Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Length: 352 pages
First Published: 2021
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celadon Books. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
When her niece’s roommate is gruesomely murdered, Mariana, a therapist still grieving her husband’s tragic death, returns to Cambridge University, her alma mater, to investigate. Quickly, she suspects Edward Fosca, the charismatic professor of Greek tragedy and leader of a secret society of female students called The Maidens. With a convoluted plot that has gaping holes and contrived characters, The Maidens strained to keep even a semblance of realisticness. If you loved The Silent Patient, you can try this one, just don’t get your hopes up too high.
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.
About Alex Michaelides
Alex Michaelides is the screenwriter for the films The Devil You Know (2013) and The Brits Are Coming (2018). He is the author of two novels, The Silent Patient and The Maidens.