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....
The Sexy Nerd's Review...
OMG! This novel literally knocked my socks off for real. I see why this book was critically acclaimed and won so many awards and stayed on the New York’s Best Sellers list for several weeks. 2019 was a great year for Alex Michaelides and he is so deserving!
There were so many layers to this story and it’s just a lot to unpack but I was so here for it, I couldn’t get enough. And I’m so proud to say that I was spot on with the mystery. I knew about twenty percent in where this story might go, and boy did it not let me down! 😮 I was elated to know I was right from the beginning. Yasss! This book was all that!
This story reminded me of reading Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones where it hooked me from the very first sentence. Alicia Berenson was 33 years old and murdered her husband. Well, hot damn, let’s go! A million questions formed in my mind from the first set of words. I was glued to my tablet and couldn’t manage to peel my eyes away and I got angry when I had to stop reading.
So, why would Alicia Berenson murder her husband in cold blood? And not only did she kill him, but she was silent and refused to talk. What would possess a loving wife to turn so cold against the man she claimed to love wholeheartedly? Alicia was committed to the Grove, a facility designed to assist patients with extreme trauma. Let’s face it, she fit that bill. She was then introduced to her new criminal psychotherapist, Theo Faber. Theo was intrigued by Alicia’s story, or lack thereof. He did everything a detective would have done by investigating everyone that was associated with his patient.
As he began to dig deeper into the silent black abyss that was Alicia Berenson’s world, it was becoming clear that all wasn’t quite what it seemed. Theo soon realized he and Alicia had a lot in common. They both had horrible upbringings and trauma that followed them throughout most of their lives. He wanted to help her find her voice again and while doing so, Theo knew he’d learn something along the way too. But, with all stories, and theirs not being any different, Alicia’s past was catching up to her present, and Theo knew there was danger in their midst. Would he be able to save Alicia and himself in the end?
OMG! Did I mention I! Love! This! Book!!!! This is the type of writing I’ve been craving for, for such a long time. Michaelides writes like the authors of yesteryear. His words were riveting, and the story line just kept building like a crescendo and once the words were released into the world, the music it played left the reader mesmerized and wanting more. My goodness, I so appreciate this author and his body of work. I didn’t think authors still had these types of writing chops anymore. Michaelides has restored my faith in the reading world. For that, I thank him. I don’t care that this book came out in 2019, it will go down in history as one of the greats! It deserved every award it received. Well done!
P.S. It wasn’t lost on me the title of this novel. If you’re truly an avid reader, you will pick up on several meanings it holds. That’s all I can say without giving away any spoilers. Sheer brilliance! I’m a fan, Michaelides!!!!