The Silent Patient Book Review [yes spoilers]

As with many popular books that are recommended to me … I didn’t particularly like this one. It was a fast and engaging read, but perhaps being a therapist myself ruined it for me. And I suppose I also don’t enjoy the sensationalization of mental illness.

I knew something was up with Theo from the very beginning: what ethical therapist would switch jobs to work with one particular patient ? Fishy indeed. So from the very start I didn’t really trust him. There are also some misrepresentations about mental health in the work such as that common stereotype that borderlines can’t be treated. Idk. A lot of things felt cliche to me, but perhaps it would have been more interesting if I didn’t have the background that I do.

Another thing I didn’t understand was why Gabriels brother would defend Alicia after she supposedly murdered him? Even though I know he has feelings for her—- makes little sense to me unless I missed something, which is quite possible.

I did like the imagery in Alicias paintings though if Theo turned out to be a killer, did Alicia paint him saving her prior to her figuring out who he is ? Some things started off intriguing for me then kind of fell flat. The author clearly writes this genre of fiction well but I think it’s just not my preference. This fast paced sort of… gotcha? Type fiction isn’t for me. Plus … Theo comes off as this sort of meek person who seemed actually attracted to Alicia. To have that characterization and then hear about him terrorizing people and trying to kill them doesn’t fit for me. Though, I spose, people can snap.

I also felt like her diary read way too much like Theos voice. Idk.

All the men were seemingly described as having “strong builds” in this book. Idk. Maybe that says something about the author. I’m always curious why writers are drawn to tell certain stories.

To me the biggest turnoff were the endless breaches of ethical practice in therapy. How did Theo have the home address or his own therapist ? Just at every turn I found myself going … what?! Not to mention having a drink with her. I get that they were no longer regularly having sessions… but still probably not the best idea.

Anyway. I called a lot of the points before they happened. Knew Alicia was lying when she finally spoke. I also think the narrative of the attractive but crazy woman who gets blamed for everything is getting old for me. The ending I didn’t find very satisfying with literally the tea kettle screaming. Sigh.

Let me know what you think of this one. I would really like to hear from my non therapist friends too. it’s absolutely possible I missed the magic.

Much love


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