The Maidens by Alex Michaelides @RandomTTours

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…

* * * * *

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.

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

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