One of the pleasures of reading mysteries is trying to guess what the big secret is while you’re reading. I must admit that I’m notoriously bad at figuring out what will happen, but I’m very good at coming up with – sometimes outrageous – theories about the plot and the characters.
When I started reading The Silent Patient, I knew very little about the book – except that there would be one (or more) major plot twists. Of course, this led me to dream up all possible scenarios while going through the book; all of which were wrong. However, I would like to share them with you. Don’t judge. Also here’s a little warning: while there aren’t real spoilers per se in this post, if you read it, you will know what *does not* happen in the story.
Gabriel was a psychopath and everything in the diary is a lie. This was my very first theory, after I had read Alicia’s first diary entry, in which she says that she wants to only write about the good things in her diary. After that, Gabriel is described as the best man earth has to offer, which seemed a bit odd.
Gabriel was killed out of self-defense. This goes hand in hand with number 1 (seemed unlikely though, because self-defense usually doesn’t involve tying people to a chair. I think.).
Jean-Felix killed Gabriel. Well, he loves Alicia’s art so much that he thought she needs a really stark emotional turmult to create something (we know from the diary that he keeps saying to her that she’s behind schedule). Also, what better way to get buzz for his gallery? And what kind of name is Jean-Felix anyway? The German-French combination to make sure the (British) reader knows he’s evil?
Gabriel is not really dead. No, this one was not my best theory.
Alicia killed Max and Gabriel is now Max. Also very unlikely, but it would have made for a good twist.
Kathy is not cheating but conducting research for her role in Othello. Finally a theory that doesn’t revolve around the murder! This theory sprang into my mind after Theo said something about Othello and what a good actress Kathy is.
Gabriel hired Max to scare his wife; Max’s jealousy got out of control and he shot Gabriel. I still like this theory. It wouldn’t explain why Alicia keeps quiet about the murder though.