The Maidens - book cover
Thrillers & Suspense
  • Publisher : Celadon Books
  • Published : 15 Jun 2021
  • Pages : 352
  • ISBN-10 : 1250304458
  • ISBN-13 : 9781250304452
  • Language : English

The Maidens


"Alex Michaelides's long-awaited next novel, 'The Maidens,' is finally here...the premise is enticing and the elements irresistible."
―The New York Times

"A deliciously dark, elegant, utterly compulsive readwith a twist that blew my mind. I loved this even more than I loved The Silent Patient and that's saying something!"
Lucy Foley, New York Times bestselling author of The Guest List

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Patient comes a spellbinding tale of psychological suspense, weaving together Greek mythology, murder, and obsession, that further cements "Michaelides as a major player in the field" (Publishers Weekly).

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.

Editorial Reviews

"Alex Michaelides's long-awaited next novel, 'The Maidens,' is finally here...the premise is enticing and the elements irresistible."
―The New York Times

"Fans of The Secret History will fall hard for The Maidens, Michaelides' dazzling chaser to 2019's bestselling The Silent Patient, a challenging act to follow...Layered in dreamlike references to Greek mythology and ancient ritualized murders, this clever literary page-turner firmly establishes Michaelides as an unstoppable force in the thriller space."

"Elegant, sinister, stylish and thrilling, The Maidens answers the weighty question, how do you go about following one of the biggest thrillers of the past decade? You write something even better."
Chris Whitaker, New York Times bestselling author of We Begin at the End

"The author of the critically acclaimed The Silent Patient permanently cements himself as a top modern author with this new work, a masterful, slow burn blend of Greek mythology and a knife-edged plot...destined for the bestseller list."

"Michaelides' stage-setting skills are as masterful here, as they were in The Silent Patient (2019); another tense, cleverly twisted winner."
Booklist, starred review

"Michaelides melds mythology and crime into a compelling page-turner."
―Oprah Daily

"Michaelides has proven that he is no one-hit wonder and is well on his way to becoming one of the world's most influential and well-read thriller writers."

"Stunning... The intelligent, cerebral plot finds contemporary parallels in Euripides's tragedies, Jacobean dramas such as The Duchess of Malfi, and Tennyson's poetry. The devastating ending shows just how little the troubled Mariana knows about the human psyche or herself. Michaelides is on a roll."
―Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Tautly plotted and impeccably paced, it's an intelligent and propulsive second novel."
―The Observer

"Enticingly dark and compulsively pageturning, this chilling novel takes readers on a suspenseful journey that's both terrifying and twisted... If you liked The Silent Patient, then you already know Michaelides's new book will be up your alley. With similar page-turning cliff-hangers, this utterly compulsive read will make you question which book you like better."

"Fans of The Silent Patient will love The Maidens... Set in the world of academia, it features Greek mythology, multiple murders and a twist that made my jaw hit the floor."

Readers Top Reviews

The CooksterR. White
Rating: 2.0/5 Having missed out on Alex Michaelide's debut novel, "The Silent Patient", which received overwhelmingly positive feedback, I was keen to make sure that I got my hands on a copy of his follow-up. Having read the accompanying synopsis my anticipation was only heightened further: A murder mystery set in the world of academia within the appealing environs of Cambridge University. In addition to murder, the plot was said to combine psychology and Greek mythology, as legendary tales from the time of ancient Greece seem to bear an uncanny resemblance to events taking place now. My appetite was suitably whetted ... but unfortunately it wasn't to be too long before severe disappointment set in. Frustratingly, some sections are nicely written and quite prosaic. This, in combination with an appealing backdrop and an engaging premise, could and should have been a recipe for a successful story. Unfortunately, there are just too many elements that simply don't pass muster: The characterisation is simplistic and lacks any depth. Descriptive language tends towards the melodramatic. The dialogue is often stilted, clunky and unnatural. Some of the mechanics used to move the plot forward are convenient to the point of being inane and reminiscent of the kind of thing you might expect to find in a children's adventure story. The frequent references to Greek mythology are, no doubt, intended to give an impression of worthiness and of being profound, but it is little more than a veneer. Ultimately "The Maidens" is a run of the mill mystery hiding behind an intellectual façade. In his notes the author states that this novel is his fond homage to the classic female crime writers: Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, Margaret Millar, Margery Allingham, Josephine Tey, P.D. James and Ruth Rendell. A nice gesture perhaps, but those ladies really deserved something better than this.
Pheadra Farah
Was this good? Yes. Was this great? No. Therein lies the problem with writing a fantastic debut novel, The Silent Patient, and being expected to reproduce its brilliance in subsequent novels.&nbsp; The Maidens is an easy read, told in 5 parts, through short chapters. Mariana is a grieving widow and group therapist who gets contacted by her niece Zoe, from Cambridge University.&nbsp; A murder of one of Zoe's friends has prompted Zoe to reach out to her aunt to come to Cambridge and assist if possible in finding the perpetrator. The problem for me was that I had no confidence in Mariana and found her character somewhat ridiculous. She immediately and without good reason becomes determined to find a charismatic Professor, Edward Fosca, guilty.&nbsp; The murder is followed by a second body of a young woman being found. Both women were part of The Maidens,&nbsp; a group formed by the professor of his favourite and most gifted students. This makes Mariana’s obsession with proving Fosca’s guilt spiral out of control. The big reveal for me was good but not that unexpected. 4 stars
Lynn Pool (Ellesea)
There's always a huge amount of anticipation on the shoulders of a writer when their début novel is a worldwide bestseller. Like many, I've eagerly anticipated waiting for The Maidens and for me, this is a very worthy successor to The Silent Patient. Mariana Andros is a dedicated group therapist and widow. When her Cambridge student niece Zoe, calls and tells her, her friend is missing, Mariana's instinct is to go to her. Arriving at St. Christopher's College she consoles Zoe after Tara's body is discovered but something isn't right. In addition to helping find the murdered the college backdrop reawakens Mariana's memories of her beloved husband Sebastian; from the time they spent together as students at the college. When she meets the charismatic professor, Edward Fosca, she is sure he is guilty of murder as the evidence stacks up against him. Only, why would he kill his students? The beginning was slow however, the pace and my interest soon picked up as the narrative settles into a steady rhythm. Thanks to the short chapters it's easy to digest the clues; mostly red herrings as they crop up. Intertwined are references to Greek Tragedies and Alfred Tennyson to add weight to the exposed evidence. The author's writing is clear and succinct, again making it easy for the reader to keep abreast of the proceedings. Therefore, I did manage to pick up on a clue, silently patting myself on the back before getting blind-sided with the reveal of the killer's identity. With the cameo appearance of two characters from The Silent Patient, I do wonder if a third novel by the author may tie these two narratives together… if so, I'll be the first in the clue to read it! ***arc received courtesy of Orion Publishing via NetGalley***