Let’s start off with a quick summary of this novel from Goodreads
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….Goodreads
If psychological thrillers are up your alley, and you haven’t read this book yet, you’re truly missing out. I had heard nothing but good things about this book before I finally decided to purchase it from the bookstore, so I’ll preface this review by saying that my expectations were quite high.
Right when I got off work at 5pm on Thursday, signalling the start of my holiday break, I grabbed this book from my bookshelf, lit my favorite Illume candle and grabbed some iced coffee and got down to reading. I literally could not put this book down from the moment I started it. Honestly couldn’t have asked for a better reading experience. Alex Michaelides showed up and showed out with his authoring of this book. His writing style is what really drew me in, even though he could have researched mental health diagnoses and treatments more as his knowledge in this field was definitely lacking and somewhat annoyed me.
I’ve personally read so many thrillers that it’s honestly very difficult for me to be surprised but the end of this book truly left me speechless. The plot twist, if you will, was truly something I would have never expected. Although, I will say that you predict the ending correctly, you may not enjoy this book as much.
The alternating perspectives of the chapters really kept me on the edge of my seat and made me want to never put the book down until I finished it. I definitely felt the parallels and potential influence from Shutter Island in this novel, so if that film was one that you genuinely enjoyed, definitely give this book a try! This novel also reminded me of season 1 of The Sinner (on Netflix). It’s always a joy for me personally when I can draw parallels and connections to other forms of media I’ve consumed.
Let me know in the comments if this book is something that you’d be interested in reading.