I recently read The Maidens by Alex Michaelides. This is the author that wrote the very popular thriller The Silent Patient, which I very much enjoyed and even cajoled my husband into reading. We were both surprised by the ending. Reading the number of thrillers I do, I don't get surprised by that many so when it happens it's fantastic.
In the newest book, The Maidens, we are following Mariana, who has sadly recently lost her husband. Marianna grew up in Greece, where her family was fairly well off. While on a Greek island with her husband on vacation, he goes missing. She finds that he has drown and as the book opens she is trying to move on with her life but is also in mourning and deeply misses the man she loved so much. To make matters more complicated she must travel to Cambridge University, where a girl has just been brutally murdered and was a friend of her niece who is distraught. Marianna takes it upon herself to help figure out who is the killer, to protect her niece from any future heartbreak and keep her safe. Despite the police zeroing in on one subject, Marianna suspects a professor of Greek tragedies, Edward Fosca. Not only does she suspect but she becomes adamant that he is the killer. As readers, we see possible guilty people everywhere. The author is astute at directing us to this person then the next, each with the real possibility of secretly being a monster.
I thought I had this book figured out. I eliminated everywhere the author was begging us to look for killers and I picked an improbable person and told hubby at page 207 I was a thriller reading genius and despite Alex Michaelides' best attempt, I had won...I knew who did it. Um...yeah...so much for my "I read so many thrillers I know all the authors tricks"...I'm a genius.... I was wrong. Darn it. I thought I had it. I really did. My guilty person was good, really unexpected, explosive, but the author's was better. The book was all things you expect in a thriller and obviously I enjoyed it despite being outwitted (my family would say that is so easily accomplished!)
Next time Mr. Michaelides, I'll beat you, now I'm determined.