Alicia Berenson writes a diary as a release, an outlet – and to prove to her beloved husband that everything is fine. She can’t bear the thought of worrying Gabriel, or causing him pain.
Until, late one evening, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times and then never speaks another word.
Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia’s silence goes far deeper than he first thought.
And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth?
This is a book that’s garnering a lot of pre-publication praise and I can see why. It’s a story that grabs you from the beginning and draws you in. It has a widening cast of characters, who only reveal what they want to reveal, until you’re never really sure whether anyone is actually what they say they are.
It opens with a shocking murder, when Alicia, for no apparent reason shoots her beloved husband Gabriel, 5 times in the face. From that moment on, she refuses to speak, despite numerous attempts to get her to open up, by the professionals at The Grove, the psychiatric unit she is resident at. Theo Faber is a forensic psychotherapist who has been following the case and is convinced he can succeed where others have failed. To that end he applies to join The Grove and persuades the director to allow him access to Alicia.
What becomes apparent is that Alicia has a troubled past which would appear to hold the key to unlocking what made her shoot Gabriel. But it also holds the key to uncovering a wider truth and somebody doesn’t want that to happen. Theo is not without his own problems, which makes him a more driven and unconventional character. He, not always ethically, sets about ‘investigating’ not just Alicia but her family, friends and associates. All appear somewhat unreliable as narrators, with something to hide. So the race is on to discover who exactly is telling the truth. The revelation, when it comes, is one I defy anyone to have seen coming.
It’s a gripping tale of murder, madness and obsession – prepare to be surprised.