• Ananya Ak

The Silent Patient Book Review



I’ve always loved mysteries. And thrillers. And adventure stories.

I just love the unpredictability, the twists, the adrenaline rush. I love the fact that reading mystery novels and watching thriller movies always keeps me at the edge of my seat. Things don’t get boring with such stories, you know. Especially if they’re well written.

Psychological thrillers are even better! How awesome is it that there’s more intrigue in the human mind than in violence and adventure and detective work! Shutter Island, Gone Girl, The Shining…such classics.

The Silent Patient, it seems, is on its way to joining those masterpieces as one of the most intriguing psychological thrillers of all time.

It’s so raw, so unexpected, that it’s irresistible!

The protagonist here is a disturbed woman, Alicia Berenson, who murders her husband (whom she loves deeply) and then just...stops talking. Theo Faber, a forensic psychotherapist, is fascinated by her story and feels that he can make her talk and solve the mystery of Alicia’s sudden crime. He’s obsessed with solving her seemingly unsolvable case.

I can review this book in just one word: indescribable.

In one sentence: I don’t know how to give my opinion about this book without giving away any spoilers.

My advice to whoever is reading this: If you haven’t read the book already, what are you waiting for?! Go pick it up because you won’t regret it!

I have some opinions about the book, and I’m going to put them down here. But my advice is, skip the entire thing and go read the book already!

Anyway…

This book has been blowing up social media for a while now. Everyone is reading it; everyone is loving it. I’m not usually one to pick up a book based on a fad, but this one had intrigued me before it got all famous. I’m not even sure why I didn’t pick it up then.

Everyone who ever speaks about this book mentions The Twist (in caps because it deserves the respect). While reading it, I was constantly looking for clues as to what it would be. I kept imagining scenarios that would make sense in the context of the plot. And to tell you the truth, I thought I had nailed it from the beginning!

I had already started writing this review in my mind, talking about how I had “called it” and how you should read the book with an open mind for full enjoyment.

But boy, was I wrong.

I didn’t understand anything. The more I pictured my own narrative based on what I thought The Twist would be, the more I was setting myself up for failure. The Twist was not what I thought it was.

So while you’re reading it, let your imagination go wild, by all means. You’ll never guess the real ending. If you read it with an open mind, well and good! But even if you don’t, the enjoyment won’t go away…

The book wasn’t unputdownable for me; not at first.

The first half was intriguing, sure, but not intriguing enough that I’d finish the whole thing in a single setting. I read the first half over four or five days. But the second half? I started reading it after lunch one day, and before I knew it, I was on my way to a solid book hangover. It was that good.

The only concern I have with the book is that it follows a psychoanalytic standpoint. The therapy is completely based on Freud’s theories, which I don’t much agree with as a psychology student. But that’s my nerd talking. It’s fiction anyway, right? Who cares?

This book left me in a hangover and I don’t think I’ve recovered.

Fun fact: my very early-to-bed, early-to-rise mom was up till verrryyy late when she sat down to read the book (I gave it to her as soon as I was done with it). So seriously. Go read the book. It’s awesome.

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