“Edward Fosca was a murderer. This was a fact.” So begins the prologue to The Maidens, a murder mystery set in academe by the British-Cypriot novelist Alex Michaelides, author of the best-selling 2019 thriller The Silent Patient. But does Michaelides’ whodunnit live up to its intriguing premise and heady first line?
Mariana Andros is a grieving widow in her mid-30s, eking out an existence as a group therapist in London, when she receives a fateful call from her niece Zoe, studying at St. Christopher’s College at Cambridge University: “That was how the nightmare began.” The melodrama is laid on quickly and thickly in The Maidens.
Zoe, who Mariana considers her “surrogate daughter,” sounds scared: Her close friend Tara, a fellow student, is missing, and an