Following its release, The Silent Patient dominated bestsellers charts. Fans loved it for the split perspective and timelines, its twists, and the compelling mystery motivating the characters. Whether you first finished this book three years or three minutes ago, keep reading to learn about 17 more books like The Silent Patient.
About The Silent Patient
The Silent Patient made big waves when it was published in 2019. It was Alex Michaelides’s debut and proceeded to spend more than a year on the New York Times bestsellers list. It also won the Goodreads Choice Award for Mystery and Thriller that same year.
The publication of The Silent Patient actually came from failing to make it as screenwriter. But with the tremendous reception of his debut novel, there is no doubt that Michaelides has found success.
His debut brings forth an alluring twist on a seemingly perfect life. Alicia Berenson and her husband Gabriel appear to be perfect. She is a famous painter and he is an in-demand fashion photographer.
But one night after he arrives home late from a photoshoot, Alicia shoots her husband in the face five times. She never speaks another word.
With her silence her notoriety climbs. The price of her art skyrockets and the domestic tragedy of her life captures the public imagination. This includes the attention of Theo Faber, a criminal psychotherapist.
Theo has long waited for the opportunity to work with Alicia, who has been sequestered from the tabloids in a secure forensic unit in North London. But 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. It is a search for the truth that threatens to consume him.
The popular debut also has a film adaptation in the works from Annapurna and Plan B production companies.
Is there a sequel to the book The Silent Patient?
While Alex Michaelides has since published a second book, he has not written a direct sequel to The Silent Patient. However, there are Easter eggs scattered throughout his second novel which allude back to his debut.
Both books take place within the same universe, even the same cities, and there are characters who appear in both novels. However, The Maidens is not a sequel as the timelines overlap and the storylines remain able to stand on their own.
Michaelides has never specified whether or not he will write a direct sequel to The Silent Patient. His next book is another standalone which takes place on a private Greek Island. The Fury will be published on January 16, 2024.
Michaelides has confirmed that The Fury will take place in the same world as his previous two books.
Is The Silent Patient a clean book?
Determining whether The Silent Patient is a clean book largely depends on your definition of clean. It is a psychological thriller that centers around a brutal murder. As a result, there will be some descriptions that can be seen as disturbing.
There is strong language throughout the book, but the most graphic scene remains the description of the murder. In addition to the bloody description of the murder, there are also descriptions of self-harm and a suicide attempt.
What is the main genre of The Silent Patient?
The Silent Patient is a predominantly a psychological thriller. There is a tightly guarded secret that the author slowly reveals throughout the course of the novel.
A main component of psychological thrillers is a deep dive into the human psyche. An unreliable narrator is often a given in psychological thrillers, or at the very least the narrator is fraught with internal tension and stress. A disturbed mind plays into the plot in some capacity.
Edgar Allan Poe is often seen as the father of psychological thrillers.
Books like The Silent Patient
Below you will find our 17 picks for books like The Silent Patient. The below mystery thrillers will include themes of an unreliable narrator or a deeply-guarded past, most will follow the complicated relationship between a married couple, and some will feature a medical institution.
Just like The Silent Patient, these books are captivating tales of murder, love, and revenge. We’ve collected some of the bestselling books and debuts alike, so keep reading to find out our recommendations for 17 books like The Silent Patient.
1. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Our first recommendation for books like The Silent Patient is also a debut from who has now become an authoritative voice in psychological thrillers. That is, of course, Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn.
Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment. She must return to her tiny hometown to cover the unsolved murder of a preteen girl and the disappearance of another.
For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: A beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town.
Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims — a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story — and survive this homecoming.
2. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
The next option for books like The Silent Patient is another Goodreads Choice winner. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins was the pick for Mystery and Thriller in 2015. Just like The Silent Patient this had a grip on bestsellers lists and readers with its alluring premise to find out what really happened.
Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them.
Their life — as she sees it — is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking.
It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Rachel now has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.
Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…
3. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
The third recommendation on our list of books like The Silent Patient is a gothic suspense novel that will keep you guessing until the very end. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield is perfect for readers as it has been described as a love letter to reading.
All children mythologize their birth… So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter’s collection of stories, which are as famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale as they are for the delight and enchantment of the twelve that do exist.
The enigmatic Winter has spent six decades creating various outlandish life histories for herself — all of them inventions that have brought her fame and fortune but have kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she at last wants to tell the truth about her extraordinary life.
She summons biographer Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth, hidden by those who loved her most, remains an ever-present pain. Struck by a curious parallel between Miss Winter’s story and her own, Margaret takes on the commission.
As Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good, Margaret is mesmerized. It is a tale of gothic strangeness featuring the Angelfield family, including the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden, and a devastating fire.
Margaret succumbs to the power of Vida’s storytelling but remains suspicious of the author’s sincerity. She demands the truth from Vida, and together they confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.
4. The Boy from the Woods by Harlan Coben
The first book in Harlan Coben’s Wilde series has a haunting mystery to it similar to The Silent Patient. Secrets from past are integral to the present storyline in The Boy from the Woods, just like in Alicia’s story.
Thirty years ago, Wilde was found as a boy living feral in the woods, with no memory of his past. Now an adult, he still doesn’t know where he comes from, and another child has gone missing.
No one seems to take Naomi Pine’s disappearance seriously, not even her father — with one exception. Hester Crimstein, a television criminal attorney, knows through her grandson that Naomi was relentlessly bullied at school. Hester asks Wilde — with whom she shares a tragic connection — to use his unique skills to help find Naomi.
Wilde can’t ignore an outcast in trouble, but in order to find Naomi he must venture back into the community where he has never fit in, a place where the powerful are protected even when they harbor secrets that could destroy the lives of millions…secrets that Wilde must uncover before it’s too late.
5. The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
Next on our list of books like The Silent Patient is The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn. This book also features an unreliable narrator, like so many psychological thrillers, that will have you captivated to find out what comes next.
Anna Fox lives alone, a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times…and spying on her neighbors.
Then the Russells move into the house across the way: A father, a mother, and their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble and its shocking secrets are laid bare.
What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? No one — and nothing — is what it seems.
6. The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
As is common with many of the psychological thriller titles on this list of books like The Silent Patient, The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell also features an interesting family history and split timelines.
Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.
She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well — and she is on a collision course to meet them.
Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.
7. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
While this book does feature a suspicious death, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is also a historical fiction romance. However, it is obviously on our list of books like The Silent Patient for its mystery components. It is another book that captivated readers across genres.
For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet fishing village. Kya Clark is barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when the popular Chase Andrews is found dead, locals immediately suspect her.
But Kya is not what they say. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life’s lessons from the land, learning the real ways of the world from the dishonest signals of fireflies.
But while she has the skills to live in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns for a human connection. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world — until the unthinkable happens.
8. The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
The eighth recommendation on our list of books like The Silent Patient also features the relationship between a husband and wife at its center. However, The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave follows the husband’s disappearance and subsequent search, rather than a wife’s murder of her husband like The Silent Patient.
Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her. Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers: Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.
As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered; as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss; as a US Marshal and FBI agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity — and why he really disappeared.
Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth, together. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they are also building a new future. One neither Hannah nor Bailey could have anticipated.
9. Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
This next book like The Silent Patient follows the relationship between a seemingly perfect married couple. But Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris also features shocking secrets that reveal not all is what it seems.
Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth; she has charm and elegance. He’s a dedicated attorney who has never lost a case; she is a flawless homemaker, a masterful gardener and cook, and dotes on her disabled younger sister.
Though they are still newlyweds, they seem to have it all. You might not want to like them, but you do.
You’re hopelessly charmed by the ease and comfort of their home, by the graciousness of the dinner parties they throw. You’d like to get to know Grace better. But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are inseparable.
Some might call this true love. Others might wonder why Grace never answers the phone. Or why she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. Or why she never seems to take anything with her when she leaves the house, not even a pen. Or why there are such high-security metal shutters on all the downstairs windows.
Some might wonder what’s really going on once the dinner party is over, and the front door has closed.
10. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
Our next recommendation for books like The Silent Patient ekes into unreliable narrator territory as well as including a claustrophobic, isolated setting. In The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware, everything appears to be perfect, until things take a dramatic turn for the worse.
Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has the assignment of a lifetime: A week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins.
The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: The cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant.
But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: A woman being thrown overboard.
The problem? All passengers remain accounted for and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong.
11. The Couple on Cedar Close by Anna-Lou Weatherley
This next recommendation is perfect for fans of The Silent Patient. Just like Michaelides’s book it features a wife who has been accused of murdering her husband, but in The Couple on Cedar Close, the wife is adamant she did not commit the crime. This is the second book in the Detective Dan Riley series by Anna-Lou Weatherley.
One sunny August afternoon, the residents of Cedar Close throw their annual summer barbecue. Children play in the cherry-tree lined street, tables are laden with food, and the wine is flowing. For Laurie Mills, it’s her first time meeting the neighbours.
And it’s the first time she discovers her husband Robert is having an affair.
Cedar Close has always been a nice place to live. A quiet suburban street where everyone looks out for one another and bad things don’t happen. Until late one evening, when Robert Mills is found dead in his bedroom.
Downstairs, in their beautiful kitchen, his wife Laurie sits alone in the dark with her head in her hands. She can’t remember the last few hours, but she knows she didn’t kill Robert. The trouble is, no-one believes her…
12. Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
This next book like The Silent Patient may be more familiar for its movie adaptation starring Leonardo DiCaprio, but fans of psychological thrillers should absolutely read the source material. Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane also takes place in a medical institution.
The year is 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new partner, Chuck Aule, have come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, to investigate the disappearance of a patient. Multiple murderess Rachel Solando is loose somewhere on this remote and barren island, despite having been kept in a locked cell under constant surveillance.
As a killer hurricane relentlessly bears down on them, a strange case takes on even darker, more sinister shades — with hints of radical experimentation, horrifying surgeries, and lethal countermoves made in the cause of a covert shadow war. No one is going to escape Shutter Island unscathed, because nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is what it seems. But then neither is Teddy Daniels.
13. The Guest List by Lucy Foley
Our next recommendation for books like The Silent Patient is one that has received praise from Alex Michaelides himself. He says The Guest List by Lucy Foley evokes a similar atmosphere to the classics by Agatha Christie he enjoys.
On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: Handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: Smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher.
It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: The designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.
But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne flows and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes.
The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.
And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?
14. The Widow by Fiona Barton
Next up is another book featuring a widow who is an unreliable narrator. The Widow by Fiona Barton is the first book in the Kate Waters series. This is also Barton’s debut, just like The Silent Patient was Michaelides’s.
When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on, when more bad things began to happen…
But that woman’s husband died last week. And Jean doesn’t have to be her anymore.
There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment.
Now there’s no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage.
The truth — that’s all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything…
15. Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney
As we near the end of our list of books like The Silent Patient, this book is perfect for those who love an epic twist in their thrillers. Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney is another domestic thriller about dangerous secrets between a married couple.
That’s because things have been wrong with Mr. and Mrs. Wright for a long time. When Adam and Amelia win a weekend away to Scotland, it might be just what their marriage needs.
Self-confessed workaholic and screenwriter Adam Wright has lived with face blindness his whole life. He can’t recognize friends or family, or even his own wife.
Every anniversary the couple exchange traditional gifts — paper, cotton, pottery, tin — and each year Adam’s wife writes him a letter that she never lets him read. Until now.
They both know this weekend will make or break their marriage, but they didn’t randomly win this trip. One of them is lying, and someone doesn’t want them to live happily ever after.
Ten years of marriage. Ten years of secrets. And an anniversary they will never forget.
16. Vulnerable by Mary Burton
Our next recommendation for books like The Silent Patient is the fourth book in the Morgans of Nashvillle series, which means you have multiple books to explore. In addition to being a thriller, Vulnerable by Mary Burton also contains elements of romantic suspense with its split timelines.
Three went in; one came out. For five years, there has been no trace of two high school friends who went hiking in the woods near Nashville. The third teen, Amber Ryder, was discovered at the bottom of a ravine with a broken arm, head trauma — and zero memory of the horror that put her there.
What started as a cold case has become a fresh hell for forensic technician Georgia Morgan. Another woman’s body is found in the woods, and it leads to the missing teens’ remains. But while Georgia works with Amber to try and reawaken her memories, her gut tells her the worst is yet to come.
Homicide Detective Jake Bishop can’t be sure whether Amber is an expert manipulator or the killer’s next target. Either way, he is intent on protecting Georgia. Because the deeper she digs into the past, the deadlier the secrets that emerge, and a nightmare years in the making is about to come to a bloody, terrifying end…
17. The Maidens by Alex Michaelides
Finally, our last recommendation for books like The Silent Patient is the second book from Alex Michaelides: The Maidens. This is perfect for readers who fell in love with his writing in The Silent Patient. This book also contains his gothic tone within a contemporary setting.
Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable.
A handsome and charismatic Greek Tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike — particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens.
Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana’s niece Zoe, is found murdered in Cambridge.
Mariana, who was once herself a student at the university, quickly suspects that behind the idyllic beauty of the spires and turrets, and beneath the ancient traditions, lies something sinister. And she becomes convinced that, despite his alibi, Edward Fosca is guilty of the murder.
But why would the professor target one of his students? And why does he keep returning to the rites of Persephone, the maiden, and her journey to the underworld?
When another body is found, Mariana’s obsession with proving Fosca’s guilt spirals out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility as well as her closest relationships. But Mariana is determined to stop this killer, even if it costs her everything — including her own life.
Final thoughts on books like The Silent Patient
To conclude, here is a list of our 17 recommendations for books like The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides.
- Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (2006)
- The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (2015)
- The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (2006)
- The Boy from the Woods by Harlan Coben (2020)
- The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (2018)
- The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell (2019)
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (2018)
- The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave (2021)
- Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris (2016)
- The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (2016)
- The Couple on Cedar Close by Anna-Lou Weatherley (2019)
- Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane (2003)
- The Guest List by Lucy Foley (2020)
- The Widow by Fiona Barton (2016)
- Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney (2021)
- Vulnerable by Mary Burton (2016)
- The Maidens by Alex Michaelides (2021)
Whether you enjoyed The Silent Patient for its writing, the plot twist at the end, or the marital dynamics, there will absolutely be a book on this list that will hit on one or more of those same themes.
Some of the psychological thrillers on this list are debuts, just like The Silent Patient, or the books are from beloved authors in the genre. Either way, we hope you’ve found your next great read with this list of recommendations.