Alex Michaelides, known for his debut bestseller The Silent Patient, pens the narrative of The Maidens. Both are steeped in mystery involving psychotherapy; however, The Silent Patient is more captivating.
The Maidens begins with a series of murders of female students at Cambridge University which our protagonist Mariana Andros believes her niece's friend was a victim of. It turns out all of them were part of a cult-like group which was led by a handsome professor called Edward Fosca and referred to as "The Maidens". This prompts Mariana to be convinced Fosca is the one responsible for these murders.
Mariana insists to the officials that Fosca is responsible for the crime, yet they bring in another suspect instead. A second female victim appears afterwards, and as the young man could not have been the killer, a third woman is killed. Mariana pleads her case to no avail when another person is wrongly arrested for the murders. I’m sure the author’s intent was not comedic, but the police actions could have been a Monty Python skit.
There is a thrilling twist at the end of the story which will surprise you. However, when you wake up the next morning, you may be left wondering why the murderer continued killing after their motivation had disappeared.
The writing throughout is vivid and descriptive, even if some images are thrown in without any explanation. If you're looking for an entertaining read, then this book would fit the bill - just be aware that it may leave you with lots of questions!