Alex Michaelides | The Maidens

maidens alex michaelides

The Book: 

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides
Published June 15th 2021 by Celadon Books
Date read: May 10, 2021

The Characters: 

Mariana
Her niece Zoe

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Buy it on Bookshop.org | Amazon


The Plot (from 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.

Click here for book spoilers for <em>The Maidens</em>
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read The Maidens, I suggest you turn back now.

The Twist:

Sebastian and Zoe were the killers. They were having an affair before he died, and she was carrying on his legacy with the postcards and ritual killings.

There was a clever nod to The Silent Patient–when Zoe is sentenced to a psych ward, Theo from The Silent Patient becomes her therapist. When Mariana goes to visit Zoe right at the end of the book, she sees Theo talking to Alicia. Knowing what happens in The Silent Patient makes this especially creepy!

The Review: 

I can’t believe I’m only just getting around to writing this review! It’s been a busy couple of weeks. Thank you so much to Celadon Books for this advanced copy as part of their LFL drop program.

I adored this book, although it wasn’t at all like The Silent Patient. I knew going into it that it would be very different from Michaelides’ previous book, and I was not at all disappointed! It was a much slower burn, but we got more into the characters and backstory. I loved the references to Greek mythology. This book was chock full of red herrings, some of which I fell for. Some suspension of belief is required as some of Mariana’s actions are a little unrealistic, but it made for scene after scene of suspense and intrigue.

The audio was amazing–thank you to Macmillan Audio for the ALC. Louise Brealey’s voice was a perfect match for Mariana’s character, and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith gave the male narration an especially creepy vibe.

My absolute favorite part was the little nod to The Silent Patient at the end. Nothing was spoiled and you don’t need to read his first book, but there was a clever little factor of increased creepiness when you make the connection! I’m certainly hoping that it was a setup for a third book where their paths cross further.

This widely anticipated thriller will be published on June 15, 2021.

maidens alex michaelides

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