Alicia is the only one who knows anything about how her husband died, she was the only witness and the version of events she gave didn't seem plausible. The only issue in finding out the truth is that Alicia hasn't spoken to anyone since it happened, she closed herself up and didn't even speak at her trial. She was committed to The Grove where her continued silence attracted the attention of Theo, a psychotherapist who has been determined to work with Alicia to find out the truth. He thinks that he will be the only person to get it out of her as to why she was found with a gun in her hand standing over her husband's body with five gunshots to his face.
The Silent Patient has been hyped up for months as a truly gripping and intense thriller. Whilst I definitely enjoyed the narrative the story was pretty boring, the only thing that kept me interested was that the chapters were quite short and the dialogue was written extremely well. Between characters there was always an unspoken predetermined connection which allowed the speech to flow freely between them without the author trying to crowbar in the relationship between them. Despite the fast-paced writing, I personally believe that the story just didn't progress quickly enough, looking back nothing really happened until about 50% or even 60% of the way through. The author tried hiding this by switching between the parts of Theo's life, one chapter at the Grove, then with his wife, then a chapter on 'before-the-murder' Alicia, to try and make the reader believe that there really was a lot going on all at once but when you truly examine the contents of the chapters not a lot happens that is 'gripping'.
I was determined to finish this book so I could find out what everyone was going on about, it was a struggle for me. I didn't much like the main characters of Theo and Alicia which made it worse, Theo was a bit whiny for my liking and continuously thought everything was about him, and Alicia was dramatic as hell. There was a chapter *spoiler* about her childhood after her mother died where her father had wished she (Alicia) had died instead, at this point we all feel for her, he's a terrible person etc. but Alicia says "He's killed me" and continues to develop this strange subconscious psychosis about her Dad 'killing' her that day. She reflects this strange connection onto Gabriel about how he has 'killed' her as well but it was all a bit of a stretch for me that just wasn't believable.
The one redeeming factor of this novel was the twist at the end, I now understood what everyone loved so much about this. *Spoiler* We get toward the end of the book and it is revealed that the two storylines of Theo's time at the Grove and Theo's troubles with his wife are happening at different times. This is key in figuring out that the man Theo's wife has been having an affair with is Alicia's husband, Gabriel. A lot more happens between the lines for these final chapters and without revealing too much there is a reason that Theo has been so compelled to help Alicia.
Ultimately I have an unpopular opinion about this book. Whilst the twist bumped it up quite a few marks but I cannot look past the generally uninteresting characters and slow burn of the story. I really appreciated the short chapters and fast-paced dialogue but the contrast to there not actually being any developments left me feeling like I hadn't actually enjoyed anything from the novel other than the twist.
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