The author of The Silent Patient returns with the story of Mariana Andros, a therapist who has dark suspicions about a charismatic Greek tragedy professor named Edward Fosca, who is revered by a secret society of female students known as The Maidens. Mariana's obsession with proving Fosca's guilt spirals out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility, her closest relationships—and her own life.
Fans of Alex Michaelides’ blockbuster debut The Silent Patient will eagerly dive into his newest thriller ... Michaelides’ page-turner cleverly weaves together Mariana’s difficult and haunted past, her group therapy patients, Greek mythology and the increasing local tension as more girls are killed. He makes excellent use of the Cambridge University setting, with its gothic settings, traditions and hierarchy of students, professors and staff. As clues emerge and danger grows, Mariana becomes more and more sure of her sleuthing, although frustrated readers may often want to shake her and point her in other directions ... a well-paced, suspenseful and easy-to-digest thriller. The Greek tragedy aspect is intriguing and Michaelides explains the mythology, so there’s no need to brush up beforehand. Be forewarned, however: there’s a supremely unsettling, sure-to-be-divisive twist at the end of this cliffhanger.
Mariana’s therapy experience introduces a fresh forensic-psychology perspective to ever-popular themes of Greek tragedy and insular academia. Michaelides’ stage-setting skills are as masterful here, as they were in The Silent Patient (2019); another tense, cleverly twisted winner.
... the premise is enticing and the elements irresistible. Alas, The Maidens is not an English version of The Secret History, but an overstuffed melodrama marred by clunky dialogue, breathless one-sentence paragraphs, pseudo-suspenseful chapter endings and a plot that will try the patience even of readers with a high tolerance for improbability ... Astute readers will thrill to some neat cross-references to Michaelides’s earlier book. The Silent Patient had a fiendishly hard-to-guess twist; the one in The Maidens could have been flown down in a spaceship from another planet.