• Gemma

The Maidens By Alex Michaelides

I am delighted to be on the blog tour of The Maidens. I thoroughly enjoyed Alex Michaelides' debut novel,The Silent Patient, and was eager to read The Maidens.

 

SYNOPSIS:

We all keep secrets.

Even from ourselves.

St Christopher's College, Cambridge, is a closed world to most.


For Mariana Andros - a group therapist struggling through her private grief - it's where she met her late husband. For her niece, Zoe, it's the tragic scene of her best friend's murder.


As memory and mystery entangle Mariana, she finds a society full of secrets, which has been shocked to its core by the murder of one of its own.


Because behind its idyllic beauty is a web of jealousy and rage which emanates from an exclusive set of students known only as The Maidens. A group under the sinister influence of the enigmatic professor Edward Fosca.


A man who seems to know more than anyone about the murders - and the victims. And the man who will become the prime suspect in Mariana's investigation - an obsession which will unravel everything...


The Maidens is a story of love, and of grief - of what makes us who we are, and what makes us kill.

 

MY THOUGHTS:

As a huge fan of Alex Michaelides' debut novel, The Silent Patient, I couldn't wait to get started on reading The Maidens. Although it has been a few years since I first read The Silent Patient, the opening of The Maidens was both familiar in structure and feel to The Silent Patient and I was immediately hooked in a comforting way. I must confess I didn't realise at first that there was a crossover of characters linking both books, this heightened my enjoyment when I discovered the link, as well as making me reach for my copy of The Silent Patient and want to read it again, very clever Mr Michaelides!


Mariana is in mourning, he husband has passed away and she is trying to get through each day. Her niece, Zoe, calls from Cambridge reporting that her best friend Tara is missing and that a body of a young woman has just been found murdered in the area. Mariana rushes to Cambridge to be with Zoe. But when she arrives she finds herself getting drawn into the investigation and with more murders taking place, Mariana is determined to find the predator putting herself in great danger.


I adored the writing style of this novel and really appreciated the thriller/mystery/whodunit genre that ran throughout the book. There was also a Gothic feel, perhaps through the setting with the dark and mysterious corridors/rooms which made up St. Christopher's College. This imagery added extra tension to the storyline which felt harrowing and threatening. The Greek mythology created a creepy, otherworldly atmosphere which worked perfectly with the Gothic imagery and the twisted plot.


The characters all had their flaws which made everyone of them suspicious in my eyes. I had already drawn conclusions as to who were the villains but I wasn't expecting things to turn out quite as they did! Making for a fascinating read. I loved the diary extracts that were hidden between chapters and was convinced I knew who the author was, I was of course wrong.


A truly gripping novel from start to finish, I loved it. Many thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to join the blog tour and to Weidenfeld & Nicolson publishers for a gifted copy of The Maidens, a pure pleasure to read and review.

 

AUTHOR:


Alex Michaelides was born in Cyprus in 1977 to a Cypriot father and an English mother. At 18, he moved to the UK to study English at Trinity College, Cambridge where he received an MA. Alex then went to film school in Los Angeles and got his MA in screenwriting at the American Film Institute. He wrote the film Devil You Know, starring Rosamund Pike, and co-wrote The Con is On, starring Uma Thurman and Tim Roth. Disillusioned with screenwriting, he moved back to the UK and took a job at a therapeutic community for teenagers in North London while studying psychotherapy.


But before he quit writing for good, he decided to have one last throw of the dice and sat down to write the detective story which became the international bestselling novel, The Silent Patient. The book went on to be a world record-breaker, debuting at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, the first adult UK debut ever to do so. Brad Pitt's production company, Plan B, have secured film rights and a screenwriter and director are now attached. The Maidens is his second novel.

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