It’s always exciting to feature highly anticipated books, in this case DEAD INSIDE by Noelle Holton. I was thrilled to be given an advance reader copy from the publisher (KillerReads) via Netgalley and to be invited on this exciting Blog Tour.
‘An excellent read’ Martina Cole
‘A brilliant debut – gritty, dark and chilling. Noelle Holten knows her stuff’ Mel Sherratt
A dark and gripping debut crime novel – the first in a stunning new series – from a huge new talent.
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?
WOW! WOW! WOW! What a fabulous book AND not surprisingly one of the most anticipated books of the year. Having read the blurb, I was expecting to feel uncomfortable, riled up and then relieved at the end. Any emotions a reader has while reading a book is always down to the writer. What I did find was that Holton has a unique way of intertwining the characters. You soon learn the strong points as well as the deficiencies of the individuals who make up the heart of the story.
Two violent openings – a rape and a murder – mark the overall mood of Dead Inside. Not an easy book as for me, but this is a book that speaks for so many victims who don’t have a voice and made all the more authentic since the research was from Holton’s own professional experience as a PO. That says a lot, in my opinion.
I was blown away by Patrick. What a lowlife! Probably one of the worst characters I’ve ever read in this genre. Every time he staggered back in the house, I could smell the reek of alcohol and feel the tension. It was wild. The more I read, the more I wanted Lucy to seek help earlier, to get Siobhan to safety. I guess I was looking for that open door. But not all victims realize they’re victims, and leading a double life in order to keep her dignity added tension to the pace. The six million dollar question is what you don’t know can’t hurt you.
I don’t think there was any part of this book I didn’t like, and in order to help other readers I try to add equal measures of likes and dislikes. But in this case, there are only likes. I won’t rehash the plot but just say that the ending was one I didn’t see coming. Taking notes helped me to keep up with all the characters. Not that there are that many, is just the different functions of Maggie’s team and Lucy’s family, friends and work colleagues. More from the aspect of trying to work out who was responsible for committing these horrific crimes.
I like the way this author writes. The action scenes are intense and well described leaving the reader to feel as if they are standing to one side watching it all happen. Maggie’s ongoing investigation gets even more interesting as more bodies are added to the death toll. The action intensifies and the puzzle becomes ever more involved.
But from the moment I opened the book, I was drawn in and totally hooked, knowing that I’d be a wreck all day if I didn’t finish it. When a book does that, you know it’s going to be good. The story was the perfect mixture of mystery, thrills, hope and tragedy. Holton did a fantastic job of weaving together each point of view, hitting me with curveball after curveball and leaving me guessing the entire time. Be prepared to read deep into the night just to finish “one more chapter before turning out the light”. I recommend DEAD INSIDE to anyone looking for a writer who delivers a memorable story.
Many thanks to the publisher, @KillerReads @HarperCollins and to Netgalley for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review. And thank you to @BOTBSPublicity for letting me be part of this fabulous Blog Tour.
About the Author
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 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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