Source: Review copy
Publication: 7 July 2022 from HQ
My thanks to HQ for an advance copy for review
In this room, no one can hear you scream…
The Serial Crimes Unit are called in to investigate when a local pastor is found stabbed to death. As DI Henley assesses the crime scene, she discovers a hidden door that conceals a room set up for torture – and bound to the bed in the middle of the room is the body of a man.
When another body is found, also tied down, Henley realises there’s someone out there torturing innocent people and leaving them for dead. But why?
There’s nothing that connects the victims. They didn’t know each other. Their paths never crossed. But someone has targeted them, and it’s up to Henley and the SCU to stop them before they find another binding room…
I loved The Jigsaw Man, the first book in this series and this follow-up is an excellent addition to what I sincerely hope will become a long running series.
Set in Deptford in South East London, this police procedural features a diverse set of characters whose personal lives and character you do get to know quite well and that helps to cement them and their personalities in your mind. D.I. Anjelica Henley and her partner Salim Ramouter of the Serial Crimes Unit are both struggling with a mix of personal issues and serious trauma resulting from events in The Jigsaw Man.
The Binding Room is a meaty read and comes with all the visceral, gritty scenes that fit so well into this beautifully plotted dark and sometimes very gory read. I found it compelling reading with beautifully realised characters, a complex web of related incidents and a background that resonates with realism and takes us through some serious issues including racism and the way in which the police force is often, quite rightly, suspiciously regarded by local communities.
There’s also a strong thread running through this book of the paucity of help available to those with mental health problems and the way in which the vulnerable can be exploited.
A cleaner, Uliana Piontek discovers the brutally murdered body of Pastor Caleb Annan in his Deptford church. Searching the church, DI Henley makes another gruesome discovery. In a hidden room, no bigger than a cupboard, a young man lies unmoving, chained to a bare bed, beaten and bruised, his life fast extinguishing.
As the team investigate both crimes, they come up against many barriers and under political and community pressure. Their investigations lead them to other crimes that must be related, but it’s not obvious how they can be. Added to the personal pressures that both Henley and Ramouter are under, this pressure and the media scrutiny results in tension and fraught nerves.
Almost no-one is telling the whole truth in this tense and compelling crime thriller that builds layers upon layers like an oil painting with 3 dimensional aspects. It is rich and varied, and slashed through with scarlet.
Verdict: Another smashing and immersive read from Nadine Matheson who knows how to build a multi-layered and complex thriller that grips like a vice.
Nadine Matheson has always been passionate about writing and storytelling. She was born and lives in London and is a Criminal Solicitor. In 2016, she won the City University Crime Writing Competition and completed the Creative Writing (Crime/Thriller Novels) MA at City University of London with Distinction in 2018.