‘Kept me hooked … excellent pace and a very satisfying ending’ Angela Marsons
‘An excellent read’ Martina Cole
‘A brilliant debut – gritty, dark and chilling. Noelle Holten knows her stuff’ Mel Sherratt
A dark and gripping debut crime novel – the first in a stunning new series – from a huge new talent.
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?
Dead Inside by Noelle Holten is the first book in the DC Maggie Jamieson series and it had me hooked right from the first page!
Maggie is newly appointed to the Domestic Abuse and Homicide Unit after a particularly disturbing case in the murder investigation unit. Maggie is about to hit the ground running in the DAHU when three domestic abuse offenders are found murdered. All points in the investigation lead back to Lucy, a probation officer who knew all three victims. But, Lucy is hiding her own secrets regarding her own marriage to her husband Patrick. Is Lucy behind the murders or is there someone else handing out justice?
This story is so intense and so dark. Noelle Holten really shines a light on victims of domestic abuse as well as the perpetrators. I love how Holten shows both sides of domestic abuse from both the victim and the perpetrator. I found myself getting angry at the abuse portrayed in this story to the point where I was glad the abusers were dead. I always have a hard time understand why women stay with men who are physically and emotionally abusive, but Holten really sheds light on the realities and mindset of women who are abused by the men they love and also gets into the psychology of why some women stay. It is definitely a hard read at times, but also quite eye opening as well.
There are a lot of characters in this story, but there is one thing that Holten exceeds at and that is working new characters slowly into the story and giving the reader a background into the character which I found to be really helpful for me in remembering who everyone is. I often have trouble with this especially if I am bombarded with a ton of names within the first 50 pages of a book and always find myself scrolling back a few pages having to reread to get all the characters straight in my head. With that being said, I actually enjoyed the multiple storylines running through this story and how Holten tied all of the stories together so easily.
While a good part of the story is about Lucy, I feel that we only scratched the very tip of Maggie’s story. Maggie is still reeling from a previous case that often still gives her nightmares. We also get the chance to delve a bit into her personal life briefly. I am really looking forward to learning more about maggie as the series progresses.
The murder mystery is really done so brilliantly. With so many characters having a motive, it was very hard for me to determine who the killer really was. There were a few characters I went back and forth on but Holten throws in a lot of red herrings meant to confuse the reader and keep you guessing. When the reveal finally came I was well and truly shocked.
Dead Inside by Noelle Holten takes on a harrowing look at domestic violence that will evoke strong emotions that is chilling right to the bone. Darkly written and full of twists, this story will stay with you after the last page is read. What a fantastic debut and I definitely cannot wait to read more!
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.
Twitter: (@nholten40) https://twitter.com/nholten40
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18489795.Noelle_Holten