Blog Tour and Book Review: The Binding Room by Nadine Matheson

A Henley Thriller
Author: Nadine Matheson
Publication Date: July 12, 2022
Publisher: Hanover Square Press

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Book Summary:

Detective Anjelica Henley confronts a series of ritualistic murders in this heart-pounding thriller about race, power and the corrupt institutions that threaten us for fans of S.A. Crosby and Tami Hoag

When Detective Anjelica Henley is called to investigate the murder of popular preacher in his own church, she discovers a second victim, tortured and tied to a bed in an upstairs room. He is alive, but barely, and his body show signs of a dark religious ritual.

With a revolving list of suspects and the media spotlight firmly on her, Henley is left with more questions than answers as she attempts to untangle both crimes. But when another body appears, the case takes on a new urgency. Unless she can apprehend the killer, the next victim may just be Henley herself.

Drawing on her experiences as a criminal attorney, Nadine Matheson’s new novel deftly explores issues of race, class and justice through an action-packed story that will hold you captive until the last terrifying page.

My review:

Sweet mother of pearl, WHAT A RIDE.

The Binding Room is a dark, twisty, compelling police procedural, the second in Nadine Matheson’s Inspector Anjelica Henley series. I haven’t read the first, but I don’t feel like my reading of this one suffered for it.

DI Anjelica Henley has a lot on her plate. She’s dealing with the loss of a loved one, the fallout from an affair with her superior, and PTSD from her near-death experience at the hands of a suspect on a previous investigation. But all that has to take a back seat when a young woman goes to her job cleaning a church and finds the pastor, ostensibly a respected pillar of the community, brutally murdered. The SCU is called in to investigate. But when another person is found bound and clearly subjected to torture in a hidden room of the church, the SCU must also consider whether the pastor was victimizer as well as victim.

First, let me say that this isn’t a book for the faint of heart. It deals with some fairly gory descriptions of injuries, and it covers the topics of abuse and mental health in a way that might be unsettling or upsetting for some. It also portrays an ostensibly Christian church in a less than flattering light.

But if those things don’t put you off reading, this is a nail-biter of a story. This isn’t just one murder, it’s several, and the SCU has to figure out how they all tie together. A horrifying picture unfolds of unthinkable acts committed under the guise of exorcisms. But worse still, one of the victims had recently given birth. Where is her baby? In the hands of a killer?

Matheson’s background in the criminal arena shines through. You don’t write this kind of story this well without having some personal experience in the matter. With the way the SCU was written, though, as a team who have each other’s backs even when they’re giving each other good-natured grief, I would have pegged her for a prosecutor (I was one in a former work incarnation). She paints a thorough picture of police procedure and the criminal justice system.

The story is set in London, and there are a few terms and acronyms that might not be familiar to someone who hasn’t operated within the UK legal system. I was able to gather the meaning of those from context pretty well, and the jargon didn’t keep me from reading at speed and well past my bedtime.

The Binding Room is a five-star read for me. Dark, twisty, and absolutely enthralling. I look forward to reading more from Nadine Matheson!

About the author:

Nadine Matheson is a criminal defense attorney and winner of the City University Crime Writing competition. She lives in London, UK.

This entry was posted in ARC Reads, Blog Tours, Book Reviews, Crime Fiction, Detective Fiction, Harlequin Blog Tours, NetGalley, Suspense, Thriller and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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