I received this book for free from BookishFirst, NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Maidens by Alex Michaelides
Published by Celadon Books on June 15, 2021
Genres: Fiction, Psychological, Suspense, Thrillers
Source: BookishFirst, NetGalley
"Stunning... The intelligent, cerebral plot finds contemporary parallels in Euripides's tragedies, Jacobean dramas such as The Duchess of Malfi, and Tennyson's poetry. The devastating ending shows just how little the troubled Mariana knows about the human psyche or herself. Michaelides is on a roll."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"A deliciously dark, elegant, utterly compulsive read—with a twist that blew my mind. I loved this even more than I loved The Silent Patient and that's saying something!"—Lucy Foley, New York Times bestselling author of The Guest ListFrom the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Patient comes a spellbinding tale of psychological suspense, weaving together Greek mythology, murder, and obsession, that further cements “Michaelides as a major player in the field” (Publishers Weekly).
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.
CW: Animal death, death, blood, religion, drugging, drugs, alcohol, abuse, sexual abuse
Alex Michaelides has done it again. He had the best-selling debut in 2019 with The Silent Patient and he’s got another winner with The Maidens.
I love a good mystery/thriller/suspense book. The less predictable the better. Trust me when I say that The Maidens is in no way predictable. The twists just keep coming in this book, you never know what to expect. Just when you think you might have something figured out, a twist comes up and leaves you with your mouth hanging open. I literally got chills from a couple of the twists.
My favorite character in this story, to be honest, was Fred. He was a bit obnoxious, but you could tell he was sincere. Fred is one of those characters that seem to be just some side character who will have no real role in the story. Then you find out you’re wrong.
Mariana was a character that was likable enough. She can be annoying sometimes as well, but she’s an interesting enough character. Although I have to say – for a psychotherapist she’s a bit out of touch with herself.
The rest of the characters, for me, functioned exactly as they should. They did what they were supposed to do, took whatever was thrown at them, and held up the way they needed to – or didn’t.
One thing I will say – you’ll get a pleasant surprise during one of the chapters – but you won’t understand unless you’ve already read The Silent Patient. And no, you absolutely don’t need to read that first to read The Maidens. They’re two separate stories.
If you liked The Silent Patient, you’ll love The Maidens. I recommend this for fans of psychological thrillers.