Hot dang, I am surprised I enjoyed The Maidens as much as I did! With all the hype, I went in thinking I was not going to like this one and expecting it not to be as good as The Silent Patient. I didn’t find The Maidens as exciting as The Silent Patient. Alex Michaelides left those twisty, shocking twists and turns I love to The Silent Patient and created a more emotional charge twist for our characters here. The Maidens is a stand-alone however, it has a clever tie-in to The Silent Patient. If you haven’t read it, you are in for a treat to read them back to back.
The Maidens is set at Cambridge University, where a secret society of female students called the “Maidens” are murdered. Group therapist Mariana returns to the campus to support her niece, and the story centers around Mariana’s obsession with proving professor Edward Fosca is the killer.
I was drawn in by the first few chapters of “The Maidens” that focus on Mariana’s grief and her work as a group therapist. I found the psychological side of the group dynamics and Greek mythology the most interesting part of the story. A lot of time was spent on Mariana trying to convince everyone who the killer is and them dismissing her. This slow down the story for me and I would like more time spent delving into the group dynamics. The suspense is light and the danger was not as tense as I usually like but Alex Michaelides manages to create a compelling and engaging story that had me turning the pages as fast as I could. There are plenty of red herrings to guess from and keep you distracted and maybe a bit too many as Alex Michaelides delves more into the psyche side of the characters with that a final twist that I almost missed. I enjoyed how we see into the emotional side to the characters with that final twist rather than a shocking plot twist. I look forward to seeing what is next because I have a feeling it will tie into the ending here.
Gothic. Suspenseful. Mysterious.
Mariana travels to Cambridge University to spend time with her grieving niece, Zoe, whose close friend was found murdered. Mariana, who went to the same school as Zoe, finds herself deeply affected by the murder near campus and becomes involved in the investigation. Using her group therapy career skills, Mariana offers to meet with “the Maidens”, a secret sorority group of female students, to see if they know more than they claim.
This story gripped me with tension, atmosphere and suspense from page one. I felt deeply invested in Mariana and her determination to help solve the crimes. She was a fantastic main character who I loved rooting for.
The atmosphere throughout the novel was engrossingly heavy. I loved the dark, mysterious, creepy, rain-soaked school campus and all that it brought to the story. The tension was thick and I had a constant sense of foreboding worry about what would happen next. The pace and flow consistently kept me glued to the pages and the short chapters were easy to fly through.
There were unrealistic elements to the storyline but they didn’t bother me in the least. I was so wrapped up in the atmosphere, mystery and entertainment of the plot that I didn’t question a thing. I absolutely love this author’s writing!
I was a HUGE fan of this author’s debut, The Silent Patient. It’s one of my favourite thrillers. I thought it was a brilliant and clever addition for the author to include a tie in to that book. It took me until the end to clue in on the tie in characters and connection to The Silent Patient and it definitely kicked up my enjoyment level a notch! This was a solid sophomore thriller that I was intrigued and captivated by from beginning to end. I eagerly await what this author creates next!
We received a copy from the publisher like many other reviewers did!!!