I’m a simple woman, I find a book about murder with ties to Greek Mythology, I’m happy. Also, the second I heard it compared to one of my favourite books, The Secret History, I just knew I had to read it.
The Maidens by Alex Michaelides is a Mystery Thriller following group therapist Mariana Andros. A widow who has lost a lot during her lifetime, so it is no surprise that she is close with her only living relative, her niece Zoe. When Zoe calls her in a panic, she drops everything and rushes to her side at Cambridge University.
One of Zoe’s friends was found brutally murdered.
Mariana’s suspicion soon turns to the charming Greek Tragedy Professor, Edward Fosca. It seems Edward plays favourites, and the victim just so happened to be one of them. These favourite students are known as ‘The Maidens’ on campus. To add to her growing suspicions, another young woman is killed shortly thereafter.
Mariana vows to bring him to justice before he can hurt another girl.
But can she?
I’m not typically a Thriller reader, I have only read two this year, but man, I loved this book. Michaelides’ writing style is addictive. Short, punchy titles that hit you right where it hurts with plot twists, making you crave the next chapter. I struggled to put this book down. I’m not even joking, I almost missed my train to work once because of this book! As for the mystery itself, I didn’t see the final twists coming.
The Maidens moves at such a rapid pace doesn’t give the reader any time to rest.
Mariana is a stunning protagonist, a woman facing her demons while trying to take down a monstrous killer. Reliving the past can be painful, especially when a place you once loved is now home to an evil person. Her memories of better days are now tainted with loss and blood. You can feel her pain and her determination radiating off the pages.
As I mentioned beforehand, I am a sucker for all things Greek Mythology. Certain myths are referenced and are minor plot points. It truly adds to the unsettling feeling you get while reading.
I do have a few nitpicks. Firstly, there are a few minor plot points that don’t go anywhere that I didn’t see the point of. That might be a common trait of Thrillers in general, I don’t know. Also, at least four men all but throw themselves at Mariana’s feet for no discernable reason. However, neither of these things put me off the book.
Overall, I thought it was a solid story with a captivating cast and intriguing mystery. If you enjoyed The Secret History, I think you will also get a kick out of this book. The Maidens is a thrilling read that I do urge you to read. Especially if you love all things Dark Academia.
Great review! I was also really frustrated by the little plot points that were thrown in as red herrings but then didn’t go anywhere. It felt like lazy writing.
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Right? Considering how well written the rest of the book was those bits stood out like sore thumbs.
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