Review: The Silent Patient

Alex Michaelides

Publisher: Celadon Books

Release date: February 2019

Genre: Thriller

Rating: 3 stars

” Alicia Berenson writes a diary as a release, an outlet – and to prove to her beloved husband that everything is fine. She can’t bear the thought of worrying Gabriel, or causing him pain.Until, late one evening, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times and then never speaks another word.
Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia’s silence goes far deeper than he first thought.”

So goes the blurb. And it is an intriguing premise. Will Alicia speak? Why did she shoot her husband? Why is she silent? And so on. As I said, intriguing. So I was keen to read this one. Sadly, the execution didn’t live up to the premise. It’s not a bad book, just disappointing.

Here’s the first problem I had. When people start talking about “a twist you won’t see coming” in a thriller, you can’t help but imagine all the possible twists when you start reading it yourself. And then, if you have read many thrillers, yes, you will see it coming and probably from quite a long way off too.

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QLTR May 2019

QLTR? What the heck is a QLTR?

It’s simple, really, and yet diabolically clever at the same time. This is my monthly list of books I’d Quite Like to Read. And why only Quite Like to Read? Isn’t that a bit wishy-washy?

Well, to be honest, it started out as TBR (To Be Read), but a curious thing happened. I would carefully compile the list, all shiny and new at the beginning of each month. And then I’d immediately want to rebel and read something entirely different. This caused feelings of guilt, failure and despair at the end of the month when I hadn’t read anything at all from my list.

What to do? Exercise more self-control? No. Don’t be silly. Change the name! So the list became WTR (you guessed it: Want to Read). But it turned out I didn’t, really. Want to read them, that is. Cue the guilt, failure, etc.

Again,what to do? Abandon the list idea entirely? Come on. It’s a list. Lists are good. So I came up with this genius idea. I don’t have to read these books. I may not even want to read them once the month begins. But I’d quite like to read them. Maybe. See how it goes. No pressure. And you know what? It worked. Last month, I read almost all the books on my list. Sometimes my mind is a frighteningly irrational place to live in.

So what would I Quite Like to Read in May? I have a list of 10 books. They’re in the image at the beginning of this post. Interestingly, they look sort of autumnal, don’t they? This wasn’t deliberate, just a sort of serendipity, because it’s autumn here, though maybe not where you are. Eight of them are from the library (I love my library), I own one, and the other is an audio book on my phone (although I have cleverly cheated and added its image into the photograph through the magic of photo editing software). So here they are:

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