Book Corner: THE SILENT PATIENT by Alex Michaelides

– Nishita Bujala, Kamineni Institute of Medical Sciences

The story starts off on a dark note- A wife and a husband, both successful and happy until one day the wife shoots the husband five times in the face, surrenders and never speaks another word. The narrator of the story Theo- a psychiatrist describes how obsessed he is with extracting the story behind why she did it and even transfers to the psych facility she is at. Through Theo’s perspective, his investigation and the patient’s very own diary entries, the author takes us on a hair-raising journey that is not for the faint of hearts.

As the story continues, we are hit with some aha! moments that keep us on the edge of our seats while we try to guess the rest of the story.  It’s been a year since I read the book, but even today when I think about it, I shake my head in wonder at how articulately the author built up the premise and how he gave it a satisfactory ending the book deserved. The book is literally unputdownable (I don’t even know if that’s a word). It’s a fast-paced ride with short chapters and when the book ends you think – Just one more chapter, please. Some readers criticize that they could guess the twist beforehand, but trust me, I’ve read thousands of mystery novels and this ending still left me gobsmacked with a hard-filled surprise. I did pause a moment there and think ‘Ah I should’ve guessed this. It’s almost too easy, but the beauty of the book lies in that thin line between the easy and the hard and the ‘can guess but you did not. 

Some parts of the story were random, included in the story only to create excitement.  I have no complaints on that except for the fact that they are never mentioned in the story again nor are we given an explanation for why it happened. I remember reading Gone girl a long time ago and naively thinking “This is the best thriller in history ever”. Well, enter Alex Michaelides with his debut novel that will leave your brain cells overused and tired (if you think I am exaggerating, you are right. I am. Actually I’m not.)

If you liked this book, you may also like-

  1. Murder on the orient expressed by Agatha Christie 
  2. And then there were none by Agatha Christie
  3. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

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