Thank you NetGalley and Gallery Books for providing an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: June 28th, 2016
Synopsis: Convinced that evil spirits have overtaken his daughter, a desperate father introduces her to Nat Thayer, a young psychiatrist in their sleepy blue-blooded Massachusetts college town. Thayer quickly diagnoses the girl with Cotard Delusion, an obscure condition sometimes described as “walking corpse syndrome”. But Thayer soon realizes his patient–and many of the local families–are actually being targeted by a malignant force resurrected by the town’s wicked history. Thayer must discover the source of the spreading plague…before there is no one left to save.
As soon as I read the premise for this book I knew I had to read it. A horror tale set in the state where I live, and what sounded like a neat twist on zombies. What could possibly could go wrong? Sadly plenty. In fact, so much so that I struggled to finish this. The first problem are the characters, in particular Nat who I found not only unlikable but creepy as well. He’s in his mid-thirties yet lusts after one of his patients who’s nineteen. Yes she’s of legal age, but barely. Plus he’s her doctor for goodness sake! She’s either mentally ill or possessed by an evil spirit. Either way, his romantic feelings toward her leave much to be desired. His best friend John, who’s a police officer comes off marginally better, but as a whole is flat and uninspiring. His six-year-old son Charlie was my favorite character in the story, but in my opinion Wolff didn’t do nearly enough with him. What really almost made me stop reading though was this scene in a morgue of an attendant fondling a dead co-worker he had just found. If this had any meaning behind it, or some kind of connection to the rest of the story, I wouldn’t have had a problem with it. Instead, it seemed as though it was written for pure shock value, which annoyed and disgusted me. I settled on the 2 star rating because I did like the part of the book which takes us back to Haiti in the early 1900s (through the reading of a journal), where the actions of certain Northam natives, who are soldiers there, set into play the evil which is taking so many lives. I thought the author did a good job capturing the time period, but it just wasn’t enough for me. When I finally dragged myself to the end, the outcome was both predictable and unsatisfying. While The Binding wasn’t my cup of tea, it has received some positive reviews on Goodreads. So, if you’re a fan of horror that features unique twists on zombies and voodoo, I encourage you to try this. Hopefully you’ll have a better reading experience than I did.