Publication Date: Available Now from Mulholland
Source: Purchased Copy
Dr Janet Palmer is the new lead psychologist at HMP Halvergate in a remote, bleak area of Norfolk. At first, she was excited by the promotion. Then she starts to see how many secrets are hiding behind the high walls.
A string of inmates have committed suicide, leaving no reasons why, and her predecessor has disappeared – along with his notes. The staff are hostile, the threat of violence is ever-present, and there are rumours of an eyeless woman stalking the corridors, punishing the inmates for their sins.
Janet is determined to find out what is really going on. But the longer she stays and the deeper she digs, the more uncertain she feels.
Halvergate is haunted by something. But it may be a terror worse than ghosts…
The Binding Song is brilliantly compelling, eminently creepy and one of those books that has you looking over your shoulder and eyeing strangers oddly as if they might suddenly leap up and shout BOO.
Or maybe that’s just me.
Anyway, the story is utterly riveting, also extraordinarily haunting as you follow Janet, new recruit at Halvergate prison, trying to untangle the web of deceit left behind by her predecessor. Something evil stalks the corridors here but is it a human evil or something beyond our knowledge of the world? Well that is the question….
Elodie Harper keeps things off kilter as she explores some of the darkest minds, not all of them belonging to the prisoners. There is a real sense of menace pervading the narrative that creeps up on you unexpectedly and the play between the real and imagined is cleverly manipulated so you are not sure what to believe. Terrific writing with a real storytelling talent, The Binding Song is highly addictive and likely to keep you up at night so you can just read that one more chapter.
The ending is perfectly placed to match the feel of the rest of the novel, eerie and memorable, one of those that stays with you and leaves you pondering the state between fantasy and reality. I loved it. Unsettling and enthralling.
Overall a truly excellent debut that promises so much for the future. I can’t wait to see what Elodie Harper writes next. Stephen King should probably start upping his game…