BOOK REVIEW: The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

Publication Date: June 15, 2021
Format: Paperback
Genre:  psychological Thriller

Publisher: Celadon          
352 pages
Buy:  Kindle Paperback 


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.


This is the 2nd book by the author of the Silent Patient.  The time period is set before the events in the Silent Patient and I loved that he included characters from his first book into this novel.  I also see a theme emerging of people not being who you think they are.  This was a quick read, and I found myself while not loving it, engrossed in it.  I found Fosca to be a creepy character definitely with something to hide it just is hard to put your finger on what exactly that is.  In fact almost every character is hiding something, either from themselves or others with one exception, and that person I started to think might not actually be a real person but just a figment of Mariana's mind.  

Still grieving for her husband who drowned a few months back, Marianna is not thinking clearly and her desire to protect her niece Zoe leads her down a dark path to try to find out who is murdering young women.

Weaving together Greek mythology and the story of Persephone, this story has an eerie undertone throughout.  Once again Michaelides surprised me with an ending I didn't see coming.  

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