Book Title:
The Patient
Book Author:
Jasper DeWitt
Page Count:
Publishing Date:
July 7th 2020
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Date Read:
November 28th, 2021
Kindle Edition
Prime Reading


The Silent Patient by way of Stephen King: Parker, a young, overconfident psychiatrist new to his job at a mental asylum, miscalculates catastrophically when he undertakes curing a mysterious and profoundly dangerous patient.

In a series of online posts, Parker H., a young psychiatrist, chronicles the harrowing account of his time working at a dreary mental hospital in New England. Through this internet message board, Parker hopes to communicate with the world his effort to cure one bewildering patient.

We learn, as Parker did on his first day at the hospital, of the facility’s most difficult, profoundly dangerous case—a forty-year-old man who was originally admitted to the hospital at age six. This patient has no known diagnosis. His symptoms seem to evolve over time. Every person who has attempted to treat him has been driven to madness or suicide.

Desperate and fearful, the hospital’s directors keep him strictly confined and allow minimal contact with staff for their own safety, convinced that releasing him would unleash catastrophe on the outside world. Parker, brilliant and overconfident, takes it upon himself to discover what ails this mystery patient and finally cure him. But from his first encounter with the mystery patient, things spiral out of control, and, facing a possibility beyond his wildest imaginings, Parker is forced to question everything he thought he knew.

Fans of Sarah Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes and Paul Tremblay’s The Cabin at the End of the World will be riveted by Jasper DeWitt’s astonishing debut.

My Review

My gosh it has been a long time since I’ve written a book review!

I have been reading, I just…have been really lazy and haven’t reviewed any books in a while. Not sure why, honestly – I think about how I am
going to write my essay or write a review for books as I’m reading them, but then I just keep putting it off until I forget what the book was even about.

I could blame it on writing, but I haven’t been doing much of that, either. What have I been doing? Cyber school with the kids, playing board games (a LOT of board games), and camping (but that’s a post for another time!). I guess things have changed a whole lot since Covid, and we have all changed, too.

But nevertheless, I’m here with a review. So buckle up, because this book was a wild ride.

I had never heard of The Patient or author Jasper Dewitt before. It popped up on my Amazon recommendations for horror and thrillers, and since it was free to read with Prime Reading I decided to give it a go. That synopsis sounded pretty darn awesome, and I was really excited about reading the book. I won’t tell you how long it sat on my Kindle until I finally opened it up to read (hey, I’ve been busy!), but when I did I found myself reading through the whole thing in like a day, because it wasn’t a very long book.

“I learned the hard way in my first months that you don’t point out reality to people who have delusions. It doesn’t help, and they just get angry.”

Parker is a young psychiatrist who is starting off at a new mental hospital. He is a happy guy, with the woman of his dreams, and has plans of helping everyone that he can. He works hard and does his best to make a difference in the lives of anyone he thinks he can help.

At least, that’s until he meets Joe.

“But every hospital, even one with patients like these, has at least one inmate who’s weird even for the mental ward. I’m talking about the kind of person whom even the doctors have given up on and whom everyone gives a wide berth,  no matter how experienced they are. This type of patient is obviously insane, but nobody knows how they got that way. What you do know, however, is that it’ll drive you insane trying to figure it out.”

Joe is a patient at the hospital that Parker has begun working at. Joe is not like the other patients, however. Anyone who works with Joe has either gone insane, refuses to work with him ever again, or has even killed themselves because of what Joe has done and said to them while they were working with them.

Intrigued and desperate to get to the bottom of why Joe is the way he is and why he has such a hold on the people around him, Parker begins digging in an attempt to uncover Joe’s mysterious past. However, will he actually be able to make some headway into Joe’s case, or will he find himself in the same boat as the rest of them that have tried, and failed, to help Joe?

Or is it that Joe isn’t the one who needs to be helped after all?

I love how this novel is told through a series of online blog posts, instead of a traditional book format. It’s different and it definitely adds to the way the story is told. It’s like a diary format, only for the online age, which makes it easy for a lot of people to get into. I’ve read a lot of other books that are told in a similar format, and I really enjoy the setup.

The whole story that leads up to Parker finding out the truth behind what’s going on with Joe is definitely a nail-biter, that’s for sure. I found myself clinging to the edge of my seat for the majority of it.

However, I also found myself kind of wishing for more of an ending than we got. I thought it was going to be way different than it was (and while I normally like that when reading a thriller, I just felt like this one left me with more questions that I had hoped it would).

Also, I felt that there was little going on in terms of character development throughout the novel, too. Jocelyn, Parker’s wife, seems to only be present when she is reassuring her husband, and we don’t actually learn about her in any way other than that. For being such a big part of his life, I would have just hoped to get more information on her as a character in the book. The same goes for some of the people who worked at the mental hospital. I wish they had been involved a bit more.

Would I recommend this book? Totally! If you love thrillers or anything horror, definitely give this one a go if you have some free time. It’s a really good, well-written book.

3.5 stars
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