Thursday 26 May 2022

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

 I was a big fan of The Silent Patient. I was late to the party reading it but the glowing reviews certainly weren't lying.

And now here I am again, we'll call it fashionably late to reading Alex Michaelides latest release, The Maidens. But I thought it only fitting to get my review out on the novels paperback release date. 


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.

Let me start by simply saying this, Alex has gone and done it again.

A brilliantly twisty story that literally had me guessing from start to finish.

There are two focus points to this tale.

We start with Mariana, who is a psychoanalyst, she is still grieving the death of her husband. This is the first mystery to arise as we have no clue as to what caused his death. Accident? Suicide? Or something more sinister?

This leads us on to the second puzzle. When Mariana's niece, Zoe, calls her from her former college of Cambridge and tells her that she believes her best friend, Tara has been killed.


It looks like a serial killer is on the lose as young girls are being found dead around the area of the University of Cambridge. What do they have in common? Well they are all part of a group called 'The Maidens'.

Mariana is certain that Edward Fosca, the girls' professor, is responsible for the crimes. She seems to have the attitude of guilty until proven innocent but with the grief she is still suffering from the loss of her husband, her judgement could well be clouded.

Alex really has a way with words, and a real knack for making you question everything. From the circumstances surrounding the events unfolding, to the characters that seem to somehow be a part of what continues to occur.

Mis-direction is the key to it all.

Tension slowly builds and the dark atmosphere is palpable throughout.

I really enjoyed the use of Greek mythology, it's certainly made me want to look into that subject matter more now.

Was it as good as The Silent Patient?

For me, no. But it was definitely still a quick and thrilling read.

I'm excited to see what Alex has to offer next.

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