Review | The Patient by Jasper DeWitt

Hello, fellow readers! Sorry to say that today’s review is an unpopular opinion. I almost didn’t give this book a chance because it is being described as The Silent Patient meets Stephen King. I was one of the few who didn’t like The Silent Patient last year because I didn’t find it too “thrilling.”

The Patient is definitely a horror/thriller, it just wasn’t for me. The book is written in a blog/Reddit post type formula where the anonymous doctor, Parker, posts his encounter with a patient with no known diagnosis. The patient, Joe, has been in the facility for over 30 years. Parker soon learns that every person who has had contact with Joe has either been driven to madness or suicide. Parker is an ambitious first year doctor and decides he is going to be the one to finally diagnose Joe. His first encounter with Joe does not go as expected, and soon Parker is questioning everything he thought he knew.

The premise was definitely interesting and sounds like my kind of story, but I didn’t care for the format the author chose to write this book. I felt like most of the book was telling instead of showing, so it was hard to immerse myself in the story. I never felt scared or freaked out while reading The Patient, and I was really disappointed by that.

I was honestly rolling my eyes at the reveal because there was not enough build up (this book is only 224 pages). I am normally a fan of shorter books, but this one needed more meat for me to buy in to the ending. I also had a hard time remembering which doctor was which because Parker refers to them by initials only, like “Dr. G-” or “Dr. A-” because he is preserving anonymity through his web posts.

This book will not be for everyone, but I would say give it a try if you are a horror fan. I was hoping for a more psychological thriller story, but this is 100% a horror novella.

Many thanks to HMH for an advance copy of this book via Netgalley.

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