This book was something I struggled to put down, being daughter of a psychologist studying medicine this whole theme spoke to me at many levels but I would rather not go in to the whole therapy part and stick to the literary part.
The story revolves around Alicia Berenson, her life seemed perfect, a rich artist married to an equally famous and good-looking fashion photographer, living in the high end of London. Everything seems perfect but one evening gunshots are heard from her house, she is found there with a gun, her husband is dead and she goes totally silent. Her silence and the couple’s fame turn this quite open and shut case into a media circus. As it happens with one dead and other facing the murder charge, their previous works become more and more ‘in-demand’ and expensive.
Alicia slowly fades away from the public eye, years after the murder she is residing in a psychiatric facility and still haven’t said a word.
Theo a psychologist has a keen interest in her case, which feels like a professional curiosity bleeding towards obsession. As Theo starts to see Alicia, she remains silent in their therapy sessions too but in these silences lies the main substance of the story.
Also Theo starts to meet more people from Alicia’s life before the silence and tries to understand her art, along with Alicia’s diary which she kept around that time her character starts to come together like a intricate puzzle.
Although the story is a narrative from Theo,with every page he starts to feel creepy and creepier to me, finally revealing his true interest in Alicia’s silence which was very subtly dropped throughout the book but the whole picture didn’t comes truly together till the very end, you know like a good thriller.
Alicia’s character is very much the main pillar of the book, I have even read reviews calling this book a character study of sorts for her which honestly I don’t mind, her story is a slow burn which keeps you intrigued till the very end. One chapter she feels like a violent psychopath and in others like a victim of her bad childhood and just overall bad circumstances.
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….
I would give this book 3.5⭐ and definitely recommend it if you have loved gone girl, girl on the train and those sort of psychological thrillers.