“The killer is just getting started…
When three wife beaters are themselves found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.
The police suspect that Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood – who is connected to all three victims – is hiding a dark secret. Then a fourth domestic abuser is brutally murdered.
And he is Lucy’s husband.
Now the police are running out of time, but can Maggie really believe her friend Lucy is a cold-blooded killer?”
It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the blog today and to my stop on the Dead Inside blog tour. Dead Inside is one of my most eagerly anticipated books of 2019. Partly due to the fact the blurb sounds brilliant and partly due to the fact that the author is the fabulous Noelle Holten of CrimeBookJunkie. I received a free eARC of Dead Inside via NetGalley but that has in no way influenced my review.
Dead Inside is the first book in the DC Maggie Jamieson series set in Staffordshire, and Noelle Holten’s debut. From the harrowing prologue to the books big reveal, I was on the edge of my seat. What shines from the pages is the author’s knowledge of her subject matter having worked as a senior probation officer for many years. I’m guessing that Noelle has probably seen it all! I also found the probation aspects of the storyline absolutely fascinating as I can’t bring to mind another crime novel that focusses so strongly on this particular part of the criminal justice system.
Following a particularly difficult case involving the apprehension of a serial killer, DC Maggie Jamieson is temporarily transferred to the new Domestic Abuse and Homicide Unit (DAHU). Not long into her first shift she and her colleagues are called to investigate a murder. The victim is a known offender with a history of violence towards his partners. The attack seems personal and all avenues need to be investigated so PC Mark Fielding gets in touch with probation officer, Lucy Sherwood. As the story progressed I found myself focussing less on the police team and more on Lucy. Lucy lives a double life. By day she’s a kick-ass probation officer staring down the most hardened criminals. By night she returns home to her vile, abusive husband who torments her physically and emotionally. My heart broke for the character. Trapped because she had convinced herself that staying in the relationship would be the best thing for her husband’s young daughter. This may be the first book in the DC Maggie Jamieson series but Maggie isn’t in the spotlight here. It’s all about Lucy, just as it should be.
The other characters in the book are a good mix of people you warm to and people you instantly loathe (it’s really not hard to loathe the abusers in this book!). I did struggle a little at times with the characters names as the author has used the names of several book bloggers, people I know in ‘real life’. I found it difficult to picture the character without seeing the ‘real life’ person. Holten isn’t the first person to do this – it happens a lot – but the number of names used is far greater in Dead Inside. I felt I had to try a little harder to visualise someone different in my mind.
The big reveal was a complete shock and one I really didn’t expect. But I loved it! It felt so satisfying. The way the situation was also dealt with by the characters involved was also brilliant. I loved the total lack of shame or reproach – wonderful stuff! I was able to guess where another of the big storylines was going but I thoroughly enjoyed the way it played out and knowing what was coming didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book.
Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. It’s a great start to what promises to be an exciting new series written by an exciting new talent in crime fiction. The ending of Dead Inside is set up beautifully for book two in the series and I’m already very intrigued. I can’t wait to get my mitts on a copy. A compelling read with some fascinating characters at its heart. Emotional, raw and a complete page-turner. Recommended.
I chose to read and review an eARC of Dead Inside. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
Dead Inside by Noelle Holten was published in the UK by Killer Reads on 31st May 2019 and is available in eBook and audio formats with the paperback to follow in August (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links which mean I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | BookDepository | Goodreads |
Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of cases including those involving serious domestic abuse. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, author-stalking and sharing the booklove via her blog.
Dead Inside is her debut novel with Killer Reads/Harper Collins UK and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.