I heard you and Alicia used to be friends before the murder? Tell me more....
Theo Faber is a London-based psychotherapist. Theo grows an obsession with famous painter Alicia Bererson who is convicted of killing her beloved husband Gabriel by shooting him in the head 5 times. After the murder, she never speaks another word and gets placed in a psychiatric unit. The same unit where Theo applies and is placed to work with her.
Alicia and Theo suffered similar upbringings. This made him compelled to help her through her suffering and help her speak through her silence. Theo goes through several unproffesical investigations of her family members and people who knew her before the murder. Then Theo finds out his wife is having an affair. Though it seems to be set in present tense it is concurrent with alicias treatment.
To try to get Alicia to share her story Theo sets up appointments with her. During the first few appointments, they sit in complete silence. Then one appointment she shared her diary with him. Her diary went through her thoughts and experiences before the murder. One of them was that she felt she was being watched by a mysterious masked man-weeks leading up to the murder.
After more investigations, he decided to contact Alicia's cousin. Her cousin explains an incident that happened shortly after her mom's suicide. Alicia's father then wished out loud that he wishes it was her instead of him. After hearing this Theo repeated this back to her which induced her to speak up. She tells him that the masked man entered the house and tied up and shot Gabriel 5 times in the head.
Then we realize later in the book that she recognized who he was. Theo was the masked man that entered her house. She kept her silence when she found out he was the masked man, instead of acting out she concocted a plan. Theo realizes she remembered him as she wanted to make it known to him by her sharing a false side of the story of the night Gabrial was murdered. Once Theo knew he tried to overdose her on her medicine to make sure that no one would ever really know the truth of what he did.
6 years ago... It is revealed that Theo was the masked man. He had broken into the Berenson house to confront Gabriel, who had been having an affair with Theo's wife. Holding them at gunpoint, Theo had given Gabriel the choice to save either himself or his wife, and he chooses the former. Theo left without shooting either of them, as he had only intended to expose Gabriel's selfishness. Gabriel's betrayal reminds Alicia of her father, and she killed him. On hearing the news, Theo planned to help Alicia recover from her trauma by being her therapist.