The Maidens was released in June 2021 as Alex Michaelides second novel after his New York Times bestselling novel The Silent Patient. I initially picked this book up in airport and the description pulled me in. It seemed to have everything I was looking for: dark academia, murder, intrigue, the lot.
The Maidens begins with an introduction to the main character, Mariana Andros, and her role as a group therapist. While I did like this as a concept, in practice it didn’t seem to play out as well as I had hoped. Throughout the book, the author refers back to her role as a group therapist but it never fully seemed necessary or relevant for such a large emphasis. The novel looks at the murder of several girls at Cambridge University and how Mariana tries to solve the murders. The girls are friends of Mariana’s niece and the most likely suspect is their classics professor, Edward Fosca.
The plot was interesting and it was quite easy to engage with the story. However, there were several plot holes, and there wasn’t as much of an emphasis on classics and the academia part of “dark academia.” The ending was not what I was expecting as it seemed like the author was leading the story in another direction until the last couple of chapters.
I’ve been seeing this book pop up a lot recently, thanks for the review!
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