UK Publication Date: 2 June 2016. 384 pages.
Having just finished this book I can feel a buzzing in my veins. It feels vital and it is a release. I’ve been reading it over a couple of days but haven’t been able to stop thinking about Maria even while I wasn’t reading. I don’t think I’ve properly relaxed for the duration of the book.
Previously published as The Spider in the Corner of the Room, Subject 375 is a modern day thriller. Dr Maria Martinez is a consultant plastic surgeon. She is an exceptionally clever woman and she has Asberger’s. Maria’s DNA is found at the scene of a brutal murder of a Catholic priest. She is found guilty and sent to prison although she has no memory of the crime.
This isn’t a book for the casual reader. It requires thought and a certain amount of concentration. There are three separate strands to the book – Maria’s current life in prison, her sessions with her therapist (set in an undetermined period while you are reading) and the flashbacks to her childhood and youth where she is a guinea pig and trained to be smarter. The book interweaves these strands together and creates a tension that leaves your heart beating faster and faster as you follow her on her journey to the truth.
The other characters are largely incidental. Some, like Patricia, make an impression on Maria because of their kindness while others are complicated and not who they appear to be. Written from Maria’s – often confused – point of view it really feels like you are in her head. Puzzling over complex patterns and codes, following her routines and noting everything down in her diaries.
It is hard to say anything more without giving any major plot points away but I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I’m really pleased to see that it is book one of a trilogy. Can’t wait to see where it goes next.
Supplied by Net Galley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Prolific reader, enthusiastic theatre and movie-goer and ex-Olivier Awards judge who spent twenty years working in the music industry in London. I love sharing my favourite books with friends - nearly always spoiler-free as I hate reading a synopsis of the whole book in other reviews.