Friday, June 18, 2021

Alex Michaelides: The Maidens

Alex Michaelides shows readers how susceptible people can be when they are entranced by an older man:

Mariana is a group therapist who is trying to combat her own trouble since her husband died in a tragic accident. Mariana knows that group therapy will not only help her but those in the group as well if they will let it. But Mariana is going to have to put her group session behind her when her niece Zoe calls her to tell her that her roommate is missing, and the police are investigating. Mariana knows that Zoe needs her so she drop everything and head to Cambridge, a school she once studied at as well. While Mariana is on her way, her body is found. What Mariana discovers when she reaches Cambridge is the murderer in Edward Fosca, however, no one is willing to believe her and he appears to be untouchable. He has created a group of young women called the Maidens who he rules over and they will do anything for him. Mariana will have to put all her training to work in order to prove that Fosca is the murderer before any more of the girls get hurt.

I think this will be a different type of review, as I am sure that most people who read The Maidens really enjoyed Michaelides debut novel, The Silent Patient. I'm here to say that I was one of the few that did not enjoy The Silent Patient, however, I did recognized that Michaelides had the ability to tell a story, I just found The Silent Patient was too much of a slow burn for me

So now that we have that out of the way, I will say that this book is the complete opposite of The Silent Patient and a much more traditional mystery novel. So if you are here for something different, like what was presented in The Silent Patient, you will be disappointed. I don't think I can say this enough, this is NOT The Silent Patient.

I wasn't a fan of Mariana "detective" type work? I found it a it mundane. Mariana was a slightly boring as a detective character as she just seemed to muddle her way through it, and thought that by just asking questions she could get the answers that she wanted. This is not how one would conduct an investigation as she completely ignores other evidence. Yes, questioning people is one part, but people are so subjective, remember things differently, and eye witness statements are often not trusted as you can have 10 different people tell you 10 different things after witnessing the same event. That said I think that Michaelides did a good job of lining up quite a few people who could be the murderer and I was just frustrated that Mariana seemed to focus on only one person, I guess it was a perfect example of tunnel vision in regards to a case. For me the more attention the author focuses on that person the less likely I'm going to believe that it is them, as everyone seems to believe there needs to be a big twist in the end, nothing is so straight forward any more. I was not able to figure everything out and did not see one of the twists coming that is for sure, so well done Michaelides, well done.

I liked the nod to The Silent Patient that Michaelides put into this book, it was fun to read and added a time context to everything that was happening and in a way changed how I saw certain things in the Silent Patient. It was not needed in this book but I think that is was a fun add.

I think that as Michaelides keeps writing his books will get better and better. I enjoyed this book much more than his debut and you can tell that Michaelides has the ability to tell great stories, just some of the details need to be worked out.

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