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The Maidens: The instant Sunday Times bestseller from the author of The Silent Patient Kindle Edition
We all keep secrets. Even from ourselves.
'A thrilling, heart-in-throat ride' STEPHEN FRY
'An absolute jaw-dropper' LUCY FOLEY
'Elegant, sinister, stylish' CHRIS WHITAKER
'Grips from start to finish' HARRIET TYCE
* * * * *
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Patient comes a spellbinding tale of psychological suspense, weaving together Greek mythology, murder, and obsession...
Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A handsome and charismatic Greek tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike - particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens.
Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana's niece Zoe, is found murdered in Cambridge.
Mariana, who was once herself a student at the university, quickly suspects that behind the idyllic beauty of the spires and turrets, and beneath the ancient traditions, lies something sinister. And she becomes convinced that, despite his alibi, Edward Fosca is guilty of the murder. But why would the professor target one of his students? And why does he keep returning to the rites of Persephone, the maiden, and her journey to the underworld?
When another body is found, Mariana's obsession with proving Fosca's guilt spirals out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility as well as her closest relationships. But Mariana is determined to stop this killer, even if it costs her everything - including her own life.
* * * * *
'There's definitely a flavour of The Secret History to Alex Michaelides's second novel ... The Maidens is a compelling read, and delivers its Hellenic thrills in style.' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
'A book which screams 'make me into a TV series' ... his writing, especially his characterisation, possesses a unique sparkle and more promise than most other writers.' DAILY MAIL
'Nothing short of genius.' WOMAN & HOME
'Elegant, sinister, stylish and thrilling, The Maidens answers the weighty question, how do you go about following one of the biggest thrillers of the past decade? You write something even better.' CHRIS WHITAKER, bestselling author of WE BEGIN AT THE END
'Grips from intriguing start to horrifying finish ... A brilliant achievement.'
'A page-turner of the first order'
'The greatest campus novel since The Secret History by Donna Tartt ... with a climatic twist that you will NEVER see coming.'
'A stunning psychological thriller ... Michaelides is on a roll.'
Alex has achieved the almost impossible and surpassed The Silent Patient in this compelling literary thriller, which grips from intriguing start to horrifying finish ... A brilliant achievement. ― HARRIET TYCE
What a thrilling, heart in throat ride. A great triumph. ― STEPHEN FRY
A deliciously dark, elegant, utterly compulsive read - with a twist that blew my mind. I loved this even more than I loved The Silent Patient and that's saying something! ― LUCY FOLEY
Alex Michaelides hits a home run in his sophomore effort. The Maidens is a page-turner of the first order. ― DAVID BALDACCI
A stunning psychological thriller ... The intelligent, cerebral plot finds contemporary parallels in Euripides's tragedies, Jacobean dramas such as The Duchess of Malfi, and Tennyson's poetry. The devastating ending shows just how little the troubled Mariana knows about the human psyche or herself. Michaelides is on a roll. ― Publishers Weekly
The greatest campus novel since The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Packed to the dreaming spires with mystery, murder, emotion and a yearning, heart-aching nostalgia for all that we leave in the past - places, lovers and ourselves when we were young. The millions who loved The Silent Patient will be delighted to hear that Alex Michaelides once again mugs you with a climatic twist that you will NEVER see coming. ― TONY PARSONS
Michaelides' stage-setting skills are as masterful here, as they were in The Silent Patient - another tense, cleverly twisted winner. ― Booklist
Nothing short of genius. ― Woman&Home
[Michaelides'] writing, especially his characterisation, possesses a unique sparkle and more promise than most other writers. ― Daily Mail
The Maidens is a compelling read, and delivers its Hellenic thrills in style. ― Sunday Telegraph
Stylishly written with a great sense of place, bestselling author Michaelides' second novel is a compelling and complex psychological thriller of the highest order. ― Irish Independent
A thriller that deftly weaves psychology, murder and an understanding of Greek mythology - where do we sign up? ― Belfast Telegraph
This atmospheric mystery speeds along at such a pace, Michaelides' genius for storytelling is clear. ― Woman
Michaelides is a stylish writer who seamlessly weaves Greek mythology, psychology and murder into his writing and this atmospheric thriller keeps you guessing till the end.― Independent
It's a tense, original story set against the luscious backdrop of the ancient university.― Daily Mail, Summer roundup
The Maidens ticks a lot of boxes, particularly if you like a good thriller. It has a fast pace, lots of misdirection, and intriguing backstory and a damaged protagonist. ― Sunday Life
Tautly plotted and impeccably paced , it's an intelligent and propulsive second novel.― The Observer
When Alex Michaelides' first psychological thriller, The Silent Patient, debuted in 2019, it skyrocketed to the top of best-seller lists. His follow-up is just as twisty-and involves another suspicious killing.― Time Magazine, European edition --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B08R18D45M
- Publisher : Weidenfeld & Nicolson (10 June 2021)
- Language : English
- File size : 452 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 296 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 6,534 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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What is it about? Not going to say too much as I am sure everybody knows all about it by now. Mariana is a psychoanalyst who is still grieving the death of her husband. Her niece, Zoe, calls her from her former college of Cambridge and tells her that her best friend, Tara has been murdered. Mariana drops everything to be there for Zoe. Going back to Cambridge is hard for her, it is where she met her husband and there are memories everywhere. She promises Zoe that she will help find who killed her friend. A suspect is arrested but then another young girl is killed, opening up the suspect pool again. The 2 murdered girls were both Maiden's, a group of handpicked female students who study with the very handsome and charismatic Professor Fosca and Marianna's attention is focused on him.
This is a really atmospheric book and is written so well. I felt like I was walking the grounds of Cambridge with the characters. There is alot of talk about Greek Mythology which at times did lose me but for the most part it made sense to me. I loved the tie in with The Silent Patient as well.
It is a slow burn but one that kept me intrigued right until the very end.
I loved the Silent Patient so must admit that I went into this one with such impossibly high expectations. I enjoyed the way this one started out and the mystery and intrigue. I loved the characters and their backstories and honestly could not figure out which way this one was headed. However, I needed to suspend belief in this one a little more than I am usually willing and that was the downfall. 3.5*
Thanks so much to Hachette Australia for this gifted advance review copy.
If I had any doubts as to whether I should read Alex Michaelides’ new book, then they were dispelled as soon as I found out that it contained some of my favourite themes: an atmospheric college setting, a mysterious cult-like group, a psychologist main protagonist / investigator. I was intrigued!
I will say one thing for Michaelides – he sure knows how to deliver an unexpected twist! Even though, knowing this, I wasn’t fooled as much by the red herrings as I would normally be, and the final reveal didn’t pack as much punch as in THE SILENT PATIENT. If you were a fan of his earlier book, then you will be happy to know that the author links both books together very cleverly by including scenes and characters of THE SILENT PATIENT in the later part of THE MAIDENS. I have only seen this done a handful of times in other thrillers and loved the way he achieved this. If you have read THE SILENT PATIENT, then you will understand how this created an extra sense of foreboding to this story.
If you asked me what I loved most about this story, I would immediately mention the atmospheric setting in Cambridge (it was armchair travel of the best kind!). I had the privilege of visiting this ancient city in my wee youth, and Michaelides’ descriptions transported me straight back there. This was aided by the short, extremely readable chapters which made me read late into the night. The inclusion of Greek mythology into the tale also added extra depth and intrigue for me. Even though pitching an amateur sleuth like Mariana against a police investigative team who seemed to miss every single clue and piece of evidence was a bit farfetched to say the least, it did make for a unique angle an ordinary police procedural could not offer as easily, and I was happy to overlook the plot holes for the sake of entertainment.
My biggest gripe with the story was that a lot of time was spent on red herrings rather than the “Maidens”, which was a bit of a missed opportunity to further explore the dynamics of this strange group and their narcissistic leader. I felt that the characters of the girls remained flat and stereotypical and wanted more of Mariana’s insights into groups and cults to really delve into their psyches. I also didn’t care much for the ending and would have preferred a less shocking twist for the sake of a more believable finale (I may be in the minority here because other readers have loved this element especially, which just goes to show how diverse we are as readers). I think that up to the final chapters this could have been a five star read for me, because I was so utterly hooked to the story.
All in all, THE MAIDENS was an intriguing murder mystery featuring a deliciously atmospheric Cambridge setting that made for the best armchair travel. Even though I felt that too much time and effort was spent on red herrings and the “killer twist”, I still felt that this was an extremely readable story. With a clever link to THE SILENT PATIENT, I am curious to see if there will be a Book 3 to follow on from here? In any case, I certainly will be standing in line to get my hands on the author’s next book!
Top reviews from other countries
Having missed out on Alex Michaelide's debut novel, "The Silent Patient", which received overwhelmingly positive feedback, I was keen to make sure that I got my hands on a copy of his follow-up. Having read the accompanying synopsis my anticipation was only heightened further: A murder mystery set in the world of academia within the appealing environs of Cambridge University. In addition to murder, the plot was said to combine psychology and Greek mythology, as legendary tales from the time of ancient Greece seem to bear an uncanny resemblance to events taking place now. My appetite was suitably whetted ... but unfortunately it wasn't to be too long before severe disappointment set in.
Frustratingly, some sections are nicely written and quite prosaic. This, in combination with an appealing backdrop and an engaging premise, could and should have been a recipe for a successful story. Unfortunately, there are just too many elements that simply don't pass muster: The characterisation is simplistic and lacks any depth. Descriptive language tends towards the melodramatic. The dialogue is often stilted, clunky and unnatural. Some of the mechanics used to move the plot forward are convenient to the point of being inane and reminiscent of the kind of thing you might expect to find in a children's adventure story. The frequent references to Greek mythology are, no doubt, intended to give an impression of worthiness and of being profound, but it is little more than a veneer. Ultimately "The Maidens" is a run of the mill mystery hiding behind an intellectual façade.
In his notes the author states that this novel is his fond homage to the classic female crime writers: Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, Margaret Millar, Margery Allingham, Josephine Tey, P.D. James and Ruth Rendell. A nice gesture perhaps, but those ladies really deserved something better than this.
I mean. Mariana is an intelligent woman. The way she goes for a Cambridge lecturer she's never met, based on hearsay - one comment made by the dead girl to Mariana's niece before she was murdered - is bizarre to say the least. Then we have Mariana agreeing to meet up with this lecturer in private several times and also meet up with a stranger/stalker she met on a train. The whole thing is just weird. She even attacks one of the above in public - it's completely laughable.
Mr Michaelides' writing is morose. There's no light and shade to it whatsoever. So it wasn't even fun reading up until the stupidest denouement in the entire bookshop. Oh, I can't be bothered to write any more. It doesn't deserve another minute of my life.