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The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

The Maidens

Repeat author
Alex Michaelides is back at Book of the Month – other BOTMs include The Silent Patient.

by Alex Michaelides

Quick take

From the author of The Silent Patient, a gripping tale of murder, myth, and the horror lurking beneath the ivory tower.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MultipleNarrators

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Creepy


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Murder


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Academic


Why I love it

Lucy Foley
Author, The Guest List

If you’ve read The Silent Patient, Alex Michaelides’s breakout debut thriller, it will come as no surprise that the author is also a screenwriter. Like his previous book, The Maidens is wildly cinematic and you can TOTALLY imagine it playing out on the big screen. This book is so atmospheric that I really believe it should come wrapped in ivy and scented like the antique books in a Cambridge library—or perhaps with a salty waft of the Aegean.

Our heroine Mariana is a grieving widow and group therapist who cares deeply for her niece, Zoe. So when one of Zoe’s friends is murdered, Mariana travels to Cambridge to support her—and to prove the guilt of Edward Fosca, the enigmatic professor who seems to have captured the admiration of everyone but Mariana. She’s also determined to uncover what’s really going on with his cultish student followers who call themselves The Maidens.

While we’re still largely stuck at home and unable to travel I found that this wonderful read more than sated some of my wanderlust. And this is one of the things that sets Alex Michaelides’s writing apart from lesser thrillers: yes, there’s the twisty, compulsive, page-turner appeal, the cleverly placed red herrings and the ‘what the hell just happened’ moments, but also a wonderful sense of place and a rich depth of character. I cared hugely for our grieving heroine Mariana and her niece Zoe. I was fascinated by the mysterious Maidens and by their enigmatic leader, the deliciously byronic Edward Fosca with his sweeping dark cloak and long locks. I came away from reading this feeling richly sated and as though I had had my breath snatched from me by the thrilling roller coaster ride of the plot. And I have to say that while I hugely enjoyed Alex’s debut, I think this one might just clinch it for me.

Reader, you’re in for a glorious gothic treat.

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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.

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Get an early look from the first pages of The Maidens.

Member thoughts

All (37525)
All (37525)
Love (16594)
Like (17183)
Dislike (3748)
37759 ratings
  • 44% Love
  • 46% Like
  • 10% Dislike
  • Philadelphia , PA

    This book went above and beyond my expectations ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️I was filled with anticipation through out the whole book.. Thought provoking and really enjoyed the greek mythology and poetry aspects of it

  • Archdale, NC

    Just finished!! ???????? Alex Michaelides thought you couldn’t out do The Silent Patient but this one was right there at the top. Loved how you inter-mingle the characters. Can’t wait to read what’s next!

  • Troy, NY

    I didn’t love this as much as his debut. That novel was a masterpiece. This was a page turner that I couldn’t put down. I honestly finished it in one night. I’m excited for this author’s future works!

  • Fishers, IN

    Holy plot twist. Michaelides writes in a way that keeps the reader interested the WHOLE time. Enjoyed the tie back to “The Silent Patient” and can’t wait for another Michaelides book. 4.7/5 stars ⭐️

  • Glendale, AZ

    Could. Not. Stop. Absolutely loved it. First-class thriller with a great setting, and a little bit of a “The Secret History” vibe. I loved “The Silent Patient” and this one certainly delivers as well.

  • Old Monroe, MO

    Loved it! Was sucked in right away. Loved that he tied in The Silent Patient. Really brought more perspective into it having read both. Can’t wait for the next master piece! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Haverhill , MA

    Loved this book. I’m a big fan of the Silent Patient and I think the Maidens is even better! Didn’t see the end coming. Love how author wove in the characters from the Silent Patient into the Maidens.

  • Redlands, CA

    Wow. This book gave me a deeper appreciation for thrillers & had me on the edge of my seat the entire time! I trusted NO ONE! The allusions to Greek mythology and Tennyson were a definite bonus! 5 ⭐️

  • Rexburg, ID

    I throughly enjoyed how they combined Greek tales with a modern storyline. It is supposed to have a kind of ‘oh what?!’ ending but you can kind of predict it if you read mysteries. It was a great read

  • Windermere, FL

    Wow! Just wow. The stories of mythology woven into the murder of several “maidens” was seamlessly done. I did not expect the ending at all and actually sat there open mouthed wondering what I missed!

  • jefferson hills, PA

    Wow loved this one !!! The beginning was hard to get through, and unnecessary in my opinion, but the meat of the book was ???????????????????????? such a good murder mystery! Red herrings left and right!

  • Missoula, MT

    OMG this was just so good. Honestly I could feel all the emotions and once I got to part 3 that was it I had to finish. I couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait to read it again! Definitely a must for all

  • Falls Church, VA

    I love “The Silent Patient” so I thought I would try this new book. I read it in under 24 hours, which I have not done in a long time. Good book- could not put it down, obviously. Definitely recommend


    As a fan of “The Silent Patient,” I had high expectations. They were met with this dark, spellbinding, & suspenseful tale. The combination of Greek mythology and murder had me on the edge of my seat!

  • Livonia, MI

    AMAZING. Having read The Silent Patient, this was an incredible story that turned into a crossover that I never expected. I couldn’t put it down. If you’ve read The Silent Patient, you MUST read this!

  • Greenville, NC

    I certainly didn’t expect the twist of events that kept happening here! What a wild ride and an enjoyable read. As soon as you think you have it figured out - turns out you don’t! Wonderful writing.

  • Humboldt, IA

    What a TWIST! I was disappointed there wasn’t some creepy Greek plot involving the goddess and the Maidens, but I was thoroughly shocked and happy Fred survived(but Mariana should’ve appreciated him)

  • Cary, NC

    While not as enjoyable as Michaelides first novel, “The Silent Patient,” still a very readable whodunnit that truly kept me guessing until the final pages. Ready for the inevitable screen adaptation.

  • Mingo Junction , OH

    I couldn’t stop reading this book until I got to the end. It was filled with suspense and you would never guess what happened in the end! This book was well written and I’m so glad I got to pick it!

  • Pittsburgh, PA

    Dare I say I loved this book even more than The Silent Patient?! The setting, twists, and characters - I couldn’t get enough. I’m a sucker for an author who connects their novels in unexpected ways.

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  • The Damage
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  • We Were Never Here
  • Everything We Didn't Say
  • The Last Flight
  • The Night She Disappeared
  • Not a Happy Family
  • The Wife Upstairs
  • Rock Paper Scissors
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  • A Flicker in the Dark
  • Razorblade Tears
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  • Winter Counts
  • Silverview
  • The Woman in the Window
  • The Hunting Party
  • The Silent Patient
  • Goodnight Beautiful
  • The Hunting Wives
  • Pretty Little Wife
  • The Guest List
  • Invisible Girl
  • Girl A
  • Behind Her Eyes
  • The Girl in the Mirror
  • The Night Swim
  • Before She Knew Him
  • Then She Was Gone
  • You Are Not Alone
  • The Family Upstairs
  • The Wife Between Us
  • Into the Water
  • Gone Girl
  • Dark Places
  • The Alienist
  • Since We Fell
  • The Blinds
  • Cross Her Heart
  • The Winter Sister
  • The Other Woman
  • Necessary People

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