The Maidens by Alex Michaelides | Reviewed by Michelle


The Maidens | Alex Michaelides | Celadon Books | Pub: 6/15/21

“Love isn’t conditional. It’s not dependent on jumping through hoops to please someone-and always failing. You can’t love someone if you’re afraid of them.”

Thank you to Celadon Books for the gifted copy of The Maidens by Alex Michaelides. All thoughts are my own.

Back when I was obsessed with thrillers, I read Alex Michaelides first book, The Silent Patient. It was absolutely thrilling, and I did not see the end coming. Now I have read way more thrillers and mysteries, but Alex did it again with surprising me.

The Maidens follows Mariana, a young widow, an her niece Zoe, who is a student at Cambridge. Mariana is a group therapist and after one of her sessions her niece, Zoe, calls her to let her know that a student has been found dead. Not just dead… murdered, and she thinks it’s Professor Edward Fosca.

Mariana rushes to Cambridge to console Zoe and to prove Fosca is the murderer. Not long after Mariana arrives is another death and then another… they just keep on happening, but Mariana keeps making herself look guilty and everyone close to her starts turning on her.

I do want to say that I disliked Mariana about 97% of the time. I am not sure if she was intentionally written this way or not but that is just my personal feelings about her. The story was definitely fast paced and intriguing. You learn a little bit about Greek tragedy which I really enjoyed.

Some things I loved: There was a connection to The Silent Patient and when I first read the bit, I was like WAIT A MINUTE and guys, it made my heart really happy. The other thing I loved was that I didn’t guess the killer. Oh, I had plenty of theories and they were not accurate. So that always brings me joy.

I know some of you will ask if you should read The Silent Patient first and I will say that I don’t think that matters at all but, I do recommend you read both.

Synopsis (Credit: Goodreads)

Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A handsome and charismatic Greek Tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike—particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens.

Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana’s niece Zoe, is found murdered in Cambridge.

Mariana, who was once herself a student at the university, quickly suspects that behind the idyllic beauty of the spires and turrets, and beneath the ancient traditions, lies something sinister. And she becomes convinced that, despite his alibi, Edward Fosca is guilty of the murder. But why would the professor target one of his students? And why does he keep returning to the rites of Persephone, the maiden, and her journey to the underworld?

When another body is found, Mariana’s obsession with proving Fosca’s guilt spirals out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility as well as her closest relationships. But Mariana is determined to stop this killer, even if it costs her everything—including her own life.

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