Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Book Review: "The Maidens" by Alex Michaelides

In The Maidens, Alex Michaelides' upcoming follow-up to his hit thriller, The Silent Patient, when a friend of her niece is murdered, a troubled therapist tries to get to the bottom of what happened.

Mariana is a group therapist who hasn’t quite been able to move past the death of her husband more than a year ago. When she learns her niece’s friend is found murdered at Cambridge University, she goes to help her, returning to the place where she once was a student and met her husband.

Her niece, Zoe, is convinced that the charismatic professor Edward Fosca, who teaches Greek tragedy, is responsible for her friend’s murder. He has a group of female student acolytes who call themselves The Maidens, inspired by Greek legend, and seems to have them in his thrall.

The more Mariana learns about Fosca the more she becomes sure of his guilt. But everyone else seems to think she’s losing her bearings—is that the case? Is her obsession with Fosca blinding her to the truth? Could this single-mindedness be putting herself in danger?

Given the success of The Silent Patient (which I loved), there has been a lot of hype surrounding The Maidens. I’ve definitely seen some mixed things so I went in with relatively low expectations.

So...I felt like this book should’ve been called The Red Herrings. I felt like there were so many plot points and characters that were introduced and nothing ever came of them. I wasn’t surprised by the way things were tied up as I had my suspicions from the start.

The thing I didn’t quite get, however, is why Mariana was so obsessed with Fosca. Was there something I missed? Was this focus distracting her from her own grief or was it triggered by something from her past?

Celadon Books sent me a complimentary advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making it available!

The Maidens publishes 6/15.

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