Avid reader/reviewer and editor. I don't pull punches when I review, love it or hate it, you get what I think.
I read a ton of psychological thrillers, and most fall short of the mark for me. Granted, the continued exposure does mean that it is increasingly harder and harder to "get" me with that required big twist. Then, along comes this debut from Alex Michaelides.
The story is a slow build, and in the beginning, it feels almost like two separate stories. Most of it is told from Theo's point of view, but we also get glimpses into Alicia's life through her journal entries, so there's Theo's personal life, Alicia's inner turmoil before the murder, and their interactions together. I'll admit that I was a bit confused at first about where this tale was headed, and it does take a while to get there. Despite that, there's just something thoroughly compelling about this story. Whatever that special something is that pulls a reader into the story and doesn't let go - this one has it in spades.
Then we get to the twist and I was gobsmacked. It came out of nowhere - but it really didn't, not when I looked back at everything I'd absorbed to that point. So, I was thrown for a loop, yet it all connects and makes sense. Everything, from the how and why of the murder to that jaw-dropping reveal, it all just works.
To sum it up, The Silent Patient is dark, twisted, and filled with not so likable characters that still managed to draw me in completely. Slow build or not, I kept turning those pages and finished it in one day - Well, one sleepless night because one chapter turned into two, and so on. And this debut has put this author firmly on my radar.