you’ll come to feel is a good person does not receive the happy ending (or, in fact, ANY happiness) that they deserve. Also, one character has a past laden with so very much parental and personal death, suicide, depression, and suffering that discerning readers will feel it’s all a bit gothic and unreal. But maybe that’s what the author was aiming for: a story of near-gothic madness, obsession and suffering of which Edgar Allen Poe would have been proud. In that case, the book is a smashing success.

Grade: B+ or A-

39 of 46 people found this review helpful