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The Binding Room

Gruesome and gripping, a perfect crime thriller

Book title

The Binding Room

Author

Nadine Matheson

Standalone or series

Series (book two in the DI Henley series)

First time reading this author?

Yes

Why I picked this

I haven’t read a book with the online book club Pigeonhole very often recently, and this was the only one of their upcoming books which appealed.

Review copy or purchase

Thank you to the author, publisher HQ, and online book club The Pigeonhole for the chance to read this. This is an honest and voluntary review.

What it’s about

Called to investigate the murder of a Pastor in his church, things get complicated for Detective Inspector Anjelica Henley when a second man is discovered bound, tortured and on the brink of death in a hidden room of the same building. How does it impact an investigation when the victim of one crime is the prime suspect in another?

Review

Gruesome and gripping this is an excellent crime thriller. It’s the second in a series featuring detective Anjelica Henley, but there’s just the right amount of detail to explain what’s necessary to understand as background without feeling that I needed to read book one first. I do need to read book one, but that’s got everything to do with the quality of the writing and characters rather than to understand the plot of this second instalment .

Henley and her team are still recovering from their interactions with a killer who threatened and harmed them, and there’s a theme throughout about the impact this has on their personal relationships and mental wellbeing. But, crime doesn’t stop and they are thrust into the midst of two new investigations when the murder of a Pastor from a non-traditional church also uncovers a young man bound and tortured on the church premises and barely clinging to life.

From the very beginning this grabbed me. The author pulls no punches in her descriptions of what the victims go through and this really increases the sense of jeopardy and tension throughout. The plot also deals with some really weighty issues around mental illness, post traumatic stress, coercive abuse and racism. It’s a delicate balancing act to build a crime thriller around these topics without ever feeling exploitative or lapsing into easy generalisations for the sake of plotting.

A great read and the previous book The Jigsaw Man will be making its way on to my must read soon list.

Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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