“But why does she not speak?” – EURIPIDES, Alcestis // Alex Michaelides
The Silent Patient
Written by Alex Michaelides
Published February 5, 2019
My mind is blown, and my heart is racing, this book is absolutely phenomenal! Read over a two-day span, The Silent Patient, was one of those novels that I just couldn’t put down. Set in London, The Silent Patient, tells the story of Alicia Berenson a famous painter who hasn’t spoken a word since shooting her husband Gabriel five times in the face and Theo Faber a criminal psychotherapist who has not only waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia but also becomes consumed with the case. Sprinkled throughout the novel are multiple red herrings all of which kept me guessing right up to the end. When the truth was finally revealed I had to do a double take and reread.
This was a 5 out of 5 read for me and I highly recommend it to everyone who likes crime novels.
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About the location backdrop:
Added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 30, 1981, The Babcock Building, was the second building that housed patients on the campus of the South Carolina State Hospital. Founded in 1821, the South Carolina State Hospital formerly known as the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum is a publicly funded state-run psychiatric hospital. Along with other structures and cottages located on the campus the Babcock Building closed its doors in the mid-nineties. On September 12, 2020, the Babcock Building was the site of a three-alarm fire which collapsed the building’s dome and gutted the interior. It was an extremely heartbreaking day to say the least.
Fun Tidbit: The building was used as a set for the 1989 film, Chattahoochee, which starred Gary Oldman. The nearby Mills Building now contains offices for the state Department of Mental Health and the Department of Health and Environmental Control.