When a rare mental disorder begins to consume his small-town neighbors, a young psychiatrist digs up the past for clues to the epidemic’s bone-chilling source in this brilliant supernatural horror debut, written in the bestselling tradition of Peter Straub.
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 from the town’s wicked history. Thayer must discover the source of the spreading plague…before there is no one left to save. – Goodreads.com
This book isn’t exactly what I expected based on the description – a pandemic, possibly possession – that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy most of it.
The small town with a private school and families with roots that go back for generations is a perfect setting, and this story contains some genuinely chilling and disturbing moments. I liked the combination of crime/supernatural fiction and cared about most of the characters.
The romance that develops was a surprise and came across as more creepy/obsessive than anything else – it didn’t serve a purpose and felt out of place. I also found it confusing that several secondary characters had the same names (2 Elizabeths, 2 Marcuses, and 2 Matts) and had to go back a few times to double check things.
While this book held my attention for the most part, it’s more of an interesting read rather than exceptional. If you’re a fan of supernatural mysteries, I’d recommend The Binding. This book is scheduled for publication June 28th, 2016.
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.