Published by Killer Reads
Available in ebook & Audio (31 May) | paperback (22 August 2019)
Source: Netgalley copy provided by publisher for review
I’m delighted to be sharing my review of Dead Inside, Noelle Holten’s debut crime thriller and my thanks to Sarah Hardy of Book on the Bright Side Publicity for the tour invitation. My apologies to both Sarah and Noelle, my review has been delayed due to technical reasons.
About the Book
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?
I don’t suppose there would be too many people shedding a tear when a domestic abuser is found murdered however in this debut thriller, DC Maggie Jamieson has a mammoth task on her hands when the body count keeps rising from a killer who covers their tracks extremely well.
Interwoven with the police investigation is the story of Lucy, a probation officer, and because of her job, is well known to the members of the police investigation team. Dealing with offenders, including these domestic abusers, gives Lucy a clear connection with the murder victims. Outwardly Lucy would seem to be the last person that might be a suspect however she has a secret of her own which she is desperately trying to hide from her colleagues.
Being a former probation officer, the author clearly had this story nailed. There was enough detail of procedure for authenticity without being overwhelming but more importantly, the story was interesting, with just the right amount of intrigue and pace and left you finishing each chapter keen to know what happened next. I did have a few suspects in mind and there were some really nasty characters who I was hoping would come to a sticky end.
There are a lot of characters to get to grips with fairly quickly at the beginning of the story, and it took me a little while to remember who was working in which area. I did think at one stage that the story seemed to be mainly about Lucy and I wondered when Maggie was going to feature more but once she did, she certainly made her mark. She was the ‘newbie’ in the DAHU (Domestic Abuse and Homicide Unit – a newly created team which is having to prove itself), having been transferred from another police unit and it didn’t take her long to find her feet. I thought she was a really strong character, she was tactful but decisive in handling difficult colleagues, and I would certainly like to see her feature in future stories. She clearly has a backstory with a previous case which sounds particularly nasty and which is teasingly referred to – I can’t wait to read more about this!
Domestic abuse is a very difficult subject to write about, especially the effect it has on the victims, but the author has carried this off with sensitivity. There is some violence in the story, there has to be for the story to work, but it is not gratuitous and never over the top.
Dead Inside is a very strong debut which deserves great success. I look forward to reading more from this very talented author.
If you are interested in reading the book for yourself, then the ebook is currently available from Amazon UK for just 99p – and for that price it’s a steal!
About the Author
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.