Behind closed doors you can get away with murder
[ About the Book ]
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?
[ My Review ]
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!!!
[ Bio ]
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.
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