Saturday, September 25, 2021

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides


Title: The Maidens
Author: Alex Michaelides
Publisher: Celadon Books
Release Date: June 15, 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.

After reading the wonderful debut novel, The Silent Patient, I knew I would want to read the next book by Alex Michaelides.

The Maidens is set in the University of Cambridge and the disappearance of a young woman whose body is found later.

Mariana Andros is a psychotherapist. She is a widow and she's still grieving the loss of her husband, Sebastian. A man she adored and who brought her the love she was missing under her father's care. She is successful at her job as a group therapist. She leaves her job when her niece, Zoe calls her from Cambridge University where she is a student. Her friend Tara has disappeared and before she disappeared, she told Zoe she was afraid of Professor Edward Fosca. He was going to kill her!

Fosca is the professor everyone wants to attend class and listen to and his classes always end with resounding applause. Fosca has a group of students he meets regularly with. They are all young women who go by the name of The Maidens. Tara was part of this group. Despite Zoe's claims and Mariana's growing suspicions, he has an alibi, The Maidens. They say he was with them. But are they covering up for him?

Mariana was a student at Cambridge herself. She met Sebastian there too. For her, coming back is painful but she knows she can't let Zoe be alone. Investigating the murder and trying to catch a killer before some else gets hurts becomes paramount.

I felt The Maidens had a slow start but it had a partial great twist at the end. One I did not see it coming. I enjoyed the crossover with Mariana interacting with Theo from the Silent Patient too. Some of the greek mythology felt redundant but maybe it's because I knew about Persephone from my teenage years.

Cliffhanger: No

3.5/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Celadon Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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