The Spider in the Corner of the Room

Written by Nikki Owen

Review written by Sara Townsend

Sara-Jayne Townsend is a published crime and horror writer and likes books in which someone dies horribly. She is founder and Chair Person of the T Party Writers’ Group.

The Spider in the Corner of the Room
Mira Books
RRP: £7.99
Released: June 4, 2015

Spanish national Dr Maria Martinez is a brilliant plastic surgeon, working in a prestigious London hospital. She also has Asperger’s, and is allegedly a convicted murderer.


Maria has been jailed for brutally killing a priest, but she has no memory of committing the murder and in spite of evidence to the contrary, she is convinced she is innocent. But the more time she spends with the therapist the more she begins to doubt herself, realising that perhaps the therapist’s diagnosis that she is a paranoid schizophrenic may be true.


The book begins with Maria in her therapist’s office, relaying the events of the recent past, starting from when she was first put in jail. There then follows two disparate time lines, both from Maria’s point of view – one detailing the events of her therapy sessions, after her time in jail, and one relaying what happened to Maria while she was imprisoned.


The latter carries on until it connects to the former, but the two storylines are not easily distinguished, and make the overall story very difficult to follow. Combined with a potentially unreliable narrator, the narrative style is disconnected and disconcerting for the reader – which is undoubtedly the desired effect.


As Maria struggles to get to the truth, she finds more and more obstacles to overcome. Is she really going mad, or is she on the brink of uncovering a massive conspiracy?


This book can be hard to follow and is possibly not everyone’s idea of a good read. Reading about Maria’s story made me, at times, start to doubt my own sanity. But it’s without question a cleverly-written book with a complex plot, and people who like spy thrillers and conspiracy theories will find this one right up their street.

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