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The Maidens Review

Just like Michaelides’ debut book, The Silent Patient, this one left me speechless!


Rating: 4/5

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.


I received an ARC copy of The Maidens from Celadon Books through their Little Free Library Campaign. Thank you so much for this opportunity!


Just like Michaelides’ debut book, The Silent Patient, this one left me speechless! I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one. And though I didn’t love this one in its entirety, I did thoroughly enjoy reading this one!


Just like Michaelides’ debut book, The Silent Patient, this one left me speechless!

The premise follows group therapist, Marianna, who receives a call from her niece away at college saying she believes her best friend was murdered. Marianna drops everything to go comfort her niece and discovers that her niece believes her best friend was murdered by a professor who runs a secret society of female students known as The Maidens, which her friend was a part of. However, the professor has an alibi. Despite this, Marianna it upon herself and is determined to prove he did it no matter the cost.


Given that the summary stated that Marianna believes that the professor did it, I didn’t quite want to believe that was the case, or at least not in its entirety. That would be too easy. I knew there had to be more. I just wasn’t sure who else it could have been. I thought there was a much sinister twist to be revealed. And oh man! There was! Just not in the way I expected. When the twist was finally unveiled my mouth dropped hard and I went “what the fuck…” Honestly, I was already envisioning a dark twist, but compared to what I was expecting and what I saw, I think the twist that we got was even darker. This twist, for me, I felt was just as shocking as the twist we get with The Silent Patient.


When the twist was finally unveiled my mouth dropped hard and I went “what the fuck…”

However, I will say even though this twist was shocking, the pace of this book is on the slower side. It was much slower than I expected. I don’t remember The Silent Patient being this slow. It was more so in the beginning portion of the book, I felt the beginning was fairly uneventful. For the most part, the only events we see are around the same details we already get from reading the summary. So nothing was truly that shocking until we pass the halfway point.


It was the idea of this secret society called The Maidens that drove me to keep reading. I was curious about them. I wanted to know what that was all about. Though, I will say we don’t get as many details about them as I had hoped. But what we do get is still startling. Although what we do learn is different from what I expected to be revealed about this society, the details that come to light are still unnerving.


It was the idea of this secret society called The Maidens that drove me to keep reading. I was curious about them.

We also get to see a subtle connection to The Silent Patient, which I really enjoyed seeing! You don’t have to have read The Silent Patient to read The Maidens, there are no spoilers. I just enjoyed seeing this small connection between the two books. It was a nice touch! I hope we get to see this same subtle connection in future books from Michaelides.


As characters go, I was really only a fan of Marianna. I enjoyed getting to follow her throughout the book. She wasn’t perfect by any means, she had a lot of personal problems she was going through. I think that’s why I enjoyed following her, she felt relatable in that way. I appreciated her drive to find the murderer. Though I was a bit put off by her incessant need to try and connect everything.


I need to say there is a trigger of sexual assault I should warn potential readers about. There is one small scene that could be hard to read.


I think if you’re a fan of The Silent Patient, or are just a fan of thrillers and mysteries, then I highly recommend you pick this one up! The twist will surely shock you!