On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel by Alex Michaelides, The Maidens.
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.
I was a huge fan of the first book by Alex Michaelides, so I couldn’t wait to see what he would come up with next. The Maidens is very immersive, it isn’t quite as tense as The Silent Patient, but it is very intriguing. If you love Greek mythology mixed with a good thriller, you’ll enjoy this book.
I thought Alex Michaelides brought the setting of Cambridge and the University to life. The writing made me feel as though I was walking the streets with Mariana. A killer is on the loose, and Mariana is desperate to protect her niece, Zoe. But Mariana soon becomes embroiled in the mystery, and she soon becomes aware of a mysterious group of very exclusive students at the University known as The Maidens.
I loved the Greek mythology peppered throughout this book. I’ve always been fascinated by Ancient Greek legends. This made The Maidens all the more intriguing for me. It created a very mysterious atmosphere as I wondered if the Greek myths would provide clues as to who the killer was. It did create a more ominous tone to the book as well.
I felt that the novel did start quite slow, but it gradually gathered pace as Marianna begins to investigate what is happening at Cambridge further. I was getting nervous about the danger Marianna was putting herself in as she continued to look for evidence. She believes she knows who the killer is, and she is determined to find the evidence to prove her theory.
Alex Michaelides creates a very mysterious atmosphere in this book, particularly, as I said earlier, around the Greek myths. It’s what drew me into the story. I thought the group of students known as The Maidens group was very sinister, and I wanted to find out more about them. It did have the feeling of a cult as they were appeared to be cut off from everyone else. It made me want to find out more about the professor who created the group in the first place and what his reasons for creating the group were in the first place. He comes across as a very controlling individual, and he did make me feel very uncomfortable. This is especially as the people who have been found dead are his students. It is clear that the group he is the leader of will do anything for him and that they will always have his back.
I thought this was a very immersive read, and I really liked the premise and the atmosphere. I liked the twist towards the end as Alex Michaelides revealed who was behind the murders. I thought it fitted in with the story very well, and I liked how it was done. I would definitely recommend The Maidens.
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Publication date: 10th June 2021
Print length: 284 pages
The Maidens is available to buy: