A highly discussable psychological thriller set on an iconic British campus. This twisty mystery begins when Mariana, a group psychotherapist grieving the recent death of her husband, receives a frantic call from her niece Tara saying her friend and floormate has been murdered. Mariana travels to investigate—and soon, what began as concern escalates into obsession as she draws from what she knows of human behavior to uncover the murderer in their midst. The clues lead her straight to the charismatic Classics professor Edward Fosca and his secret Cambridge society known as the Maidens, but proving the case might destroy her. Be mindful of the obvious triggers that accompany a murder mystery, plus self-harm and brief graphic scenes. I hated the controversial ending, but I would dearly love to discuss it with my book club.
“Alex Michaelides’s long-awaited next novel, ‘The Maidens,’ is finally here…the premise is enticing and the elements irresistible.”
—The New York Times
“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, New York Times bestselling author of The Guest List
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, that further cements “Michaelides as a major player in the field” (Publishers Weekly).
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.