Released last week!
Thanks to Celadon Books for the free copies in exchange for our honest reviews
THE MAIDENS – Alex Michaelides (Released June 15th, 2021)
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.
Chandra’s Thoughts: 3/5 stars
I used to devour mythology books when I was a kid but it’s been literal decades since I’ve read any so it was nice to see so much Greek mythology throughout this book. Michaelides gives us a very atmospheric thriller on campus at Cambridge. Who else loves campus thrillers?! 🙋
This is a bit of a slow burn that doesn’t feel like a slow burn. Know what I mean? I thoroughly enjoyed the dark and foreboding campus setting. In this setting is a very popular professor named Edward Fosca. He even has a following of female students called The Maidens. When girls start dying, all signs seem to point to him and Mariana is determined to catch him – especially since Zoe, who Mariana considers a daughter, is there and upset. And so the story begins….
The Goods: short chapters, easy reading style, atmosphere and mythology.
The Mehs: plot holes, Mariana (woman, you are a therapist with no detective skills.. step back!), a zillion red herrings and a frustrating ending.
My two besties had read The Silent Patient and are shocked that I have NOT … yet! But it is definitely on my TBR and after reading THE MAIDENS, I can see why his writing is so addictive to readers. While I had slight issues with this story, it is a very quick and fairly entertaining read – gimme mythology and I already know I’m going to like it.
My Thoughts: 4/5 stars
What I’ve noticed about the books by Alex Michaelides is that you like one better than the other. I’m in the camp where I liked THE MAIDENS a little bit better. There’s no denying how great the author is at setting the scene and creating the atmosphere – I also enjoyed that in THE SILENT PATIENT. There was a nice little nod to his other book in this one and I appreciated that.
I’ve always loved Greek Mythology and this book has me wanting to read more books on the subject again! The pacing was good but definitely a slower building start but I never felt like I was losing interest. It’s hard to really go into a lot of detail at risk of spoiling anything but the only real drawback I had was that I’m not sure how I feel about the ending. It was alright, not the direction I was hoping it would go, but could have been worse.
I’m curious to see what readers think that read THE SILENT PATIENT because it’s seems most people like one or the other. I can’t wait for his next book so I can get my tiebreaker. If you want something with a good amount of suspense, secret societies, Mythology, and a great atmosphere then you should have this on your TBR.