The Maidens – Alex Michaelides, A Perfect Setting & 1 Secret Society

The Maidens is the second book by the popular author Alex Michaelides, born in Cyprus to a Greek father and English mother. I read the author’s second book because he was on the bestseller lists with his first book, The Silent Patient and because the setting is Cambridge. Although I’m not fond of thriller novels very much, I love novels that take place in the academy. The Maidens is a not too brutal book that connects Greek tragedies and the story skillfully.


The Maidens caught my attention both because of its subject, its cover, and the author’s popularity with his first book. As I said, I thought I could read it since the setting is Cambridge University, but there is also art, literature and Greek tragedies, and charismatic academics as well, so I instantly started reading. It is a very easy-to-read book that leaves you curious. So it ends immediately. However, even I, who is not a genre fanatic, found some of the things in the book to be ridiculous and cheap. I don’t think real genre aficionados can take the author seriously.

The Maidens - Alex Michaelides

It does not mean that The Maidens was terrible. I think it was a perfect beach book, and some of the characters were not bad at all. Mariana is a woman who works as a group therapist in London but also deals with the grief of her husband’s death. When her niece Zoe, who is studying at Cambridge, calls her, she immediately realizes that something is wrong. Zoe’s best friend has been horribly killed.

A Cambridge graduate, Mariana, without thinking, goes to her nephew Zoe, who is orphaned years ago and looked after by Mariana and her late husband, Sebastian. Of course, she takes the ghost of his late husband Sebastian with her because she met Sebastian while studying at Cambridge.

When Mariana arrives at Cambridge, she doesn’t know what to do, but because of what her nephew Zoe said, she suddenly finds herself chasing the killer. And the killer, according to her observations and the things she heard from Zoe, is one of the university’s most charismatic professors, Edward Fosca. It’s up to Mariana to prove that Fosca is the killer, but the secret society of beautiful girls, The Maidens, makes Mariana’s job difficult because these girls admire Fosca. Every time she approaches Fosca, he finds a way to get out of it, but Mariana won’t give up.

What you have read above does not contain spoilers. These are written at the very beginning of the book and in most of the blurb. Therefore, if you are going to read, you can read it with peace of mind. I cannot help but mention that if the film comes out and the script is rewritten logically, it can be an enjoyable film. Enjoy!

The Maidens - Alex Michaelides

The Maidens

From the author of the #1 global bestselling debut The Silent Patient comes a spellbinding literary thriller which weaves together Greek mythology, psychology, and murder…

Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A 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 when one of The Maidens, a friend of Mariana’s niece Zoe, is found murdered.

Mariana, who was once herself a student at the university, suspects that behind the idyllic beauty of the spires and turrets, 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.

One of the most highly anticipated books of the year, The Maidens is sure to become your new obsession…

Alex Michaelides

Alex Michaelides (born 1977) is a bestselling British-Cypriot author and screenwriter. His debut novel, the psychological thriller The Silent Patient, is a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller, with over a million copies sold.

Michaelides was born in Cyprus to a Greek father and English mother. He studied English literature at Trinity College, Cambridge University. He studied psychotherapy for three years, and worked for two years at a secure unit for young adults. This work provided material and inspiration for his debut novel The Silent Patient.

Michaelides’ debut novel, The Silent Patient, was the #1 New York Times Bestseller of Hardcover Fiction in its first week and was the bestselling hardback debut in the US for 2019. It was a Sunday Times top 10 bestseller for seven weeks. On, it was the #2 most sold for 2019 in their list of Most Sold Books in fiction and named as their number one thriller of 2019. It also won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Mystery & Thriller of 2019, was chosen as a Richard & Judy Book Club pick and as a Book of the Month in The Times.

It was shortlisted for a Barry for best debut and Barnes and Noble’s Book of the Year. Brad Pitt’s Production Company, Plan B, is developing The Silent Patient as a movie. Michaelides’ as yet unpublished second novel, The Maidens, is a psychological detective story about a series of murders at a Cambridge college. Michaelides also wrote the film The Devil You Know, starring Lena Olin, Rosamund Pike, and Jennifer Lawrence, and co-wrote The Con Is On, starring Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, Parker Posey, and Sofia Vergara.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

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