Book Review: The Binding Room by Nadine Matheson

Book Review: The Binding Room by Nadine Matheson

I received a free digital copy of The Binding Room from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis:

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.

Both fans of The Jigsaw Man and readers coming to Matheson’s work for the first time will get swept away in this heart-pounding thriller. 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.

My Review:

The Binding Room was my number one most anticipated book of 2022 so I was ecstatic to get an advanced digital copy from the publisher! Thank you Hanover Square Press! With that being said, I was almost nervous going into this one, hoping and praying that it would live up to the perfection of Matheson’s first book The Jigsaw Man and I am happy to report that it did! It absolutely did!

There are so many elements to gush about with this book and this series. First off, it was a delight to get to spend more time with Inspector Henley and her humble and lovable partner Ramouter. Book two gave even more personal story to these two characters and I loved getting that vulnerable side to each of them and I look forward to reading more about them in future book in the series.

The plot of The Binding Room left me in awe of Matheson’s ability to string together so many loose threads that all add to the plot and the mystery, without any red herrings. Every piece of information has a place somewhere in the mystery. Nothing is left to waste, and I absolutely love that. Nothing annoys me more in a book than to have an author spent copious amounts of time and pages feeding the reader clues that end up having nothing to do with the final outcome. I always feel like I wasted my time with a book like that. The Binding Room obviously does not do that, Matheson is an incredibly talented crime fiction writer and I would compare her mysteries to the Lars Kepler Joona Linna series, in case you need a good reference.

This book is a long one, but it is so worth it. I will always read any crime fiction Matheson puts out! I have a feeling she will soon become one of the household names in the genre!

Book Review: The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson

Book Review: The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson

Synopsis:

On the day she returns to active duty with the Serial Crimes Unit, Detective Inspector Anjelica Henley is called to a crime scene. Dismembered body parts from two victims have been found by the river.

The modus operandi bears a striking resemblance to Peter Olivier, the notorious Jigsaw Killer, who has spent the past two years behind bars. When he learns that someone is co-opting his grisly signature—the arrangement of victims’ limbs in puzzle-piece shapes—he decides to take matters into his own hands.

As the body count rises, DI Anjelica Henley is faced with an unspeakable new threat. Can she apprehend the copycat killer before Olivier finds a way to get to him first? Or will she herself become the next victim?

Drawing on her experience as a criminal attorney, debut novelist Nadine Matheson delivers the page-turning crime novel of the year. Taut, vivid and addictively sinister, The Jigsaw Man will leave you breathless until the very last page.

My Review:

Let me start by saying that The Jigsaw Man is the best book I have read so far in 2021! Yes, that good! Let me follow that up with a trigger warnings: this one is on the violent side. The serial killer being tracked is pretty brutal, and his crimes are described in the book. The descriptions are not over the top gruesome, however Matheson doesn’t hold back, either. If that is hard for you, consider yourself warned.

So what made this my favorite book of the year? Quite a few things! First, the character development is fantastic. In the police procedural style mystery novels, many times the main detectives and characters are described in terms of their jobs. The reader gets to know what history they have as a detective, and often times he or she may have trauma spawning from difficult cases in the past. In The Jigsaw Man, we get all that but so much more. DI Anjelica Henley had such a realness to her that I actually found extremely relatable! She is a married, working mom, just like so many of us, and is also struggling to balance it all. Bring in her trainee Ramouter and the dynamic blossoms even more! When Ramouter joins the case as Henely’s trainee, she is less that enthusiastic, yet as they work together a bond forms and she finds out that Ramouter is not only a good detective but a good person. I loved watching their relationship grow and cannot wait to see where they are heading in the next book!

At just under 500 pages, I was a little wary. Did this mystery really need all those pages to find a killer? The answer is yes! I didn’t get bored once, something was happening on literally every page and I just could not read this book fast enough! The plot is one of the most intricate and well planned out that I have ever read, and I was also able to easily follow along. Some of the more complex detective novels can get a little confusing, but not The Jigsaw Man. Everything fit and made sense and the ending is left as a very unusually cliffhanger. I am anxiously awaiting book 2!

Unfortunately, I feel like I write the worst reviews for the best books, I just want to say I LOVED IT over and over! I hope I did this one justice, it really is so incredibly good!