The Binding Room

After reading and loving Matheson's debut
The Jigsaw Man last year (a book I continue to recommend to my library customers), I was more than a little excited to receive an advanced copy of The Binding Room, the second book in her Anjelica Henley series.

This sequel begins in the aftermath of The Jigsaw Man as readers witness the impact and trauma Henley and her team continue to feel after the last case. Henley's team is soon dispatched to a new crime scene with a murder and a gruesome discovery and find themselves, once again, in a terrifying game of cat and mouse with a ruthless killer.

Matheson, a criminal defense solicitor in London, quickly pulls her readers into this well-paced and completely engaging police procedural. The crime scene descriptions are grisly and not for the squeamish and Matheson excels at building tension and giving readers well-developed and believably flawed characters. By including the complicated home lives of Henley and her team, readers will find themselves invested not only in the resolution of the crime but witnessing how the job impacts the personal lives of the squad.

The inclusion of societal issues of racism, mental illness and the more contentious aspects of religion add interest and are incorporated well into the story. These subjects will give book clubs great fodder for discussion.

The Binding Room could be read as a standalone, but I'd recommend reading The Jigsaw Man first for a better understanding of the impact that case had on Henley and her team and how that experience has bound this group tightly together. I highly recommend this series for fans of dark and gritty police procedurals who like to get to know the characters behind the police badge. I eagerly look forward to the next book in this series.

Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to the publisher Hanover Square Press for my advanced copy of this book which was provided in exchange for my honest review.

My Rating: 4 stars
Author: Nadine Matheson
Genre: Suspense
Series: #2 in the Anjelica Henley series
Type and Source: eBook from publisher via NetGalley
Publisher: Hanover Square Press
First Published: July 12, 2022

Book Description from GoodReadsDetective Anjelica Henley confronts a series of ritualistic murders in this heart-pounding thriller about race, power and the corrupt institutions that threaten us

When Detective Anjelica Henley is called to investigate the murder of a 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 shows 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 deftly explores issues of race, class and justice through an action-packed story that will hold you captive until the last terrifying page.