Review: The Maidens by Alex Michaelides


Rating: ☆☆
Title: The Maidens
Author: Alex Michaelides
Genre: Thriller
Audience: Adult
Format: Audiobook
Narrators: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Louise Brealey
Length: 9 hours (337 pages)
Publisher: Celadon; Macmillan Audio
Release Date: June 14, 2021
Source: ALC
Recommended for fans of: Greek mythology, dark academia


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.


The book had such a great premise and beautiful writing, but it did not come together for me at the end.

I loved the Greek mythology influence and academia setting, which pointed to a highly intellectual killer. Mariana’s personal connections to the case were confusing, and her fixation on Fosca as the killer was clearly a red herring. Speaking of red herrings…this book was full of them. So many that they left a lot of loose ends that were never fully explained.

The big twist at the end was gross and unbelievable. It blurred the bigger picture and ruined the book for me. I really think there was a better way to explain these murders with a different killer!

I have not read The Silent Patient, but I’ve seen a lot of very mixed reviews for it, and while it’s been on my “want to read” list, I’m not sure if it will be worth picking up after reading this one.

Thank you to and the publisher for the ALC and ARC.

Author: Caroline | Carolibrary

Hello! I’m Caroline! I am a teacher, a book lover, and a nerd. My passions include reading, writing, bookstagram, barre & yoga, baking, binging TV shows, and Star Wars. I love stories in all formats because they can transport you to a different world while helping you understand the world around you. I have always found books to be a particularly magical source of imagination.

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