It was only a few months ago that I finally read Alex Michaelides's first novel "The Silent Patient", after hearing about it for years. I haven't written a book review on that and I'm not sure if I will because it's such a widely popular book but we'll see. 

This time around, it didn't take me too long to read Michaelides's second novel, "The Maidens". I had chosen it as a Book of the Month a few months ago and read it last month... I devoured it within two days and I am floored. I had heard some mixed reviews about this one; some people really liked it while others really did not. I wasn't sure what to expect but I was delighted at how much I loved this book.

I read a lot of books like this; thrillers and crime novels of any kind are my favorite genre so it's hard to keep me on the edge of my seat and keep me guessing. The Maidens did all of that. It was incredible - definitely one of my favorite books of the year.

Let's get into it! 

Publisher's Summary

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.

My Thoughts

As I said above, I loved this book so much. I read it in a few days and simply couldn't stop. I was completely enthralled and truthfully, I liked it so much better than The Silent Patient. The Silent Patient's ending is what made everyone go crazy for it and while you get a similar twist at the end of The Maidens, the entire book was much more interesting.

The pacing is much faster but still a normal speed with a lot of character and plot development. It was the type of novel that made you think the answer was obvious but when you think really hard about it, and see everything unfold you see that you were wrong the entire time. 

There were definitely characters in this book that were big question marks; they made me feel icky but they weren't really being portrayed that way in the book. It was really interesting and kept you guessing the entire time.

The plot, how Mariana is positive that Professor Fosca is killing people on campus, is a wild rollercoaster and it was really difficult to try to figure out the ending and if her suspicions were correct.

A few other things to note: I loved that this took place in England, I loved the Greek mythology focus and how that was really woven throughout the entire novel. It added an element of depth and realness. 

This might be a bit of a spoiler so the reader beware but...this book takes place in the same universe as The Silent Patient. It's thrown into the middle of the book and when I figured it out, I was stunned. I actually had to stop reading and freak out. 

I love when books, movies, etc take place in the same universe and throw subtle nods at each other...however, this was much more than a nod and it was truly one of the best parts of the book.

All in all, this book left my jaw hanging open and with a severe book hangover. If you love psychological thrillers, loved The Silent Patient, Verity, and any other intense read, you will live for "The Maidens"! 


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