Title: Dead Inside (Maggie Jamieson Crime Thriller, Book 1)
Author: Noelle Holten
Publisher: Killer Reads
Publication Date: 31 May 2019
Thanks to Sarah from Books on the Bright Side and Killer Reads for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for Dead Inside, book 1 in the Maggie Jamieson series by debut author Noelle Holten. I am delighted to be one of today’s stop on the tour, along with my fellow bloggers – Grace J Reviewerlady, Curled Up With a Good Book and Zooloo’s Book Diary.
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 is the first book in a new crime fiction series following Detective Constable Maggi Jamieson and her team at the Domestic Abuse and Homicide Unit (DAHU). The author has a background working as a Senior Probation Officer and it is obvious that the author is writing about what she knows. There is great sense of authenticity to this story.
The first point to mention is the character development. The main character is Lucy, probation officer and abused wife. It’s difficult to imagine someone with such inner strength of character suffering at the hands of an abusive husband and yet, it felt real. I felt a real connection with Lucy’s character. Whilst I have always had sympathy for victims of domestic abuse, for the first time I felt that I understood how those victims allow themselves to remain in such horrendous situations, despite otherwise being strong, intelligent and logical people. Lucy’s relationship with Patrick was fascinating and thought-provoking, albeit somewhat upsetting. It worries me to think that I might know people in a similar situation who don’t feel that they can ask for help.
The addition of PC Kat Everett as a secondary character was a good move by the author. PC Everett adds a few dashes of humour to the story, with her bad language and ill-judged comments. I imagine that dealing day in and day out with victims of such crimes must sometimes make it difficult for police officers to strike the right balance between their official duties and their emotions. Gallows humour must be a common way of diffusing some very emotive situations. I felt that the author dealt with this issue subtly and sympathetically.
The second point to mention is the two-pronged plot. The first plotline is a psychological drama focusing on domestic abuse, an emotive and hard-hitting subject. It provides some insight as to how abusers get away with their actions – the psychological grip they have over their victims and the gradual increase in violence. The second plotline is a traditional murder mystery focusing on DC Jamieson’s efforts to locate the murderer of several local men. The story quickly reeled me in and the great pace kept me hooked. It is well-paced and very tightly plotted. I must admit to being completely baffled as to who the perpetrator was. I had a few theories as the book progressed, however the ending did prove somewhat of a surprise.
I know this review is quite short, however I am loathe to give away any details that may spoil the story – this really is one book you should read yourself! It is a clever, tense and thought-provoking book. A dark, gritty and absolutely gripping story, with a very satisfying ending. I would happily recommend Dead Inside to anyone who enjoys a psychological drama, a gritty murder mystery or a police procedural. A brilliant debut from Noelle Holten and definitely an author to watch out for in the future – in fact I believe book 2 in the series, Dead Wrong, is due for release in November 2019!
About the Author
Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at http://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and was 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 book love 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.
If my review of Dead Inside has captured your attention, why not check out the other stops on the blog tour? Details as listed below.