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The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

The Silent Patient


Each year thousands of members vote for our Book of the Year award—congrats to The Silent Patient!


We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Alex Michaelides, on your first book!

Early Release

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by Alex Michaelides

Quick take

A therapist unravels the mind of a shattered woman ... who may be a murderer (or not).

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Psychological


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Creepy


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Whodunit


  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Buzzy



Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him....

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of The Silent Patient.

Why I love it

Since Gone Girl conquered the globe in 2012, bookstore shelves have creaked beneath the weight of countless psychological thrillers. Another 44 were published in the past eight seconds alone—and precious few of these novels actually qualify as psychological suspense. More often than not, they focus on an imperiled protagonist—usually a young woman—whose psychology is neither nuanced nor particularly … well, particular. We might rattle around in the heroine’s head, but absent idiosyncrasies, dimension, or even personality, it’s like touring an empty museum.

Readers, we face a literary epidemic. But Alex Michaelides is here to deliver the cure. The Silent Patient is an eerie, bona fide psychological thriller starring Theo Faber, a psychotherapist who by trade dwells within the inner lives of his charges—one of whom refuses to speak. As Theo attempts to break through to his silent patient—a woman convicted of murdering her husband—a dark story unfolds that is as shocking as it is expertly crafted.

The characters in this novel crackle with complexity—with genuine psychology—and a walk through their minds feels as risky and exhilarating as crossing a minefield. (I would here like to coin the term "mind-field.") This phenomenal interior novel defibrillates the ailing body of the psychological thriller genre. I’m delighted to invite readers into the world of The Silent Patient. Just don’t get too comfortable.

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Member ratings (74,159)

  • Erin S.

    Nampa, ID

    Simply brilliant. It’s not often that I can be kept in the dark and not guess the ending. The Silent Patient did. It basically gave me the small taste of realization and i actually gasped. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Allison B.

    Sunbury, PA

    One of the best psychology book I have read in years! The twists and turns and surprises keep you enthralled. Read it I six hours! Read it and then try to sleep. Parts of the story keep invading yourthoughts

  • Natalie R.

    Windermere, FL

    Loved the author’s ability to integrate Greek mythology to parallel the psychical death of a character. Fav takeaway - “Remember, love that doesn’t include honesty doesn’t deserve to be called love.”

  • Christine F.

    Hillsborough, NH

    What an exciting read! Couldn’t put it down and wanted to get to the secret surrounding “why” the main character was silent. Oh and that ending, it was quite a curveball. Can’t wait for the big screen

  • Lily D.

    Midland, MI

    This book isn't at all what I thought it was gonna be. It was better! The writer to captures the thoughts of the characters and show them at the right time. keeps us interested, without spoiling. ❤️❤️