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The Medea Complex

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  1,790 ratings  ·  309 reviews
A deep and riveting psychological thriller inspired by true events of the Victorian era, The Medea Complex explores the nature of the human psyche: what possesses us, what drives us, and how love, passion, and hope for the future can drive us to insanity.

1885. Anne Stanbury wakes up in a strange bed, having been kidnapped from her home. As the panic settles in, she realiz
Paperback, 272 pages
Published November 1st 2013 by CreateSpace (first published October 31st 2013)
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Average rating 3.47  · 
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 ·  1,790 ratings  ·  309 reviews

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Petra-X Off having adventures
1. I won't pretend I was at all pleased to receive several spam invites on a totally inappropriate group to buy this book, but my attitude changed when I actually read the last one saying the book was a free download. "Free" just does it for me!

The first thing I did was to skim through it and I did find some of it quite amusing, the bit about her urinating on herself and not knowing it was hysterical so I sent the link to a couple of friends and began to read it properly myself.

After a couple o
Nov 16, 2013 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Joodith by: The author
Shelves: kindle
When I was invited by the author to read and review her book I was intrigued by the subject matter and so researched the Medea Complex in psychology and mythology on the internet, so with my interest piqued, I started this novel....

Have you ever started a book and right from the first few pages been drawn into the story, felt sympathy or empathy for the characters and just couldn't put the book down? I have - but sadly not with this one. The idea behind this book is good: Anne, Lady Stanbury, wa
Nov 12, 2013 rated it liked it
This was a very good story. Very suspenseful. However it had so many technical errors that I could hardly finish the book. It was very distracting.

For example, in one passage she mentions the cook as "defending her fridge". defending her fridge? In 1886? Are you aware that the home refrigerator was not invented until 1913? In another place the doctor mentions his inadequateness. Really? Don't you mean inadequacy? I don't think a man with the education of a Victorian era doctor would make such a
Nov 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
Despite the spam, This is actually something I might read (I have a bit of a thing for Bedlam Hospital, and well written Victoriana)

Or not. I popped up the look inside, hit the "surprise me" button. In a paragraph that shifts tense from present perfect to past perfect and back twice, I am told that the witnesses "strongly collaborated" someones character.

Considering how good I can the English most days, it's bad if simple grammar and completely wrong word choice are smacking me in the face rig
Nov 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
I read the excerpt on Goodreads. I don't know if it got better because the writing put me off. The use of modern slang like 'fix the floor' and 'have you taken any drugs' together with Victorian speech specifically. Not for me. ...more
Carey Combe
Nov 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
If you want a good story about Medea - read Euripides.
Mark Wilson
Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Medea Complex is one of those stories. The ones you drag yourself along to the cinema to see after reconsidering because there was nothing else on, or read because you happened to have it and then discover how close you came to missing out on a truly unexpected wonder.

R.F. Roberts has hit the ground running with her debut novel. A veritable whirlwind of bewilderment, fear, edginess and the blackest of gallows humour. Roberts conveys the feelings, fears and amusement of her characters, the co
Natasha Stewart
I struggled with giving this 2 stars. . It was interesting enough for me to finish it through (but maybe that was because I wasted .99 on it and didn't have the heart to lose out on a dollar)..

I felt like the description of the book was extremely enticing - then I started the novel and it went downhill from there. The book itself was a disappointment, the writing style was very "diary"-esque yet I never felt anything for the characters and was never engrossed with the main character, Anne. So th
Theresa Conte
Feb 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
This could have been a great story with insights into the care of the insane and the Victorian view of women. Instead, the dialogue was flat and the characters unconvincing. I couldn't believe how many people gave it five stars. It comes close to being the most poorly written book I've ever read. ...more
Cleopatra  Pullen
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical-crime
The beginning of this book took me by surprise, for a horrible moment I thought this was going to be a poorly researched voyage into the late nineteenth century; I was wrong, this book was a mixture of authentic details of life in the changing world of lunatic asylums along with a gripping mystery about what really happened on the fateful day when Lady Anne Stanbury killed her son. So why my initial hesitation? The language used was more modern than would usually be found in historical novels wh ...more
Angelica Bentley
Nov 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This dark and compelling tale is set in the late 19th century, a period when mental health was largely misunderstood and the mere shadow of doubt could condemn someone to a lifetime of misery in a lunatic asylum. In this historical setting, Lady Anne Stanbury finds herself interned in a mental hospital. She stands accused of killing her infant son but has been deemed unfit to stand trial by reason of insanity. Her heartbroken husband is torn by conflicting emotions as he struggles to deal with t ...more
Mar 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Good story, but the author needs a better editor. It felt like I was reading from a rough draft.
Deborah Leedahl
Mar 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book had so much potential, but was very poorly executed. I really liked the characters and the plot, but it was like a first draft, not a completed work. There are SO many typos, grammatical errors, and use of incorrect words that it made me crazy! The author refers to a character's voice raising on OCTANE. Really? And could someone please explain to this woman what an apostrophe is, and how to use it???
Anyway, loved the plot and idea of the story, just wish someone would have proof read a
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
I am not sure who to root for in the end, the two main characters: Anne and her husband Edgar had went through some serious problems when Anne murdered their son John. Poor Anne was sent to the Bethlehem Psychiatric Hospital while Edgar ponders his love and hate towards his lovely wife.
As I read on, I realize that nothing is what it seems. Yes, nothing is what it really seems, when it was Edgar's turn to land into shit, it seems that he is in it for good....

I love how the author makes you feel f
Sep 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. It was unlike the books I have read lately. I was intrigued from the start.
I liked the story being told by different characters. Each time that I thought I had figured out what had happened or what was going to happen, I was surprised by what happened next. I am still thinking about this story...I want to go back and reread it again now that I know how it ends to see if I can pick up details that I missed the first time!
I would definitely recommend this book!
Dawn Whidden
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In my 60 plus years on this earth and at least 55 of them with my nose buried in a book I have never come across such an intriguing and captivating story. I was thrown into the story and the characters so deeply I wondered at times if I was going down the rabbit hole with them.
How Rachel Roberts describes the emotional roller coaster of her characters makes me wonder if she has herself ever fallen into the black void of insanity.
Bravo Ms.Roberts.
A job well done.
Tracie Podger
Sep 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderfully written story that hooks the reader in from the very start. A real page turner. Highly recommended.
Christen Em
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Honestly, I picked this book up for $4 at Dollar General on a total impulse-buy whim, and it was totally worth it. It truly had me guessing till the end. Was it the most well-written book I've ever read? No. But it's an excellent first novel and a thrilling page-turner for sure.

Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: caro

The Medea Complex
A Novel
By Rachel Florence Roberts
ISBN: 9780451474148
Author Website:
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Caro


A deep and riveting psychological thriller inspired by true events of the Victorian era, The Medea Complex explores the nature of the human psyche: what possesses us, what drives us, and how love, passion, and hope for the future can drive us to insanity.

1885. Anne Stanbury wakes up in a strange b
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it

"We all enter this world covered in blood. Some of us survive the brutal entry. Yet only a few of us exit without any still on our hands."

The quote is from the book and in my opinion it sums up the whole idea of the novel.

Let aside all you will find wrote about this book regarding the mentals, asylums, various empirical treatments without any scientific substrate, the Victorian era with all its minuses or pluses! They are mere gimmicks that only staging the story’s plot. The main idea of t
Jan 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I don't know where to begin. Should I mention that this novel is undoubtedly spectacular? Or should I say, this "debut" novel is remarkably spectacular? I haven't read a book that has affected me on an emotional level in quite a while. Not like this. The Medea Complex will provoke your thoughts, make you question everything you classify as crazy, and even leave you speechless by the end of the story. Because by then you'll be kicking yourself saying, "I should have seen this coming."

Let's start
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ah! I need to think what to say about this one. It was my kind of British humor.

I liked the character of Anne because she wasn't weak.

What can I say without giving the plot away? Well, that not everything is as it seems.

Although I enjoyed crazy Anne, I became a little bored at the beginning. Okay, you are crazy, I got it. But when the true Anne revealed herself... I was hooked.

I liked the way the plot was built. I don't know what the point of the dates at the beginning of each chapter and POV we
Chris Torretta
Apr 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What a psychological thriller! Rachel is one of my new favorite authors. She was able to mingle intrigue throughout this entire plot. So much so that I was questioning everything and everyone. The end is totally epic and actually took me by surprise.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting into Anne's head and learning her plight. It's amazing to see her struggle! But then you get more into the plot and all of these people around her and her husband, Edgar Stanbury, whom I just simply did not like at all,
Jo Reason
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star-reads
I was given a copy in exchange for an honest review.
This is not something I would normally read, yes, I read thrillers, action, adventure, but not based in the past but it was something I was interested in. There is also a bit of courtroom drama going on. This is the authors debut novel, it is based on true events. Nicely written and I loved the way that each chapter, which is written in the first person, corresponding to a different character, the author has written it so well you can really g
Oct 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: author-give-away
This was an author give-away for my honest review. Here is that review---

This psychological mystery is cleverly based on true events from 1885. A young woman has been sentenced to a lunatic asylum for murdering her young baby son. The story is told from the voices of a number of different people: Lady Stanbury, the baby's mother; Edgar Stanbury, the Lord of the manor by virtue of marrying into the landed family of his wife; Dr. George Savage, the asylum psychologist; and Beatrix, Lady Stanbury's
Angel Grimes
Nov 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book started off as a fascinating look into mental health on the late 19th Century. I fell in love with the diary style this book was written in and the choppy changes of perspective worked well with it allowing us brief insights into all the characters lives, however insignificant those viewpoints seemed to be at the start.

A few chapters in I began to suspect that not all was as it seemed, but just what was wrong eluded me, even after the hints began to drop, I was too involved with Ann, I
This book was obviously researched, pulled from an interesting time in both medical and criminal history, yet fell short of the mark on many levels. It was full of typos which is a bad bad thing. The switching point of view was very clumsily done. There were enough anachronisms, or at least things that (even if they can be researched and maybe deemed accurate, even though unexpectedly so) appear to be anachronisms, that it was distracting. Moreover, I thought the telling was unnecessarily comple ...more
A kindle freebie which caught my eye. I certainly found the story, ostensibly a sad tale of post natal depression in the late Victorian period leading to the incarceration of the young mother in Bedlam, to be a page turner. However as the story progressed I found the narrative increasingly confusing and was irritated the fact that some of the chapter headings..... I.e. Dates the incidents took place....were clearly wrong. The author explains that the book is based on a true story. It would have ...more
Claire Youmans
Mar 29, 2014 rated it liked it
The plotting is fabulous. The story behind the story, which is what the author said her point was, is interesting, hidden, and does need to be told. I only wish it held greater prominence in the narrative. This is the part that was meticulously researched. This is the part that I trust. However, the book was spoiled for me by a plethora of anachronisms, use of modern jargon, incorrect use of titles, factual errors regarding the legal system -- I know, I know: nobody wants to know how the legal s ...more
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Rachel Florence Roberts was born in Liverpool. She was inspired to write The Medea Complex after suffering with postnatal depression, following the birth of her son. The Medea Complex is inspired by true events that occurred towards the end of the 19th century, and is Rachel’s first novel.

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