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The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides Read Online (FREE)

“I didn’t know that. Were you both adopted?”

“No, just me. Our parents thought they couldn’t have children. But after they adopted me, they conceived a child of their own soon after. It’s quite common apparently. Something to do with relieving stress.”

“Were you and Gabriel close?”

“Closer than most. Though he took center stage, of course. I was rather overshadowed by him.”

“Why was that?”

 

“Well, it was difficult not to be. Gabriel was special, even as a child.” Max had a habit of playing with his wedding ring. He kept turning it around his finger as he talked. “Gabriel used to carry his camera everywhere, you know, taking pictures. My father thought he was mad. Turns out he was a bit of a genius, my brother. Do you know his work?”

I smiled diplomatically. I had no desire to get into a discussion of Gabriel’s merits as a photographer.

Instead I steered the conversation back to Alicia. “You must have known her quite well?”

“Alicia? Must I?” Something in Max changed at the mention of her name. His warmth evaporated. His tone was cold. “I don’t know if I can help you. I didn’t represent Alicia in court. I can put you in touch with my colleague Patrick Doherty if you want details about the trial.”

“That’s not the kind of information I’m after.”

“No?” Max gave me a curious look. “As a psychotherapist, it can’t be common practice to meet your patient’s lawyer?”

“Not if my patient can speak for herself, no.”

Max seemed to mull this over. “I see. Well, as I said, I don’t know how I can help, so—”

“I just have a couple of questions.”

“Very well. Fire away.”

“I remember reading in the press at the time that you saw Gabriel and Alicia the night before the murder?”

“Yes, we had dinner together.”

“How did they seem?”

Max’s eyes glazed over. Presumably he’d been asked this question hundreds of times, and his response was automatic, without thinking. “Normal. Totally normal.”

“And Alicia?”

“Normal.” He shrugged. “Maybe a bit more jumpy than usual, but…”

“But?”

“Nothing.”

I sensed there was more. I waited.

And after a moment, Max went on, “I don’t know how much you know about their relationship.”

“Only what I read in the papers.”

“And what did you read?”

“That they were happy.”

“Happy?” Max smiled coldly. “Oh, they were happy. Gabriel did everything he could to make her happy.”

“I see.” But I didn’t see. I didn’t know where Max was going.

I must have looked puzzled because he shrugged. “I’m not going to elaborate. If it’s gossip you’re after, talk to Jean-Felix, not me.”

“Jean-Felix?”

“Jean-Felix Martin. Alicia’s gallerist. They’d known each other for years. As thick as thieves. Never liked him much, if I’m honest.”

“I’m not interested in gossip.” I made a mental note to talk to Jean-Felix as soon as possible. “I’m more interested in your personal opinion. May I ask you a direct question?”