Mariana is convinced that Edward Fosca, a professor at Cambridge University, is a murderer, and she is determined to expose him and his crimes, specifically the death of her niece’s friend, Tara. Unfortunately, the much-loved professor seems untouchable; the staff and students adore him, especially The Maidens, a group of young women--including Tara--devoted to Professor Fosca. As Mariana, who herself is an alumnus of the university, studies the clues and the circumstances, she finds herself in a race against time when the body of another girl is found. Can Marianna uncover the truth, or will the death toll continue to rise?
The Maidens is an incredible, suspenseful page-turner that is sure to keep you guessing. Michaelides’s characters are well developed and engaging, and I really enjoyed the Greek mythology theme throughout the novel, although the existence of The Maidens as a group seemed to push the limit a little; I feel like it is a group that would never be allowed to exist as it did, especially since this secret society wasn’t exactly a secret. The inclusion of the killer’s voice throughout added a nice layer to the mystery surrounding the murders and the short chapters created some undeniable suspense; I simply devoured The Maidens, finding it hard to put down. The ending was rather unexpected in my opinion, and while everything wasn’t wrapped up perfectly in a little bow, I liked that there was a conclusion to the main narrative in the novel. The little connection to Michaelides previous novel, The Silent Patient, was a brilliant little Easter egg; I can't wait to see what he has in store for his next novel, and if it will somehow connect to The Maidens.
If you enjoy a page-turning suspenseful mystery, I highly recommend The Maidens by Alex Michaelides!