Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Dead Inside - by Noelle Holten

©Noelle Holten
DC Maggie Jamieson Series
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Noelle Holten's debut novel, "Dead Inside" is book one in the Maggie Jamieson Crime Thriller series, and boy does it catch your breath right from the prologue! I was practically glued to the pages; when I couldn't read it, you can be sure I was listening to the audiobook!

Now, on to the storyline... after closing out the brutal 'Chopper Case' in the 'Major and Organised Crime Department,' or the 'Murder Team' as she liked to call it, DC Maggie Jamieson takes on a position in the 'Domestic Abuse and Homicide Unit,' or 'DAHU' for short. Here Maggie works alongside her new team and Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood, as they take on one of their most unfavorable cases yet - trying to solve a string of murders in which the domestic abusers themselves are now the latest victims! 

Right from the start, the author provides her readers with multiple narrations and short chapters, making this a relatively quick and all-consuming read. I was particularly interested in Lucy's story, an accomplished probation officer and a domestic abuse victim. Scratch that, a survivor of domestic abuse. While her choice of profession and everyday life consisted of keeping these types of abusers in line, she was not immune from it herself. Lucy was like many others in her situation; she fell in love and dreamt of her happily ever after, only to realize all too late that her nightmare had just begun. Before long, she had more than just herself to think about, but also the children, her career, and the logistics that came with her very survival.

"Dead Inside" was a page-turner, to be sure—an addicting, interesting look into domestic violence and what goes on behind some closed doors. The narrations from Lucy and the other survivors were powerfully eye-opening. Learning of the author's own experiences with abusive relationships helped bring further insight into the subject matter. However, the book does quite well all on its own at evoking the appropriate emotions throughout. 

While this was a Detective Maggie Jamieson book, the driving character here was Lucy Sherwood. "Dead Inside" does a fine job introducing readers to Maggie, learning of her past case, and current struggles. Luckily I've already read book two, and, as I write this, I can tell you "Dead Wrong" is majorly Maggie-based, and the pieces of her that are provided in book one are precisely what's needed to prepare readers for what comes next!    

I would recommend this novel to those interested in police procedurals and crime thrillers with a heavyset theme of domestic abuse. It's important to note that this book is a part of a series and does end with a cliffhanger. Rest assured that all of this individual story's I's are dotted and t's are crossed, the ending scene purely leaves you wanting and ready for the next installment! If this is your kind of read, then dig in! 

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Book Blurb:

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?

About the author, Noelle Holten:


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 worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi-agency setting. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance), and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford, and sharing the book love via her blog.


Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

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