Grieving the sudden death of her husband, group therapist Mariana Andros drops everything when her niece’s best friend is brutally murdered on the grounds of a quiet Cambridge college. As more young women are slaughtered, Mariana realizes that their deaths are not frenzied acts of madness but rather a coldly calculated and purposeful series of sacrifices, with a charismatic murderer at the center.
In The Maidens (9.5 hours), Alex Michaelides draws heavily upon Greek mythology to create an absorbing thriller with more twists than the Minotaur’s labyrinth. The audiobook is narrated primarily by actor Louise Brealey, who has given life to complex female characters in the audio editions of The Girl on the Train and The Silent Patient, Michaelides’ first novel. Here, she does an excellent job of conveying Mariana’s confusion, courage and determination to solve the mystery at any cost. Actor Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s nuanced performance as the killer reminds us that monsters are made, not born, and that within even the most heinous murderer is a shattered, lonely child.