Originally published: 31 May 2019 (ebook) 22 August 2019 (paperback)
Author: Noelle Holten
Published by: Killer Reads
Reading dates: 30 May – 1 June 2019
The book is the first in a series about DC Maggie Jamieson and as the book starts, she has just started a new post with the Domestic Abuse and Homicide Unit. When Drew Talbot, a man who is on probation for domestic abuse is found dead after being badly beaten, and two more men with similar backgrounds are also found murdered, Maggie knows she has a tough case on her hands.
Lucy Sherwood works as a Probation Officer and all three of the victims are men she has dealt with as part of her job. She is also hiding years of horrific physical and emotional abuse by her husband Patrick. When he is also found murdered, Lucy is the prime suspect.
It is up to Maggie and her team to try and solve the murders before anyone else turns up dead.
This is a tough read. Noelle Holten’s background is in probation having worked as a senior probation officer for 18 years and you can really tell she knows her stuff. The book is full of unsavoury characters, men who do horrific things to their partners and although I hate to admit it, I wouldn’t be surprised if these people are based on real cases Noelle has dealt with.
Lucy’s story is just awful – her life with Patrick includes physical and emotional abuse and even extends to rape. He just made me so angry and the irony that Lucy works with people who are abusers is just so sad. She knows she needs to get away from him but just keeps making excuses for his behaviour. Patrick’s little girl, Siobhan lives with them and she is Lucy’s main excuse for putting up with the way he treats her.
Seeing the law from the point of view of a probation officer was interesting and I couldn’t help but feel glad that these unsavoury characters met their grisly ends. Using multiple narratives we get to hear from the abusers and their victims which was an interesting perspective. I also loved that is was set in Staffordshire as that is where I grew up (although thankfully I never saw the darker side of it!) And I loved that Noelle used the names of bloggers and other people in the industry as the characters names! What fun to have your name included in a book!
This was a tense and gritty crime thriller – gruesome and true to life and I look forward to reading more from Noelle!
Many thanks to Sarah Hardy for inviting me on the blog tour and for sending me a paper copy of the proof.
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 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.