We all keep secrets. Even from ourselves.
‘A thrilling, heart-in-throat ride’ STEPHEN FRY
‘An absolute jaw-dropper’ LUCY FOLEY
From the author of the global #1 bestselling debut The Silent Patient comes a spellbinding literary thriller weaving together Greek mythology, psychology, and murder…
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St Christopher’s College, Cambridge, is a closed world to most.
For Mariana Andros – a group therapist struggling through her private grief – it’s where she met her late husband. For her niece, Zoe, it’s the tragic scene of her best friend’s murder.
As memory and mystery entangle Mariana, she finds a society full of secrets, which has been shocked to its core by the murder of one of its own.
Because behind its idyllic beauty is a web of jealousy and rage which emanates from an exclusive set of students known only as The Maidens. A group under the sinister influence of the enigmatic professor Edward Fosca.
A man who seems to know more than anyone about the murders – and the victims. And the man who will become the prime suspect in Mariana’s investigation – an obsession which will unravel everything…
The Maidens is a story of love, and of grief – of what makes us who we are, and what makes us kill.
I worried before I picked up The Maidens-how on earth would Alex Michaelides follow his successful debut The Silent Patient? It made such a huge splash when it was published and I absolutely loved it and recommended it in my Best Books of that year. But I need not have been concerned as The Maidens was just as good (if not better!!!) and if you also read and loved The Silent Patient, there will certainly be a few flashbacks during The Maidens!!
I loved the main character of Mariana but she certainly doesn’t help herself when she becomes convinced that a classics professor at Cambridge is guilty of murdering young women known to him. Edward Fosca is a very well thought of and popular member of the university staff and Mariana struggles to get anyone to take her seriously, especially the all female members of a secret society called The Maidens. Mariana herself is a supposedly brilliant group therapist so who better to infiltrate and investigate the group but has her recent bereavement fuelled this obsession to prove Fosca guilty? Although I love a strong female character I did worry a lot of the time about Mariana’s mental health! She did have a personal connection to the case via her niece but her obsession became so intense that I was concerned that no one was taking her seriously and she was going to put her own life on the line to prove her convictions!
What I loved about this book was the way Greek mythology weaved itself around the modern storyline in an intelligently crafted plot. I was completely engrossed and invested in Mariana’s all-consuming hunt for the truth and her attempt to bring about the fall of the charismatic classics professor. I had been worried that due to the subject matter The Maidens would be quite intense in an intellectual sense and a little “scholarly” but it definitely isn’t so don’t worry! I found it to be a sophisticated and chilling page-turner that grabbed me immediately and didn’t let me go until the final shocking few pages.
This is a brilliant second novel from Alex Michaelides and I can highly recommend it!
Alex Michaelides was born and raised in Cyprus. He has a MA in English Literature from Trinity College, Cambridge University, and a MA in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. The Silent Patient was his first novel. It spent over a year on the New York Times bestseller list and sold in a record-breaking 49 countries. He lives in London.