Title: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Book Beginnings quote:
Alicia Berensen was thirty-three years old when she killed her husband.
The therapy room was a small, narrow rectangle; as bare as a prison cell, or barer.
Summary: Alicia Berensen and her husband, Gabriel, were married for seven years before she killed him. After shooting him in the face she went completely silent, refusing to speak at all. Both Alicia and her husband were artists. She a painter, he a popular fashion photographer. After the murder, before she was sent to The Grove for the criminally insane, she created a painting of Alecestis from Greek mythology. Does she want the painting to speak for her? While she is at The Grove a new criminal psychologist, Theo Faber, is hired to work with her. He is very motivated to do so, sure that he can get her to talk.
Review: I always have trouble "reviewing" mysteries because just about all the details will be spoilers. So let me say this -- the book is very good and there is a plot twist I didn't see coming. In fact, since it was a book club choice, I can report that none of the gals in club saw it coming either. Both my husband and I enjoyed listening to the audiobook together. When the plot twisted, we both turned to each other with a look of 'what just happened?' on our faces.
The Silent Patient was author Alex Michaelides' first book and it became the best selling book of 2019. He lived on Cyprus as a child and said that his summers were filled with reading Agatha Christie novels at the beach, cementing his love of mysteries. Having grown up so near to Greece he said that Greek myths were very familiar to him and to all school children. That is how he knew so much about Alecestis, a myth I'd never even heard of before. He studied psychotherapy for three years and worked for two years on a secure ward for mentally ill youth. He admits that he used those experiences as fodder for his book. He was surprised that the book was categorized as a psychological thriller, however, since he just meant it to be a mystery or just regular literature.
If you are one of the few people in the world who hasn't read this book, I highly recommend it to you.