Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A charismatic Greek Tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike. Particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens.
Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated when one of The Maidens, a friend of Mariana’s niece Zoe, is found murdered.
Mariana, who was once herself a student at the university, suspects that behind the idyllic beauty of the spires and turrets, lies something sinister. And she becomes convinced that, despite his alibi, Edward Fosca is guilty of the murder. But why would the professor target one of his students? And why does he keep returning to the rites of Persephone, the maiden, and her journey to the underworld?
When another body is found, Mariana’s obsession with proving Fosca’s guilt spirals out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility as well as her closest relationships. But Mariana is determined to stop this killer, even if it costs her everything – including her own life.
I really loved this – I seem to have a thing at the moment about anything related to Greek mythology and I’ve always devoured novels within university settings…so this was kind of a perfect storm for me.
A killer is on the loose in Cambridge and Mariana, still mourning the loss of her husband, is determined to protect her niece at any cost. An enigmatic Professor, his devoted students known as the Maidens and a strange set of seeming coincidences set her on an obsessive journey towards the truth..
The setting is vividly described and comes alive here, the mystery element claustrophobic and cleverly layered.
The characters pop and the whole thing leads you towards an emotionally charged finale…which may well surprise you.
Overall I actually ended up liking The Maidens even more than the Silent Patient (which gets a nod here too with a little cameo appearance) I devoured it in short order and will be thinking about it for quite some time to come.