Dead Inside (Maggie Jamieson, #1)
‘An excellent read’ Martina ColeA dark and gripping debut crime novel – the first in a stunning new series – from a huge new talent.‘Kept me hooked … excellent pace and a very satisfying ending’ Angela MarsonsWhen three domestic abuse offenders are 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 finger of suspicion points at Lucy and the police are running out of time. Can Maggie and her team solve the murders before another person dies? And is Lucy really a cold-blooded killer?

Dead Inside (Maggie Jamieson, #1) Details

TitleDead Inside (Maggie Jamieson, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 31st, 2019
PublisherKiller Reads
Rating
GenreThriller, Mystery, Crime

Dead Inside (Maggie Jamieson, #1) Review

  • Paromjit
    January 1, 1970
    Noelle Holten's debut crime fiction certainly packs an emotionally intense punch as she takes us into the world of domestic violence, abusive relationships, dysfunctional families, and damaged individuals. Holten takes us into the lives and interior worlds of both perpetrators and victims, outlining why victims might find it so hard to leave their horrifying relationships, even when they should know better. Whilst this series is billed as the DC Maggie Jamieson series, in this book the central c Noelle Holten's debut crime fiction certainly packs an emotionally intense punch as she takes us into the world of domestic violence, abusive relationships, dysfunctional families, and damaged individuals. Holten takes us into the lives and interior worlds of both perpetrators and victims, outlining why victims might find it so hard to leave their horrifying relationships, even when they should know better. Whilst this series is billed as the DC Maggie Jamieson series, in this book the central character really is probation officer, Lucy Sherwood, as unusually we are given an authentic picture of the probation service and its role in managing dangerous abusers. The reason why the portrayal of the probation service is so realistic is that the author has extensive experience of working within it.Maggie has just joined the Domestic Abuse and Homicide Unit (DAHU) in Staffordshire, after the effects of a previous case involving Bill Raven under DI Abigail Rutherford. DAHU takes a multi-agency teamwork approach to the problematic issues surrounding abuse, and is led by DI Joseph Calleja and DS Jim Hooper. The unit includes PC Mark Fielding who liaises with and built a strong relationship with Lucy, PC Kat Everett and the new addition of criminal psychologist, Dr Kate Moloney. Apart from working with the probation office, on the team is Sharon Bairden, a advocate for victims. The police unit finds itself under overwhelming pressure as someone is murdering men with a history of abusing women, killing them in particularly gruesome and brutal ways, is there a vigilante on the loose? The only connection that emerges is that they were all being supervised Lucy, could she possibly be involved? The narrative gives us the perspectives of a wide range of individuals, including Shell, a woman who runs a cleaning company, and Lucy's volatile, controlling and manipulative husband. Patrick Quinn. Holten's writing is skilful in creating a claustrophobic intense atmosphere, achieved primarily with the characters that she creates. She has us feeling for and rooting for Lucy working in a tough environment in trying to keep a handle on many of her terrifying clientele. The scary and menacing mind set of the abusers gives us a picture of what abusers can be like and their dangerous personalities, and just how far they will go. DAHU has teething problems in trying to make the multi-agency approach work, whilst at the same time trying to get to the bottom of who is killing abusers. This is a dark and unsettling debut, as might be expected from the subject matter, but it is never less than compulsive reading. Many thanks to Harper Impulse and Killer Reads for an ARC.
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  • sue
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve been anticipating this book for so long.If you are a book blogger you will understand why I said that.This is a debut novel, first in a series and boy oh boy what an example of a high standard of work here. It would easily shoot up in the ranks of Best Selling Authors who are already established. The storyline is fierce, prompt, has pitch, power and pace, just the way I like it to keep my reader juices salivating to read more.Lucy who is a probation officer for domestic violence is also exp I’ve been anticipating this book for so long.If you are a book blogger you will understand why I said that.This is a debut novel, first in a series and boy oh boy what an example of a high standard of work here. It would easily shoot up in the ranks of Best Selling Authors who are already established. The storyline is fierce, prompt, has pitch, power and pace, just the way I like it to keep my reader juices salivating to read more.Lucy who is a probation officer for domestic violence is also experiencing this herself in her home life. We see how this affects her and her job.Maggie and her team are investigating several men going missing then things turn to more towards Lucy because the 4th man to go missing is Lucy’s husband.It’s an intense fast paced read that will keep you turning pages.There are a lot of characters that are introduced in quite a short time, but I was able to follow.The only thing I had to get my head around were the familiar names in the book. Too many whom I knew on the net that for me knocked off one star.Using one or two familiar people would be OK it’s been done plenty of times before, I’ve even been in a book once or twice, I just felt it was overloaded with familiar “known” people around the net.That said.....Once I got used to seeing them “in character” within the book itself it didn’t tend to matter so much.An excellent read. And I can’t wait to see more from her in book 2*these opinions are mine and may not reflect others*
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  • Berit☀️✨
    January 1, 1970
    ᎴᏗᏒᏦ. ᎴᎥᏕᏖᏬᏒᏰᎥᏁᎶ. ᏰᏒᎥᏝᏝᎥᏗᏁᏖ. Noelle Holten’s debut was dark, disturbing, and brilliant. This is the first book in the DI Maggie Jamison series but it really centered on Lucy a probation officer. Three men have been murdered, three men that were convicted of domestic abuse, three men whose probation officer was Lucy sherwood. When Lucy’s own abusive husband is killed, she becomes the primary suspect. But could Lucy possibly be a killer? And is murder ever justified? This was less of a crime inves ᎴᏗᏒᏦ. ᎴᎥᏕᏖᏬᏒᏰᎥᏁᎶ. ᏰᏒᎥᏝᏝᎥᏗᏁᏖ. Noelle Holten’s debut was dark, disturbing, and brilliant. This is the first book in the DI Maggie Jamison series but it really centered on Lucy a probation officer. Three men have been murdered, three men that were convicted of domestic abuse, three men whose probation officer was Lucy sherwood. When Lucy’s own abusive husband is killed, she becomes the primary suspect. But could Lucy possibly be a killer? And is murder ever justified? This was less of a crime investigation and more of a dark character study of abusers and the abused. Noelle worked for 18 years as a probation officer and I thought this really shown through in this book and gave it some major authenticity. Abuse is a dark and difficult subject, but I think it was handled with a careful hand in this story. I thought it was important that the book really showed you that abuse doesn’t discriminate, anyone regardless of their background or Socio economic status is vulnerable. It is easy to say why don’t you just get out, but unless you have been there I don’t think that is a fair statement. Lucy was such a complex character she had so much strength and yet was so vulnerable. Maggie is a character I am really looking forward to getting to know even better in future books. This was a well told story with a large cast of characters. It took me a while to get all the characters straight. Additionally if you are a book blogger or follow book blogs there are lots of familiar names in this book. This distracted me and took me out of the story quite a few times in the beginning, until it didn’t. And Noelle i’m certain there is a Berit in the next book, right? Murder victim, murderer, best friend of the murderer, I’m not picky! The murder mystery in this book even though it wasn’t as prevalent as I thought it would be it was compelling and I was super surprised by the outcome. Simply put this was a compulsively readable dark tale that will have you coming back for more. Well done Noelle!*** thank you to Harper Impulse for my copy of this book ***
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  • Kim ~ Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    I had anticipated this book was going to be good, I just didn't realize how flipping fantastic it was going to be. OMG I loved it! It was way darker than I expected and that is a winner in my book. The graphic details just made this book really stand out in my mind. Noelle Holten knocked it out of the park with this debut.Admittedly police procedural series are not my favorite go to books, but yet I had to get my hands on this one. What I loved about this is the fine balance between police proce I had anticipated this book was going to be good, I just didn't realize how flipping fantastic it was going to be. OMG I loved it! It was way darker than I expected and that is a winner in my book. The graphic details just made this book really stand out in my mind. Noelle Holten knocked it out of the park with this debut.Admittedly police procedural series are not my favorite go to books, but yet I had to get my hands on this one. What I loved about this is the fine balance between police procedural and the characters lives. I think the author found a fantastic line between the two and gave me everything I was looking for in a book. We have the depth of great character development and yet the shock and horror of the crime scenes. It just gives me a chill thinking back to those crime scenes! Brutal murder after murder are occurring and yet they all have something in common...or shall I say someone in common...Our focus is not only on solving these gruesome murders but also on the life of Lucy Sherwood a probation officer. I feel that this book was so relatable because it showed a clear connection in how you never know what a person is going through. I find that in life many people pick a profession based on their personal experience. Lucy deals with domestic abuse a great deal in her everyday work. Yet she is dealing with her own dark, twisted abusive relationship in her private life. She knows she needs to get out but it is not as easy as one would think. She finds herself falling into the cycle of abuse day after day to her monster of a husband Patrick. Does Lucy finally snap? Is she seeking redemption for the victims at the hands of these predators that she deals with everyday?The research and personal experience was very evident in this debut novel. Brilliant writing, edge of seat terrifying details! The graphic details of the physical and psychological abuse pulled me right in. Both were welcomed by me and I felt necessary to truly understand and being able to empathize with what the victims where going through. I found it an enthralling read that I could not put down. I was shocked towards the ending as I did not see it coming and I feel we were left with a great ending that could lead us right into book number 2! I can't wait to see what Noelle has in store for us next! I highly recommend getting your hands on Dead Inside (perfect title by the way). Just plan on pulling an all nighter and having a hell of a book hangover!
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  • Helga
    January 1, 1970
    A dark, powerful, emotional and compelling and at times an uncomfortable and painful read, Dead Inside is Noelle Holten’s debut novel and is the first in the DC Maggie Jamieson series. The author having been a probation officer herself, the book has an authenticity and a realistic and honest approach to domestic abuse, the abusers and the abused.Three men with a history of violence and domestic abuse are murdered. Is this the work of a vigilante or are the killings more personal? Lucy, who has p A dark, powerful, emotional and compelling and at times an uncomfortable and painful read, Dead Inside is Noelle Holten’s debut novel and is the first in the DC Maggie Jamieson series. The author having been a probation officer herself, the book has an authenticity and a realistic and honest approach to domestic abuse, the abusers and the abused.Three men with a history of violence and domestic abuse are murdered. Is this the work of a vigilante or are the killings more personal? Lucy, who has painful secrets of her own, is a probation officer and has the unenviable job of dealing with the scumbag (excuse my choice of word), every day. The three victims have one thing in common. They all have Lucy as their probation officer. It is up to DC Jamieson and her team to find the answers. But when Lucy’s husband becomes the fourth victim, Maggie fears that the culprit they are looking for may be someone they know quite well.Well done Noelle!Thanks to the author, Harper Impulse and Killer Reads and the NetGalley for an advanced copy.
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  • Louise Wilson
    January 1, 1970
    DC Maggie Jamieson #1This is the author, Noelle Holten's debut novel. Three domestic abuse offenders have been found dead. Maggie Jamieson is new to the Domestic Evidence Unit. Her first case is to investigate and find out who has beaten the offenders to death. Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood has connection to the three men. Lucy also has a secret,that no one, not even her friends know, she also suffers from domestic abuse from her husband. Noelle Holten was a social worker before becoming a wri DC Maggie Jamieson #1This is the author, Noelle Holten's debut novel. Three domestic abuse offenders have been found dead. Maggie Jamieson is new to the Domestic Evidence Unit. Her first case is to investigate and find out who has beaten the offenders to death. Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood has connection to the three men. Lucy also has a secret,that no one, not even her friends know, she also suffers from domestic abuse from her husband. Noelle Holten was a social worker before becoming a writer and she has used the knowledge she acquired doing the job and put it into this well written book. This is a tense and fast paced read. Maggie and her team have tough challenge to solve. The characters were true to life. Not a subject matter that will suit everyone. A little predictable at times but overall a well written debut novel from an author to look out for.I would like to thank NetGalley, Harper Impulse & Killer Reads and the author Noelle Holten for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Mark
    January 1, 1970
    Insightful, moving and dramatic!Lucy is a probation officer, dealing often with men who have beaten their wives and are still a threat to them....but Lucy also has her own terrible hidden secret from colleagues and friends...3 of these men are found murdered, Maggie Jamieson is on the case, but is anyone really that bothered about these evil men being murdered, and who could have actually done what many had threatened.....Lucy seems to be the ideal suspect, but is she a bit too ideal...The book Insightful, moving and dramatic!Lucy is a probation officer, dealing often with men who have beaten their wives and are still a threat to them....but Lucy also has her own terrible hidden secret from colleagues and friends...3 of these men are found murdered, Maggie Jamieson is on the case, but is anyone really that bothered about these evil men being murdered, and who could have actually done what many had threatened.....Lucy seems to be the ideal suspect, but is she a bit too ideal...The book is a fascinating, often harrowing and a very real to life story of domestic abuse, abusers, victims and the Police and Probation work and workers and how they all fits together when the above mentioned murders happenThe detail and obvious knowledge of the Probation Service makes the book flawless in that respect and gives a very clear understanding of what it is like to work in the service, this was intriguing to me as a reader with little knowledge of itSadly the abuse side of the story, how it affects victims and how their lives are is also very close to the author and I found this very moving and powerfulThe story is in quick easy to read chapters and once you get to know all the characters flows well and moves quicklyA book that you can read and say ‘this author knows 100% what she is talking about’ via her experiences, well written and a great start to a series 10/10 5 Stars
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  • Shalini
    January 1, 1970
    This book was a hard core, dark gritty read which dealt in great detail with domestic abuse, the way men hit women, the scars which the women carried, both physical and mental. It told me how the cops and other disciplinary services were sometimes so helpless, the scrap of paper which was the restraining order was basically useless.Though this was the cop Maggie Jamieson series, the book described the Probation Officer Lucy's life in great detail and what she went through in her personal and pro This book was a hard core, dark gritty read which dealt in great detail with domestic abuse, the way men hit women, the scars which the women carried, both physical and mental. It told me how the cops and other disciplinary services were sometimes so helpless, the scrap of paper which was the restraining order was basically useless.Though this was the cop Maggie Jamieson series, the book described the Probation Officer Lucy's life in great detail and what she went through in her personal and professional life. Her life was nothing but a series of IRONY.Author Noelle Holten in her debut has written a realistic novel using all her experiences as a Probation Officer for 18 years. The story showed me how every agency tried to keep the women safe, sometimes successful, often times not so much. But they all tried.The effects of abuse along pain, fear, desperation, helplessness, and the impotent anger of the victims played on my mind completely and had me in shivers. I had to keep closing my kindle to shake off the feeling of suffocation. All the emotions that leapt off the pages overwhelmed me. Ms. Holten was honest in her portrayal of the realities of such a life. The team of cops working with Maggie in the investigation were great; they were relentless in their work. I wanted to see more of Maggie in the book.Then came my niggles slowly creeping in. What the blurb promised me was only a minor part of the story. I wanted more of the suspense and mystery and the murder investigation. Abuse filled the majority of the book which depressed me completely and triggered my nightmares. The book had so many characters right from the beginning that keeping them straight in my mind took me more than half the book.The multidisciplinary police investigation and the mystery surrounding the murders were great, and that made it a fun read. And the killer was a surprise, not in my list of suspects.4.25 🌟
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  • Mandy White
    January 1, 1970
    Wow - what a debut novel Dead Inside is! Well done Noelle Holten! This book had me absolutely hooked and wanting to keep reading . It deals with a difficult theme but the authors obvious experience in this area was clear. It was realistic and powerful and I really enjoyed reading it. I look forward to more from Maggie Jamieson in the near future, with a start like this one it is going to be a cracking series. I have followed Noelle's reviews for a while now and am so pleased that she is now a pu Wow - what a debut novel Dead Inside is! Well done Noelle Holten! This book had me absolutely hooked and wanting to keep reading . It deals with a difficult theme but the authors obvious experience in this area was clear. It was realistic and powerful and I really enjoyed reading it. I look forward to more from Maggie Jamieson in the near future, with a start like this one it is going to be a cracking series. I have followed Noelle's reviews for a while now and am so pleased that she is now a published author. I will be recommending this book to my book loving friends to enjoy as well.3 wife beaters are dead - and not many people seem to feel sorry about it all. Maggie Jamieson has to track down this killer - easier said than done when the victims are not seen as victims to all. Probation officer Lucy Sherwood is linked to all of the dead men but could she be a killer. On the outside she is a strong woman, who is good at her job. But at home she is a victim of domestic abuse. Her husband Patrick is a pig to be honest, who constantly belittles Lucy and also physically hurts her. She knows she has to leave but there is a step daughter involved. But then her husband is victim number 4 - and Lucy is the prime suspect.This book is dark and graphic and is hard to read in parts. But it makes it real, shows just what these men are doing to the women that they supposedly love. And shows that it is not always easy to leave or change things for the women. It is fast paced and will leave you wanting more. The ending took me by surprise and I did not pick who the guilty party was - that is something that I love in a book. There are a lot of familiar names on this books as well, writers and book bloggers are all there.A pleasure to read and enjoy this book. Thank you to Harper Impulse, Killer Reads and Netgalley for my advanced copy of this book. All opinions are my own and are in no way biased.
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  • Rachel Gilbey
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 StarsWhat a debut this is, and I can easily say I'm looking forward to book 2. To start with I was struggling a bit as it seemed like a new character was introduced every chapter - and if you are a book blogger you may find a lot of the character names were incredibly familiar. In fact that was possibly what I had the most trouble with initially, as every time a familiar name appeared, I felt pulled out of the book, and was just laughing. Well that lasted for the first stint of reading the b 4.5 StarsWhat a debut this is, and I can easily say I'm looking forward to book 2. To start with I was struggling a bit as it seemed like a new character was introduced every chapter - and if you are a book blogger you may find a lot of the character names were incredibly familiar. In fact that was possibly what I had the most trouble with initially, as every time a familiar name appeared, I felt pulled out of the book, and was just laughing. Well that lasted for the first stint of reading the book which took me to 30% and when I returned to it on the return train journey, I was fully into the story, and I had clearly taken in all of the background, and key scene setting, character introductions, as I found myself completely hooked by it. I needed to know what was happening in poor Lucy's lift, given the marriage she has and then the not overly easy day job. I enjoyed getting to know a new police team, and in particular DC Maggie Jamieson. It was interesting to see how her new team, the DAHU was working, its the team investigating Domestic abuse and homicide - while Lucy herself is a probation officer for domestic abusers. To say a lot of the subject matter is on the heavier side, would not be too much of an understatement, but it wasn't any more graphic than strictly needed in order to illustrate the horrificness of the situations. I felt no sympathy at all towards any of the murdered people, but I'll admit I was fairly positive who had done things relatively early on for me, and I was in some respects correct, but still even after the police worked that out there were still some shocks, that did surprise me. Written with a short, snappy writing style, I loved the very short chapters, the flicking of viewpoints between each one, and getting insight into a whole range of people's lives. This is the first book I've read in absolutely ages where I disregarded all my piles of work, in order to make sure I was able to sit and read the remainder of it in one sitting, with complete obliviousness to my surroundings. I wouldn't be surprised if elements of this book make it very hard for me to sleep this evening, and I suspect I could be thinking about Lucy for a good while longer. In part because although the main character in theory is Maggie, as she is the detective, I found I was reading more about Lucy, and getting to know her the best out of the whole myriad of characters. Noelle Holten is definitely a rising star in terms of crime books, and I honestly can't wait for book two to be released, to be able to hopefully jump straight in and feel at home with the writing, and some of the characters at least. Thank you to Killer Reads and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! Wow! Wow! I seriously can not believe that this is the authors debut novel!This is the first book in the DC Maggie Jamieson crime series. What a way to start a series off! Whilst it is a series featuring Maggie and her team, the main character in this story is Lucy. Lucy’s character I loved. She works in probation, of which was a job I didn’t envy her whatsoever, dealing with some offenders that even prison would be to good for them to end up. Due to the story line dealing with domestic abu Wow! Wow! Wow! I seriously can not believe that this is the authors debut novel!This is the first book in the DC Maggie Jamieson crime series. What a way to start a series off! Whilst it is a series featuring Maggie and her team, the main character in this story is Lucy. Lucy’s character I loved. She works in probation, of which was a job I didn’t envy her whatsoever, dealing with some offenders that even prison would be to good for them to end up. Due to the story line dealing with domestic abuse, some parts do make for uncomfortable reading but it also makes for a compelling read. What I really loved was getting to see the probation side of things as to often in a crime book we only ever get to see things from the side of the police which isn’t really a true reflection of what actually happens with these sort of crimes. There is vast amount of characters and this just goes to show how talented the author is as not even once did I feel overwhelmed with how many there are and trying to remember their part in the story. Every one of them plays a very important role and I really hope to see some of them again throughout the series. The story starts off with a prologue that grabbed me straight away. I knew from that point that this was going to be an emotional roller coaster ride of a read and I wasn’t wrong. It carries on flowing effortlessly so that I was totally wrapped up in what was happening in the story and totally oblivious to what was going on in the real world. Dead Inside is an impressive debut that had me hooked from the first to the last page. It is a powerful and hard hitting story that shows the inside of the victims and abusers minds. It made me go through an array of emotions, though mainly anger at the abusers and sadness for what the victims were going through. This really is a great start to a brand spanking new series of which I am a huge fan of already. All the stars for this one and will be counting down the days until the next one is out.
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  • Steph Lawrence
    January 1, 1970
    The first instalment in a new crime series is always exciting.Fab debut and a refreshingly different angle for a crime book.I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this. As a book blogger at Crime Book Junkie, Noelle Holten writes a fantastic blog. She obviously knows the secrets of a good story. Being a former probation officer the author has real life knowledge. The familiarity of character names was unnerving at first, if you’re a blogger you’ll know what I mean, but I soon got used The first instalment in a new crime series is always exciting.Fab debut and a refreshingly different angle for a crime book.I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this. As a book blogger at Crime Book Junkie, Noelle Holten writes a fantastic blog. She obviously knows the secrets of a good story. Being a former probation officer the author has real life knowledge. The familiarity of character names was unnerving at first, if you’re a blogger you’ll know what I mean, but I soon got used to them as fictional characters.The depth of the characters jumps out of the page.Some of the scenes are very gritty, so well described that I was cowering away.There are lots of twists and turns in the plot, lots of suspicions, making it a real page-turner.This is a sure fire winner, I loved it and I look forward to the rest of the series.Thanks to Killer Reads and NetGalley for the review copy in which I give my honest opinion.
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  • Betty
    January 1, 1970
    Three men were murdered, and they all had two things in common: a history of domestic violence and Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood. DC Maggie Jamieson and her team are in the midst of their investigation when Lucy's husband becomes the fourth victim. Is it all a terrible coincidence, or is Lucy a killer? The team needs to solve these crimes, and soon... before someone else turns up dead.I've had the pleasure of reading several unputdownable crime thrillers since I started book blogging, and I've Three men were murdered, and they all had two things in common: a history of domestic violence and Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood. DC Maggie Jamieson and her team are in the midst of their investigation when Lucy's husband becomes the fourth victim. Is it all a terrible coincidence, or is Lucy a killer? The team needs to solve these crimes, and soon... before someone else turns up dead.I've had the pleasure of reading several unputdownable crime thrillers since I started book blogging, and I've come to have high expectations for novels in this genre. I want several characters who seem shady enough to be a viable suspect. I want to be shocked when something unexpected happens. Most importantly, I want to be surprised when the killer is revealed.Holten's spectacular debut easily met all those expectations.Dead Inside is a well written story told from multiple points of view, which I enjoyed because I like to get into the head of several characters. Getting into the heads of the abusive men in the story was disturbing at times, but the realistic portrayal of them was necessary to the story, in this reader's opinion.I was somewhat taken aback to find myself feeling a momentary glimmer of sympathy after reading one of the victims final thoughts. That is something I wouldn't have thought possible as he had done something pretty awful in a previous chapter. I rarely feel anything other than disgust for such an unlikable character. For an author to make me feel compassion, instead, is quite impressive. Well done. Very well done!The ending blew me away, knocked me off my feet, and now I'm dying to read book two of the series. I can't wait to see what comes next for DC Jamieson!If you love crime thrillers and you're looking for a new author to read, I highly recommend this book... and I hope you love it as much as I did!I received an advance reading copy of this book courtesy of Killer Reads via Netgalley.
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  • Samantha Gonsalves
    January 1, 1970
    Dead Inside came highly recommended on Goodreads and after all the hype surrounding it, I succumbed to the temptation. This dark and twisty thriller is Noelle Holten's debut novel and is the first in the DC Maggie Jamieson series. This one of those books that will grab you by the first chapter and won't let you keep the book down, no matter the place or time. It's that good!When three vicious wife-beaters are found brutally murdered, DC Maggie Jamieson a brilliant and diligent officer of the law Dead Inside came highly recommended on Goodreads and after all the hype surrounding it, I succumbed to the temptation. This dark and twisty thriller is Noelle Holten's debut novel and is the first in the DC Maggie Jamieson series. This one of those books that will grab you by the first chapter and won't let you keep the book down, no matter the place or time. It's that good!When three vicious wife-beaters are found brutally murdered, DC Maggie Jamieson a brilliant and diligent officer of the law is faced with what is probably the toughest case of her career. Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood – who is connected to all three victims – is hiding a dark secret. Then a fourth man is brutally murdered - Lucy's husband. Will Maggie be able to catch the cold-blooded killer?Dead Inside provides a true and difficult-to-digest insight into victims of domestic violence..Given that Noelle used to be a probation officer, the events in this book, while fiction, sound brutally honest. The plot of this book is very clever; I couldn't guess who the murderer was in this ruthless cat-and-mouse game. All characters are well-defined and sound so realistic. While, I did find that the number of characters that the story follows more than what I am comfortable with (I found myself confused few times, at the start), I like how all of them pull their weight and contribute to the case. In all, this was a fantastic read! Thank you, NetGalley, Killer Reads & Noelle Holten for an arc!
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  • michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Dead Inside by Noelle Holten is her debut novel and the first in the DC Maggie Jamieson series and what a brilliant read it is.Three men are murdered, and they all have something in common, they both have history of domestic violence and they are all connected to Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood. Lucy deals with domestic violence and is good at her job, but we learn that when she goes home, she suffers the same fate in the hands of her husband Patrick. It’s DC Maggie Jamieson first case with the Dead Inside by Noelle Holten is her debut novel and the first in the DC Maggie Jamieson series and what a brilliant read it is.Three men are murdered, and they all have something in common, they both have history of domestic violence and they are all connected to Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood. Lucy deals with domestic violence and is good at her job, but we learn that when she goes home, she suffers the same fate in the hands of her husband Patrick. It’s DC Maggie Jamieson first case with the DAHU and she is investigating three men going missing only to find them ending up dead, with no sign of a struggle and a fourth one goes missing turns out to be Lucy’s husband Patrick.Wow what a debut novel this is. You wouldn’t have guessed this is a debut. This is quality writing and is very realistic police procedural. It has a great plot with strong characters and very grim in parts. I devoured every minute of it. I love and this book and if I thought this was good, I can’t wait for the what’s instore in the next instalment. Well done Miss Holten you are going to go far.Thank you NetGalley and Killer reads for a copy of this book.
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  • The Book Review Café
    January 1, 1970
    From the shocking and disturbing prologue I knew this was one of those books I would get so caught up in, and god help anyone who disturbed me whilst I was reading it. Part Domestic noir, part crime thriller this novel was a cracker, when you read as many books as I do in these genres you are always looking for “that” book that offers you that something extra, something that makes it standout out from the crowd, and OMFG the author has certainly managed that.Domestic abuse is not the easiest sub From the shocking and disturbing prologue I knew this was one of those books I would get so caught up in, and god help anyone who disturbed me whilst I was reading it. Part Domestic noir, part crime thriller this novel was a cracker, when you read as many books as I do in these genres you are always looking for “that” book that offers you that something extra, something that makes it standout out from the crowd, and OMFG the author has certainly managed that.Domestic abuse is not the easiest subject to write about, how do you convey the emotions, the abuse without overstepping the mark? This is a subject that’s emotive and very disturbing but the author writes about the subject with a great deal of insight, understanding and empathy. One thing I noticed when I was reading this book is the author’s ability to write in such away you feel like you’re a voyeur watching from the sidelines, rather like a car crash you want to look away, but you are compelled to read on as the characters move from one crisis to another. The writing is gritty and pulls no punches, although this can feel uncomfortable it makes the read all the more shockingly credible, I should point out though the violence isn’t gratuitous and is very much in keeping with the plot and subject. The author has created an array of characters some are much more likeable than others, you will love them, you will hate them, you will hope some of them get their “just desserts” but each character brings something different to this riveting tale. You will feel their emotions, their despair and their anger, you need to read on as your desperate for at least a couple of the characters to find an escape from their very unhappy and violent relationships. I thought this book was original as not only do you get the POV of the abused and the abusers but also the many agencies who are involved, supporting the victims and in some case their perpetrators. As I mentioned this is part crime thriller, and again the author keeps you riveted to the pages, as crimes are committed and the suspects mount, never giving away too much detail to spoil the read, at times the tension and suspense reached fever pitch. There are a huge amount of fictional books that deal with domestic violence on the market, so what makes Dead a Inside any different? I hear you say, It’s original, highly engaging, the writing is confident and bold with memorable characters, add in a compelling plot, and you have the perfect mix for a crime thriller. The one thing I wasn’t expecting was the raw emotion within the pages, as I reached the last page I felt emotionally drained. Personally I’m already excited for second book from the very talented Noelle Holten, in my opinion she is an exciting and refreshing voice in Crime fiction and one whose journey I will be following with avid interest. All my reviews can be found at http:// thebookreviewcafe.com
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  • Lou
    January 1, 1970
    In the first in a new, exciting police procedural series, DC Maggie Jamieson finds herself at the centre of her most challenging case yet in which the line between good and evil is blurred adeptly. The police are deeply suspicious that there is corruption within the probation service. They aren't sure how high it may go but they believe Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood, who has links to all four of the men found brutally murdered, is hiding a huge, dark secret. So is Lucy really involved, and if In the first in a new, exciting police procedural series, DC Maggie Jamieson finds herself at the centre of her most challenging case yet in which the line between good and evil is blurred adeptly. The police are deeply suspicious that there is corruption within the probation service. They aren't sure how high it may go but they believe Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood, who has links to all four of the men found brutally murdered, is hiding a huge, dark secret. So is Lucy really involved, and if so, how? Can Maggie work it all out quick enough to stop a fifth victim being killed?This is a tense, race-against-the-clock and the subject at the centre of it — domestic violence — is tough to read about but the story importantly raises awareness of what many women have gone through or are going through. It is treated sensitively and carefully. Given the author is a former probation officer herself it's safe to say that the parts about Lucy and procedure surrounding her job are set in fact. To muddy the waters even more Lucy is herself a battered woman and is broken and vulnerable because of it. It's a real page-turner, moves at a decent clip and the writing is very readable and easy to follow. My only slight issue was that there was a humongous cast of characters which could get confusing at the beginning but it also could be seen as a positive as it makes it impossible to predict the killer and those involved. It's a compelling, emotional, dark and gritty read which I thoroughly enjoyed. Many thanks to Harper Impulse and Killer Reads for an ARC.
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  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    So. This is interesting. A book I have been looking forward to reading from a long time from an author I know relatively well and someone whose journey from blogger to published author I have been following. It makes it both a great and also scary prospect when you sit down to read as it becomes a question of what happens if you don't enjoy the story and, if I do, will people even believe what I have to say about the book anyway? I could lie and say I've never heard of Noelle's blog, but bloggin So. This is interesting. A book I have been looking forward to reading from a long time from an author I know relatively well and someone whose journey from blogger to published author I have been following. It makes it both a great and also scary prospect when you sit down to read as it becomes a question of what happens if you don't enjoy the story and, if I do, will people even believe what I have to say about the book anyway? I could lie and say I've never heard of Noelle's blog, but blogging is a very small world, made smaller by the power of social media, and to say we've never met would be a lie as the photographic evidence is there all over the tinterweb.Well - thankfully I don't have to worry about the first half of that question as this is a book that had me hooked from the start, a book that I literally tore through finishing in a few hours. With Dead Inside, Noelle Holten has created a world which brings together the many facets of a police investigation, and all of the agencies who are integral to solving crimes. Many of them are typically overlooked in favour of the common or garden Police Detective, the lads and lasses with the warrant cards etc who do the digging, the plodding and the arresting and make life generally difficult for the bad guys. There inclusion in Dead Inside adds a new and interesting perspective to the book, giving it a sense of authenticity which is then backed up by an entertaining and engrossing plot.The basic premise is clear from the blurb, so I don't need to go far into the plot itself. Whilst this is billed as a Maggie Jamieson story, and Maggie, the main Detective in this novel, will join us throughout the series, this is really Lucy's story. Lucy is a probation officer, one who has ties, sometimes tenuous, to domestic abusers and sex offenders, some of whom find themselves on the receiving end of some pretty rough, and ultimately deadly, justice. Needless to say that despite her job and her links to the police, the commonality between the deceased and Lucy as their PO is just too obvious to be ignored. But is Lucy a murderer or a victim?Well, you're going to have to read the book to find out. I really liked the way in which the author set up the characters in the book, particularly in creating the complex domestic situation which Lucy found herself in. She has captured that feeling of isolation and resignation that defines so many victims of abuse, and the way in which an abuser can turn on a dime. Charming to friends one minute, wielding his fists or his tongue the next to his spouse or partner. You could feel the helplessness, the sense of defeat which Lucy experienced, but also the ultimate strength she had within her to face these types of people every day in her job and not crumble. This is where the author's own experience as a Probation Officer shines through as the scenes between Lucy and her assigned offenders, and also between Lucy and her colleagues, including the police, felt very real and believable. And Lucy is a very human character, with all the typical flaws and attributes that we can recognise, including an overwhelming sense of protection for her husband's children. Very noble, very sincere, very likely to be the cause of her undoing.There are a lot of characters to get to know in this book, many of them we will no doubt meet again in other investigations. They were all diverse, capturing the true nature of people from all walks of life. Some were easy to like, Maggie and Lucy being chief amongst them. Psychologist Kate Moloney was an interesting introduction to the team, but we're really only just getting to know her in book one so I'm intrigued to see how the character is developed in the following books. Now there may be some very familiar names amongst the characters for some readers, but many are placed in very unfamiliar settings and situations so while it will likely make some people smile, there may be a few surprises in store for you too.As for the killer - well, their identity is cleverly woven into the story and if you keep your wits about you there are enough clues for it to become apparent before the end, but also enough red herrings to keep even the most intrepid Miss Marple/Hercule Poirot on their toes. What I can say is that this book kept me turning pages all afternoon - I only stopped reading for a quick bite to eat - and in a year where I am struggling to focus on reading for more than a few minutes at a time, that is no small feat. For me the author pitched this book just right. this isn't a book which trivialises abuse, and the victims of the abusers are portrayed in a very sensitive way, contrasting against the increasingly aggressive manner in which the abusers meet their ends. The author's love for all things crime fiction shines through in a compelling narrative, and I'm sure that it's just the first in what will be a very popular and successful series. And if you want to get ahead of the curve then book two, Dead Wrong, is already available for pre-order. I personally can't wait to see what Maggie and co get up to next as the ending of this book promised something very exciting to come. A compelling, wonderfully layered, entertaining and occasionally quite emotive story that crime fiction lovers are going to eat up. Nice one Noelle. More please.
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  • Julie Lacey
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! What a fantastic first book. I loved this and am so glad there’s more to come in this series. Maggie is on secondment and is soon involved in a murder case. We also get to know Lucy who works for the Probation service with abusive/violent people and their victims. Lucy is living her own nightmare as her husband is abusing her and she feels trapped. Soon another body is found of a known domestic violence criminal and Maggie and the team try to tie the two deaths together. We also get an insi Wow! What a fantastic first book. I loved this and am so glad there’s more to come in this series. Maggie is on secondment and is soon involved in a murder case. We also get to know Lucy who works for the Probation service with abusive/violent people and their victims. Lucy is living her own nightmare as her husband is abusing her and she feels trapped. Soon another body is found of a known domestic violence criminal and Maggie and the team try to tie the two deaths together. We also get an insight into the local pub and one girl’s struggle with alcohol and men. Vicki unfortunately comes across the wrong man and whilst she thinks she knows the signs, she’s not prepared for what happens. Another body is discovered and the pressure is really on for the Police to find the killer, until another death provides them with the identity of the killer - or does it?The story races to a conclusion and will have you on the edge of your seat. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more in this series. Thanks to Killer Reads and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this brilliant book.
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  • Keith Nixon
    January 1, 1970
    Review to follow!
  • Aina
    January 1, 1970
    This is a heavy read, moving through a large number of characters affected by domestic abuse. Despite hints of a serial killer, the murder investigation is not the book's priority. Instead, it focuses on the characters' relationships and how they are connected with one another. I thought the writing is persuasive and heartbreaking especially when we spend time with Lucy Sherwood, one of the main characters. As a victim of domestic abuse, she is a shadow of herself. It was tough to read scenes be This is a heavy read, moving through a large number of characters affected by domestic abuse. Despite hints of a serial killer, the murder investigation is not the book's priority. Instead, it focuses on the characters' relationships and how they are connected with one another. I thought the writing is persuasive and heartbreaking especially when we spend time with Lucy Sherwood, one of the main characters. As a victim of domestic abuse, she is a shadow of herself. It was tough to read scenes between her and her husband as they are fraught with violence. It might be a triggering factor for some readers, so take that as a note.The author has a background in Probation Service and this comes across clearly in the procedures detailed in the book. Particularly, on DAHU and the bureaucracy involved in making a multi-agency team work. Besides Lucy, we also spent time getting to know Maggie and her new workplace. I liked Maggie's interactions with her colleagues and I'm also intrigued by the possibility of Maggie exploring her identity as a bisexual woman perhaps in future books. The large cast of characters is unfortunately one of the weaknesses of the book. We spend a lot of time with characters that I felt were not important, so that at times the story lost focus. When the reveal of the killer came, there was no suspense or surprise. Although a final twist at the end left a positive note for me.Thank you to Killer Reads and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.book blog | twitter | instagram
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  • Bojoura
    January 1, 1970
    Very different from what i read in general. Yes its a crime novel, I read a lot of crime, but the tough subject domestic abuse was something i had to get used to. The characters are very well developed and they make you think. Its very interesting to see/read and feel the struggle of the probation officers and other care workers. Besides of the tough subject its also a great read, a solid whodunnit and I 'm really looking forward to #2 in this series.
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  • Audrey Gibson
    January 1, 1970
    I couldn't believe this was a debut novel!!!!! You would seriously think this author has been writing for years. I read it in a day because once I started I couldn't put it down. Lucy has a great career and good friends, on the outside she looked so happy but on the inside she was a crumbling wreck, my heart ached for her. The story makes you feel every emotion possible. This is one of my top reads EVER and can't recommend it highly enough. If I could give more than 5 stars, I would.
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  • Lainy
    January 1, 1970
    Time taken to read - 1 dayPages - 352Publisher - Killer ReadsSource - NetgalleyBlurb from Goodreads When three domestic abuse offenders are 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 finger of suspicion points at Lucy and the police are running out of Time taken to read - 1 dayPages - 352Publisher - Killer ReadsSource - NetgalleyBlurb from Goodreads When three domestic abuse offenders are 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 finger of suspicion points at Lucy and the police are running out of time. Can Maggie and her team solve the murders before another person dies? And is Lucy really a cold-blooded killer?My Review A debut novel that grips pretty much from the get go. Domestic abusers are being beaten to death and DC Maggie Jamieson is on the case. These men are despicable creatures and trying to uncover why they may be a target isn't hard, figuring out who would want to is! The investigation is on, in between this we have the main character, Lucy Sherwood, probation officer and link to them all. When the fourth victim turns up Lucy is very much a figure of interest with her own secrets and issues can Lucy prove her innocence? Is she innocent?There is a lot of focus on Lucy, her personal circumstance, her job and what she has to endure, these men are vile "human beings" and we see two sides of Lucy. Lucy the probation officer who takes no snash and faces these men, their intimidation/threats. Then we see Lucy Sherwood, abused wife living with a controlling, aggressive, violent always ready to trigger husband. I do like a book where yes we have crime/action/murder etc but you very much get the human aspect with deeper insight into the characters. What they endure, survive and how they manage to put their face on to mask it to the world, their colleagues and those closest, very accurate of how some people live in the real word. Whilst we are getting better at talking about domestic abuse and admitting it exists we still have so much more we need to do. I think if you have experienced this in your lifetime this book will hit more than one emotive tone with you, memories, emotions may well be evoked. It is a book that deals with very disturbing scenarios, characteristics and hard hitting themes, it is hard to believe it is a debut. I very much look forward to more by Holten, a star is on the rise, 4.5/5 for me!
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  • Leona
    January 1, 1970
    An absolutely fantastic start to a new detective series . I devoured this book and loved every chapter . A brilliant storyline and some good strong characters . This is Ms Holtens debut novel and it’s a cracker of a read. Highly recommend.
  • Yvonne (It's All About Books)
    January 1, 1970
    Finished reading: May 17th 2019 "He turned her from a confident, carefree, intelligent woman, into a shell. She felt like nothing. Like she was in someone else's body, skin, mindset." *** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Killer Reads in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! *** (view spoiler)[Holy bat in hell, what a read! Now excuse me while I go pick my jaw off the floor... I already had a feeling I was going to enjoy this crime thriller by fellow book blog Finished reading: May 17th 2019 "He turned her from a confident, carefree, intelligent woman, into a shell. She felt like nothing. Like she was in someone else's body, skin, mindset." *** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Killer Reads in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! *** (view spoiler)[Holy bat in hell, what a read! Now excuse me while I go pick my jaw off the floor... I already had a feeling I was going to enjoy this crime thriller by fellow book blogger and now debut author Noelle Holten, and my expectations were more than met. I literally cancelled all plans, settled down in my favorite reading chair and flew through Dead Inside in one sitting. It was simply brilliant! I loved that we not only have the typical detective (Maggie) to follow, but that we also have a probation officer (Lucy) in the spotlight. It definitely shows in the little details that Noelle worked as a senior probation officer herself for eighteen years, and it was fascinating to see a lesser explored angle being used in a crime thriller. The same goes for criminal psychologist Kate, who brings another refreshing angle to the investigation and it's these three women together that makes this story work so well. It's true we don't get to see all that much of Maggie yet, but I'm having a feeling we will be getting plenty of her in the sequel.Dead Inside is all about domestic abuse and what effects it has on the victimis and those around them. Signs of abuse are often not easy to see and the victims often feel that the situation they are in is impossible to escape. Psychological abuse is still abuse and harder to discover for outsiders... As someone who has been in a toxic relationship in the past, I know how hard it can be to let go. Trigger warnings are in place for the mentioned abuse, rape, violence and alcoholism. Dead Inside shines a light on domestic abuse from the point of view of both victims and (in a less direct way) abusers. At the same time, we also have an active murder investigation going on with 'victims' who don't exactly arise sympathy. This angle alone is a very intriguing as it makes you wonder about right and wrong and if certain people just had it coming and karma came looking for them, or if even those dirtbags have rights... This story is lightning fast and isn't afraid to go dark and messy. There are various twists and turns involved in Dead Inside, and while I did see part of it coming, I definitely didn't guess the final reveal. And what a way to end the story! The whole Bill Raven case sounds fascinatingly disturbing... I already can't wait to read the sequel and Dead Inside hasn't even officially been published yet. Crime thriller fans, you have found a new title for your wishlist! Trust me, you don't want to miss out on this outstanding crime thriller debut. (hide spoiler)] P.S. Find more of my reviews here.
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  • Mairead Hearne (swirlandthread.com)
    January 1, 1970
    'Behind closed doors you can get away with murder' Dead Inside is the debut novel from Noelle Holten. Due for publication with Killer Reads on 31st May, it is described as ‘a dark and gripping debut crime novel – the first in a stunning new series – from a huge new talent.’ Many of you will be familiar with Noelle Holten as her alter ego, the award-winning blogger Crime Book Junkie, but now Noelle has written her first novel, the first book in this new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.Having 'Behind closed doors you can get away with murder' Dead Inside is the debut novel from Noelle Holten. Due for publication with Killer Reads on 31st May, it is described as ‘a dark and gripping debut crime novel – the first in a stunning new series – from a huge new talent.’ Many of you will be familiar with Noelle Holten as her alter ego, the award-winning blogger Crime Book Junkie, but now Noelle has written her first novel, the first book in this new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.Having worked as a Probation Officer for many years, Noelle brings her experiences to her debut, clearly writing about what she knows. Although the main character of this new series is DC Maggie Jamieson, it’s Probation Officer, Lucy Sherwood, who was very much centre stage for me. Working daily with the perpetrators of one of the most heinous of crimes, domestic abuse, Lucy uses all her wits to maintain a tough exterior. One of the many aspects of her job is to liaise with the police, especially if anything suspicious arises, but Lucy is harbouring her own terrible secret, one that she keeps very close to herself at all times.A new team has been established within the police force, the DAHU, with their sole concentration focused on domestic abuse and homicide cases. DC Maggie Jamieson is now a member of this team, along with lots of other ‘familiar’ names. (If you are a book blogger you may recognise a few! I will admit that I did find the over-familiarity of these characters names a little distracting as I was visualising these bloggers in their ‘new roles’, but that is very much my own issue.) The chapters are very short, introducing lots of new faces who will obviously all play a role in this series going forward, so I would suggest you focus on who’s who. But, as a result of this style, the novel moves at a breakneck speed. Noelle Holten doesn’t shy away from the subject matter in hand. Domestic violence is horrific with both the emotional and physical abuse extremely traumatic for the women involved but also for their families. It can be hard to watch a loved one being subjected to this abuse, but what would you do? How far would you be willing to go to make it stop?Dead Inside is an excellent title describing the enormity of the impact domestic abuse has on a woman.‘Once silky, her hair was now a greasy mess – always pulled back in a bun or ponytail. Eyes that previously held a mischievous sparkle, were dull and puffy. Looking herself up and down, she saw an overweight, frumpy woman who chose oversized jumpers and cheap trousers to hide her body and make herself less attractive’>That paragraph carries so much pain as we see a woman who is now a shadow of her former self…a woman living in fear.Dead Inside is a tense and fast-paced tale. As the death count increases Maggie and her team are faced with a tough challenge. They need to find out who is carrying out these crimes, and fast, before hysteria breaks out that a possible serial killer is at large. Is it the work of a vigilante or someone with a more personal vendetta who is carrying out these murderous crimes?As a reader we are present at more than one of these violent scenes and we get an insight into the thoughts of the victim, the abuser, as their life slips away – an interesting angle. Noelle Holten creates very real characters, with their language at times very blunt, very rough and, frequently, very derogatory, all adding to the authenticity of the story.Noelle Holten is one to watch folks. Her passion for books across all genre, but in particular crime, is evident and she is a great advocate for the literary world. Dead Inside is an impressive debut with some shocking scenes and, unfortunately, some very believable characters. It’s a great launch pad for DC Maggie Jamieson and the DAHU unit. Dead Wrong, Book 2, in the series is due for release in November 2019, so you just might want to be part of the action now!!!
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  • Sharon
    January 1, 1970
    This is the first book in the DC Maggie Jamieson series, and also the first book by this author. Three domestic abuse offenders are found killed and Probation Officer, Lucy Sherwood is a connection between the three. Lucy though is hiding a dark secret from her friends and colleagues. Not only does she deal with domestic abuse offenders in her job, but she also experiences it first-hand from her husband at home. DC Maggie Jamieson is new to the domestic violence unit, and her first case is to tr This is the first book in the DC Maggie Jamieson series, and also the first book by this author. Three domestic abuse offenders are found killed and Probation Officer, Lucy Sherwood is a connection between the three. Lucy though is hiding a dark secret from her friends and colleagues. Not only does she deal with domestic abuse offenders in her job, but she also experiences it first-hand from her husband at home. DC Maggie Jamieson is new to the domestic violence unit, and her first case is to try and find out who has beaten the offenders to death. When she discovers Lucy has dealt with them all she begins to wonder if Lucy is connected to their deaths….This was a great debut novel and a fantastic start to the series! It was such a refreshing change to have a crime book that wasn’t just based on police procedurals but also seeing it from the other side of the fence with the Probation Service. I have never read a book where the Probation Service featured so prominently and it was completely mesmerising as to how that service worked. It’s obvious it’s not as easy as it seems! You can tell that the author has a background working for the Probation Service as everything to do with it appears so factually correct!Lucy was an interesting character and my heart broke for her having to experience domestic violence at home and then deal with it at work also. She appeared on one hand to be your typical ‘beaten’ wife, thinking things will change and never quite plucking up the courage to speak up and tell somebody about what she had been experiencing. On the other hand though, you would never have said a professional woman in that job would be on the receiving end of abuse from her own husband. That for me was the scariest thing in that you can never tell just by looking at someone what is really going on behind closed doors. What was obvious though was that this, at some point, was going to have serious repercussions for Lucy, but how it actually all unravelled was shocking!DC Maggie Jamieson is a great character and I look forward to more from her in future books. She is a clever woman, with good logical thinking and seems a welcome addition to the team. As the book, for me, focussed mainly on Lucy’s storyline, I didn’t feel as connected to Maggie as I wanted to, but hopefully in the next book we get to find out more about Maggie, both personally and professionally!The book was a shocking look at domestic abuse and I won’t lie and say it’s been sugar coated, because it hasn’t! The language is appropriate to the storyline, but this and the story in general may be upsetting for some. It was really difficult to have any sympathy for the victims who had been killed, as some may say it was justice served! The majority of the other characters were all likeable and added depth to the story. It was most definitely a hard hitting book, but one that kept me turning the pages furiously! Would definitely recommend and I will be keeping my ears open for news of the next one!!
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  • The Cats Mother
    January 1, 1970
    This was a deeply dark and disturbing police procedural about domestic abuse, by first time author Noelle Holten. She has 18 years of experience as a probation officer and more recently has worked for Bookouture, as well as being a well-known Crime book blogger. After reading her bubbly enthusiastic reviews and emails I was slightly shocked at how bleak this was. To say I enjoyed it would be wrong, as the gut-churning violence and psychological torment dished out by the so-called men in this sto This was a deeply dark and disturbing police procedural about domestic abuse, by first time author Noelle Holten. She has 18 years of experience as a probation officer and more recently has worked for Bookouture, as well as being a well-known Crime book blogger. After reading her bubbly enthusiastic reviews and emails I was slightly shocked at how bleak this was. To say I enjoyed it would be wrong, as the gut-churning violence and psychological torment dished out by the so-called men in this story were absolutely horrifying, but I was immediately drawn in and couldn’t stop until the end. This is the first book in a planned series about DC Maggie Jamieson, newly transferred to Staffordshire’s Domestic Abuse & Homicide Unit. While Maggie is certainly the main detective, the book is mostly about Lucy Sherwood, a probation officer working with men convicted of partner assault, who is herself the victim of relentless physical, sexual and emotional abuse by her controlling husband Patrick. When her clients start being brutally murdered, Maggie and her team don’t feel too sorry for them, but then it seems that Lucy is the common thread: has the brutality finally caused her to snap?I knew going in that this would be an emotionally challenging read - I had actually put Domestic Abuse onto my Avoid Reading About list, having read too many books about this in the last year - but the early ARC reviews were so positive that I requested it anyway - red coat cover and all! I have never been involved with an abuser - is that luck, size or personality, I don’t know, and find it hard to imagine how an intelligent woman can allow it to happen to her, but obviously it does, and the author does a chilling job of showing exactly how. What happens to Lucy, both from her husband and then from the system that should’ve protected her, was just awful. The mystery part was also well done - there were plenty of red herrings and suspects on offer and I didn’t guess who the killer was at all. There is also an intriguing cast of characters on the police team, especially the gothy psychologist, although I was surprised at how uninvolved DI Calleja was, and the epilogue hinted that the next book will take Maggie back to her old team, so I don’t know whether they will be more developed next time.I liked the writing and the short chapters, and look forward more from Noelle.My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the arc which allowed me to give an honest review. Dead Inside is published on 31.05.19.
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  • Caroline Vincent - Bits about Books
    January 1, 1970
    ‘Dead Inside’ is Noelle Holten’s gritty, gripping, and captivating debut novel, not only introducing DC Maggie Jamieson but also featuring Probation Officers Lucy Sherwood and Sarah Hardy – and boy, what a dark and devious world we stumble upon!My ThoughtsOh gosh! I have been dying to start reading DEAD INSIDE as Noelle is a fellow blogger I highly admire. First, I must say, I choked up when reading the dedication. We’ve all seen the many lovely and endearing photos of Buster and we were all dev ‘Dead Inside’ is Noelle Holten’s gritty, gripping, and captivating debut novel, not only introducing DC Maggie Jamieson but also featuring Probation Officers Lucy Sherwood and Sarah Hardy – and boy, what a dark and devious world we stumble upon!My ThoughtsOh gosh! I have been dying to start reading DEAD INSIDE as Noelle is a fellow blogger I highly admire. First, I must say, I choked up when reading the dedication. We’ve all seen the many lovely and endearing photos of Buster and we were all devastated to see Noelle heartbroken when Buster was gone. I love the dedication.The book is everything a detective thriller needs to be and to have. It’s got plenty of action, revenge, quite some violence, a plot that keeps you guessing, tormented police officers, and so much more. The Prologue makes you feel sick – domestic abuse is still happening and even the smartest of persons can fall prey to a charmer they have no idea the ‘I do” will be the start of a life of threats, violence, anxiousness, living in constant fear.Lucy is a Probation Officer and she’s excellently portrayed – the author’s experience shines through here but what makes her character and what is happening so shocking is that she is a well-educated woman, with a good job, respected, in short, not someone you’d ever expect to be the victim of domestic abuse. I was torn, felt sympathetic but at the same time, wanted to shake her out of it. She, of all people, surely knows how abusers never stop, she’s facing enough of them on a daily base through her work!There are so many interesting characters in this detective thriller, I’d love to mention more of them, like Shell Baker (!) and PC Mark Fielding, Lucy’s liaison at the police station, and doctor Kate Moloney, gosh, I love the author’s portrayal of her! As to Maggie Jamieson… she’s the perfect protagonist with her tormented mind, her tenacity to not let go until she’s got all the answers, she is prepared to go to the bottom of the case to find the culprit.The story is fast-paced and engrossing, you could just sense the author’s research and experience shining throughout the words on the pages, which made it so authentic and an impressive read. I look forward to the next book in the Maggie Jamieson Crime Thriller series!
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