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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Swartwood-Walker

Unraveling the Unseen - The Silent Patient's Killer Plot Twist

Cover of the book The Silent Patient

Have you ever read the incredibly popular best-selling book "The Silent Patient" by Alex Michaelides? If your answer is "No" then SPOILER ALERT and DANGER WILL ROBINSON! (I'll try to keep the movie references to a minimum for the blog. If you don't understand them, I'm sorry. But if you do, you are my people.) Let's get to it...

So, we have Alicia Berenson, a renowned artist who remains eerily silent after being convicted of her husband's murder. Enter Theo Faber, a psychotherapist who becomes obsessed with unraveling the truth behind Alicia's silence. It takes quite a while for Faber to make progress with Alicia and seemingly has a troubled personal life. But little do you know how much the personal life is affecting the plot.

From seemingly insignificant conversations to fleeting memories and even references to artwork, the observant reader among us can start piecing together the puzzle long before the big reveal. But I even found myself thinking "he's doing exactly what Alicia described." It's the misdirection that makes the reveal so impactful. With plausible alternative explanations and red herrings to divert our attention, it keeps us guessing and preventing the true nature of the twist from being uncovered too early.

The big plot twist hits and you realize that the timelines of events are not chronological and Faber was a direct facilitator of the events in Alicia's story. The execution was top-notch. Those signs were there through the entire narrative, and looking back, I can appreciate the meticulous planning and storytelling prowess that went into crafting such a twist.

Now, there was one thing that I wasn't exactly a fan of—the direct involvement of the narrator. Obviously this big twist wouldn't have been as big of an impact without it and this book is amazing and I hope you've read it (cause I just ruined it for you if you haven't). But the main reason I wasn't 100% for it is because this type of twist is done often and I was hoping for something a bit different. Regardless, the novel maintained an air of suspense that had me stay up way later than I should've been to finish the book.

"The Silent Patient" is a book that showcases the power of a well-executed plot twist. If you're a fan of psychological thrillers that keep you on the edge of your seat, I wholeheartedly recommend it.

I give it a 4/5 stars!

Author and Illustrator Jennifer Swartwood-Walker with her published works

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