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Alex Michaelides Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Silent Patient (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Author Alex Michaelides was born in the year 1977 in Cyprus to an English mother and a Greek dad. Growing up in Cyprus was steeped in Greek mythology. Especially Euripides’s work, particularly “Alcestis”, which is a story that he has always carried with him, as he knew that someday he would use it.

He has always been haunted by the story. Alecestis’ self sacrifice, coming back from death, and her following silence.

Alex tried to update the play, but that never really worked out. He tried working on the story, once as a short film, before he allowed it to sit untouched for fifteen years in his unconscious before he worked on “The Silent Patient”. Everything just came together for him one day. He was in Hampstead Heath and he sat on a bench and wrote everything down on his phone, and “The Silent Patient” is unchanged from there on pretty much.

Borrowing his sister’s Agatha Christie books, the first adult books he ever read, is what made him a writer and a reader. Alex would read one every couple of days, and he feels it was the first time that he would just disappear into someone else’s world.

He studied English literature at Cambridge University and got an MA in screenwriting at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. He also studied psychotherapy and worked in a secure psychiatric unit for teenagers.

This psychiatric unit wound up becoming a big part of his life and was an incredibly formative experience for him. It took him out of his own head and got him relating to other people. In short, it helped him grow up and quit being selfish. This is where the inspiration to set “The Silent Patient” came from, even though the place in his book is a completely made up place.

Alex had always wanted to be a novelist when he was younger. Before he had turned eighteen, he had written a novel and a half before getting discouraged. He feels part of this is due to the fact that he was distracted by his love for movies.

His work in the film industry is what almost made him give up writing entirely, as he found the work to be soul destroying. He decided to give it one more go, by writing an Agatha Christie-type murder mystery that had a deeper psychological complexity to it.

He found that writing novels was a natural medium for him. Alex found it wholly liberating, just moving around in someone’s head. With a film, you must keep moving, but in a book, there are rabbit holes you can go down, internal monologues the characters can have. The chance to actually slow down while telling a story was a revelation for him.

Writing “The Silent Patient” in his apartment or by himself in a cafe was the happiest he has felt as a writer. Just moving words around, working on a sentence, and finding the correct word. It all makes Alex happy. He enjoyed getting inside people’s heads in such a way that is not possible to do in film. Alex tapped into his work in film, his heritage, his childhood, and, most of all, he tapped into a desire to write something that he wanted to read.

Upon completing the book, he had no clue if the book was any good or not. Or any expectations for what would come of the novel he wrote. He just gave it to a friend and she told him to send it to an agent, which he did. He sent three chapters to Sam Copeland, who enjoyed what he read and signed Alex. It was the fastest Sam had ever read, met with someone, and then signed them. And all from a slush pile submission.

Actress Uma Thurman helped Alex with the book, suggesting that Alicia be a painter in the story. For Alex, making Alicia a painter is what brought the character to life in his mind. When he was younger, he painted quite a bit and he has spent time around artists, so it was easy for him to use his imagination.

His debut novel “The Silent Patient” was released in the year 2019. The book was part of a seven-way auction and has sold in forty foreign territories. He has also written the movie “The Devil You Know” and co-wrote “The Brits are Coming”. He also co-wrote a screenplay that was never produced into a movie.

“The Silent Patient” is the first stand alone novel, which was released in the year 2019. Alicia Berenson’s life looks to be perfect. She is a famous painter married the sought after fashion photographer, and they have a grand house with huge windows that overlooks a park in one of the most desirable areas in London. Her husband Gabriel comes home late from a fashion shoot one evening, and Alicia shoots him five times in his face. Then she never speaks another word.

Her refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation at all, turns a simple domestic tragedy into something much grander. A mystery that captures the imagination of the public and thrusts Alicia into notoriety. The price for her art goes through the roof, and Alicia, who is the silent patient, is hidden from the spotlight and the tabloids at the Grove, a secure forensic located in North London.

Theo Faber, a criminal psychotherapist, has waited quite a long time for a chance to work with Alicia. His determination to get Alicia talking and figure out just why she shot her husband will take him down a twisting path into his personal motivations. It is a search for the truth that threatens to consume him.

The book is highly compelling, and tough to put down. It is fast paced with short chapters that make it easy to try just one more chapter. There are tons of threads and some little surprises waiting to be found inside of this book. At every turn, there are even more questions coming about. Unraveling the mystery and finding out why makes this an enjoyable journey.

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