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Alex Michaelides’ new novel, The Maidens has all the right qualities of a good British mystery which made it hard to put down. The majority of this dark, atmospheric story takes place at the University of Cambridge and is woven around Greek mythology, so it feels a bit like the Inspector Morse or Inspector Lewis tv series.
The protagonist, Mariana, a group therapist, is trying to pick up the pieces of her life a year after her husband’s sudden death in Greece. Her late husband’s niece, Zoe, who Mariana raised as her own child, calls to tell her that a friend has just been found dead on campus.
Mariana goes to Cambridge to comfort Zoe and winds up getting involved in detecting. A creepy professor, a student she meets on the train, and an unhinged, obsessed client add to the uneasiness as Mariana believes she is being stalked. Cryptic postcards, a secret society, and more murders lead to what I thought was a sure ending…and then the rug is pulled out to reveal the startling truth! The twist left me dumbfounded and in definite awe of the author.
I highly recommend The Maidens to British mystery and psychological thriller fans–this is a must-read for your summer TBR stack.
I was given an ARC of The Maidens from Celadon Books in exchange for an honest review.