My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 1 day
Pages - Orion
Publisher - 323
Source - Review Copy
Blurb 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....
We open with a diary entry from Alicia Berenson, started in July and we get a wee glimpse into Alicia. Just over a month later Alicia will kill her husband and not speak another word, everyone is fascinated with the case. What would make a happily married woman snap and murder her husband and why won't she speak. Years has passed and Theo Faber, Criminal psychologist is offered a job to work at the facility where Alicia is being cared for. He has always wanted to work with her, try to get her to speak, to unravel the mystery that has baffled them all but sometimes people keep secrets for a reason and Alicia has her reasons. Can Faber find a way to unlock Alicia's silence and finally get some answers?
For a debut or just a book in general I think this is fantastically written. We get wee snippets from Alicia, from her diary, before the killing. As Faber trys to work with Alicia he has to get answers as she is silent and giving nothing, people are being obstructive, secrets are galore but we all want to know why.
Alicia is a complex character, we know there is more underneath the surface but we only really see snaps of her, the Alicia now who doesn't speak but has snapped a few times. The Alicia from her diary who reveals a little bit more with each entry and Faber, trying to hard to work with someone who is essentially shut down.
We are drip fed small bits of information as Faber digs, putting his career and reputation at risk as he pushes boundaries to try and help a woman most seem to have given up on. It is a psychological thriller, it pulls you in from the first few chapters. If you are nosey like me you are dying to see what actually happened, why is she quiet, why won't she speak you won't be able to put this one down. 4/5 for me this time, I look forward to seeing what this author puts out next, certainly a name worth watching out for.
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