“Either you control your mind or it controls you”. Mind is the one which creates illusions and if it is let to wander free, it will urge you to believe that the illusion is reality. Mind is a storehouse with unlimited storage access. It takes in everything that happens around you. Everything. Consciously and unconsciously, we make memories. But some memories become core. They seep deep into the mind. With time the memory becomes like a stone, strong, rigid and difficult to contemplate or deal with. It clings to the mind, forever, like this story. Yes, exactly like this story….
Alicia Berenson loves her husband, Gabriel, like anything. She admires him like a deity. She does, behaves, speaks the way Gabriel would like. Her life is incomplete without him and she is madly in love with him. Gabriel is so precious to her and she wouldn’t do anything to hurt him, ever.
And then one evening, she shoots him. Five times, right in the face. Alicia kills her husband. And after that she doesn’t speak again. Not a word to anyone. Not a word in her defence when she is arrested for being guilty and considered mad and then admitted to The Grove as a mental patient. Alicia is a famous painter, and now her story is as famous as her. She is the talk of the town now. A murderer, they say. This unknown mystery threatens her reputation. And her existence.
People have tried and failed, consistently, to get her to talk, something, anything. However, Alicia doesn’t protest, confess or accept. She is as numb as a doll. Except this doll isn’t pleasing to look at and doesn’t have a smile stuck on her face. Alicia is devoid of any expression and the last of feelings is slowly seeping out of her…. until Theo Faber, a forensic psychotherapist takes up the nearly impossible challenge of making Alicia speak, of urging her to tell the truth that only she knows. He is desperate to know her story, her tragedy and the reason she killed her husband. Through the investigation, Theo finds out that there are loopholes and many more undiscovered pieces to Alicia’s story. There are clues: Alicia paintings and her diary. Why did she kill her husband? Did she actually kill her husband? Will she ever speak? Why is Alicia silent?
About the author:
Alex Michaelides, born in 1977 is an author and screenwriter. The Silent Patient is a New York time best seller and his debut novel. He has had psychotherapy as a subject for three years and that provided inspiration for this novel. Apart from novels, he has worked on film scripts like The Devil You Know and many more. The Maidens, another psychological thriller is his second successful novel.
It’s one of those books where you turn pages on autopilot. You struggle to put the book down. The suspense is brain freezing. It comes absolutely unexpected and startles you. It is a very well crafted, clever story. It is only a matter of time when the world around you fade away and you become a part of Alicia’s story. The suspense keeps sneaking nearer to you and suddenly bounces at you. It is so quick and startling that it will come like a flash of lightning and leave you in a trance. This is how a psychological thriller should be written. An epitome.
“Only she knows what happened. Only I can make her speak….”