Dead Inside – Noelle Holten | @nholten40 @KillerReads @HarperCollinsUK @BOTBSPublicity

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 was published on the 31st May 2019 by Killer Reads (Harper Collins). Many thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book via NetGalley and to Sarah Hardy at Book on the Bright Side for having me on this blog tour.

Dead Inside is a debut novel from well known and loved book blogger, Noelle Holten…and it’s a damn good one! I have witnessed Noelle’s journey from writing the novel through to publication and could not be more pleased for her. I was a little worried reading this in case I didn’t enjoy it…really didn’t need to worry, Dead Inside is a fabulous read from start to end. I will clarify though that knowing Noelle from the book blogging world has in no way affected my thoughts on this book.

Dead Inside introduces us to DC Maggie Jamieson who has been brought into the Domestic Abuse and Homicide Unit (DAHU) from the murder team and is immediately drawn into an investigation into the brutal death of someone on probation. There are 2 sides to this story, the police investigation as well as the role of the probation service through Lucy’s character which is fascinating. The author spent 18 years in the probation service which she clearly draws on for this book so it feels extremely authentic and demonstrates the relationship and tension between the police force and the probation service.

The author has tackled an extremely difficult subject head on with sensitivity but realism, she has been very careful in portraying the reality of living with domestic abuse without crossing the line into making the book unreadable. There are difficult scenes portrayed within this book, as you would expect, but they are necessary to the story and being true to those who live through this.

There are a lot of characters in this book so the first few chapters are quite intense with all the introductions but the varied combination of characters works really well in showing the various people that the police have to liaise with on a daily basis and the combined expertise that goes into murder investigations.

The writing is slick and gripping right from the prologue (the author certainly doesn’t ease her reader in!!) – it is very addictive, encouraging the reader to keep flying through the chapters. I enjoyed the author’s writing style and the emotion that came through the narrative. Noelle Holten has created memorable characters (some in better ways than others) who are well developed. I was particularly intrigued by Lucy’s character as she is literally a different person at work than she is at home – at work she is dealing with difficult characters all day every day in her capacity as probation officer but as soon as she leaves, she is a different person, broken down to a shell of herself by her abusive husband. The scenes between Lucy and her husband are a hard read, full of raw emotion demonstrating the life behind closed doors of an abusive relationship – absolutely heart-breaking.

I really look forward to reading the next book in the series and seeing what the author has next up her sleeve. If Dead Inside is anything to go by, this is set to be an amazing series!!

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 booklove 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.

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