Dead Inside

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

Dead Inside is the debut novel from Noelle Holton, and it’s a real cracker of a book. As soon as I started reading it, I was immediately drawn into the story and found that I just couldn’t put it down racing through it in a day. Drawing on her knowledge of the probation system, Noelle made the main character seem real and it also meant that she didn’t shy away from anything. This is not your typical police procedural book as although the police are there, the focus really is on Lucy who works for the probation service. Usually the probation officer is a bit player in most books of this type, so it was a refreshing change to see the profession take centre stage and for the police to be the supporting cast. You have to feel for her as despite dealing with abuse victims and their abusers on a daily basis she is unable to extricate herself from her own domestic issues. As it starts to affect both her personal and professional life you do have to wonder where it will all end. Her husband was totally unlikeable, but he is the master manipulator. To the outside world he is a really nice person yet behind closed doors only Lucy sees the reality but has become an expert at hiding it, to do anything else would make her feel weak. His only redeeming quality (such as it is) is his love for his children, but then again that could change as they got older. 
As the book progresses and the links between some murders and Lucy herself become more apparent you do wonder if maybe she is taking her revenge on some of her nastier clients or if it really is just one really bad coincidence.  With an intriguing plot and complex and believable characters I look forward to what comes next from this exiting author.
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Lucy is a probation officer who works with domestic abuse perpetrators. What her colleagues don't realise, is that she is also a DA victim. She hides it well. The trouble comes when her clients begin dying. She is the natural person for the police to suspect. The book is the first in a series featuring the character of Maggie, I'm looking forward to the next.
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This book was so well written! I was on the edge of my seat the entire time and sometimes quite literally. The characters and storyline were believable, real, and raw. I can't wait to read more from Noelle Holten!
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My Review
I always find it so exciting when a new crime series comes out and most especially when it's from a debut author......
As a reader, you are full of anticipation for this new series and what lays ahead..
The pure thrill of knowing that there are plenty more books coming in the series, I love it.
You become so invested in a series and it's characters don't you.....
In "Dead Inside" the first in author Noelle Holten's new series, we meet DC Maggie Jamieson and probation officer Lucy Sherwood...
This is where I think this series has edged slightly ahead of others....
The author has brought her experience as a probation officer to the table and it works brilliantly making sure it's not just your normal police procedural type of crime series. 
I must say I loved her character Lucy....
She's hard working and well able to handle herself.
DC Maggie Jamieson works to solve a number of murders of domestic abusers and this is where she calls on Lucy's help. They are all her clients....
Domestic abuse is at the forefront of this debut  novel. It's heartbreaking to see Lucy work as a probation officer on abuse cases and then go home to a husband who abuses her. 
How hard must it be to keep this awful secret to herself and still find the strength to carry on every day for the sake of her children.
Noelle has dealt with this topic with a great sensitivity and understanding.
Her style of writing is superb, her storyline unique and quite interesting.
I can't wait to read her next one...
Well worth investing your time in this series 💕
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5☆ Authentic, Page Turner, Highly Recommend!


Wow what a read! Hard to believe it's a Debut!
Dead Inside is a pacy, gritty, at times dark Domestic Crime mystery that kept me on my toes!

DC Maggie Jamieson is new to the Domestic Team (DAHU) and has been tasked to help solve the case of who has been killing off Domestic Abusers.
I mean it's not like I cared that they was being popped off.

Lucy is a Probation officer and finds herself in the thick of the investigation as she has connections to all three murder victims.
But what really is her connection?

This is Noelle's Debut Novel but you wouldn't know that. But what is very clear is that she pulls on her job experience to make this book Authentic, Suspensful, Dark and utterly Compelling.
I always find that the best Thrillers are those who use life experiences, ie police force etc..

Dead Inside is the first book is a new series and I can't wait for more!
There are some sensitive subjects such as abuse and violence but Noelle has handled them with the right amount of sensitivity to still make a powerful impact.

Dead Inside is a Highly Compelling, Gritty, Suspenseful and Pacy read I couldn't put down.
The police procedural was Authentic, the plot perfectly written with cleverly plotted twists and turns that kept me intrigued.
The're are alot of Characters but they are strong, well developed and all fitted in seamlessly. 

So if you are looking for a Authentic, Gritty, Powerful New Police Procedural, Crime Fiction Series, Then I Highly Recommend Dead Inside!

Thank you to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side and Killer Reads for this copy which I reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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Wow, what a powerful read.  It deals with a very hard to read topic - domestic abuse, and the influence it has not only on the victim, but the rest of their families and friends.  Lucy features mainly in this book, being abused by Patrick.  She deals with the abusers through a work daily, but somehow never seem to get around to getting rid of Patrick - for various reasons that the reader discovers throughout the book.  Then a serial killer starts getting rid of the scum, and Lucy becomes involved with this, involuntarily.  This was a great novel by a really talented debut author, and I can't wait to read some more of ms Holten's work in future. Highly recommended.
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Dead Inside was one of my top anticipated reads of 2019. When I finally got my hands on it I couldn’t put it down!First of all, it’s hard to believe this is Noelle’s debut novel. The writing is crisp, detailed, and on point. I love that the chapters are short as it heightened the suspense factor.
My only criticism of the book is the very beginning. If you are familiar with book bloggers then you will recognize some of the characters’ names. While I thought it was nice that she used familiar people, it was also a distraction for me. It also seemed that a new character was being introduced every chapter. It was a little difficult to keep everyone straight at first.
The story itself was creative and fresh. While the subject matter is very dark, it doesn’t distract from the great story. This is the first police procedural I’ve read that involves a probation officer. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the ins and outs of the job.
Overall, Dead Inside is a fantastic debut novel. It is very fast-paced and a terrific read. I cannot wait for book number 2!
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Sometimes before I review a book I glance over other people’s reviews. There’s been quite a few for this book where people have loved it and also where people have been surprised and educated about the impact of domestic abuse. I’m not going to say either of those things for reasons which will become clear.

I will admit, it took me a bit of time to get into the story, there are a lot of characters to keep track of and, at times, I felt there were too many although killing some off did help with that! The pace of the story was good and once I got further into it it was easier to keep track of who was who and what was going on and then, after a few events the pace picked up again and I couldn’t put it down.

I had mixed feelings about some of the characters, but in a story like I think that’s a good thing. It dealt well with people’s perception and thoughts about domestic abuse both from those who had experienced it and those on the outside who didn’t understand what it was like. This is ideal as it is exactly how society is, domestic abuse and those who experience it are not fully understood by people who have little to no knowledge of it, and I speak from personal experience. I got out of my situation but I can understand why it is so hard to leave and hard for those outside to not understand why people don’t leave sooner, or at all.

Although this is the first in the Maggie Jamieson series it does focus more on Lucy so we don’t get a lot of depth on Maggie but there is enough to get a bit of understanding of her character. It’ll be interesting in future books to see that develop and learn more about her. The other thing I enjoyed about this book was the insight into the probation service. I know a reasonable amount about police work from other books and TV but probation work isn’t usually covered so it was good to read something with a different focus.

For a new series, this book got it off to a good start and it’ll be interesting to see where it goes next and how/if the characters we’ve already met fit into the future books. Definitely one to keep an eye on!
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A sensitive and well written novel, dealing with the dark subject of domestic abuse. I found it quite brutal in places, but it proved to be a thought-provoking read. Maybe a bit too realistic for my liking, but if you like your fiction to be hard hitting, you will most likely enjoy this.

Thank you to NetGalley and to the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Dead Inside by Noelle Holten is a book about domestic violence. It shows views from both the perpetrators, the victims and the law enforcement involved in the various cases. The main character is Lucy, a probation officer working with a team centered around domestic violence. Lucy is good a keeping her home and professional life secret but it all comes to a head when her worlds collide. 

An interesting read and I loved the ending. This book may be triggering to readers who have witnessed or experienced domestic violence.
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Dead Inside is the first book of the DC Maggie Jamieson series but interestingly it is focused mostly on the story of a probation officer, Lucy Sherwood. Lucy deals with domestic abuse cases as a part of her work. Yet she is dealing with her an abusive marriage with her husband Patrick. Meanwhile, DC Maggie Jamieson is dealing with mysterious serial killings of domestic abuse offenders and knows that she is facing her toughest case yet.

The book was less of a police procedural and more of a dark dramatic thriller. Through the central character, Lucy Sherwood, the author paints an authentic picture of the probation service and its role in managing dangerous criminals and abusers. The author’s long experience as a probation officer clearly shows and it adds great degree of authenticity to the story.

The story takes us deep into the world of domestic violence and abusive relationships. More than a story, it’s a character study of both perpetrators and victims of domestic violence. We see Lucy’s life slowly crumble as Patrick makes her life a living hell. You get depressed and at times, frustrated at Lucy’s inability to take any action. But in a way, it also reflection of real life, as we realise why so many real-life victims suffer abusive relationships silently. There is also a serial killer case on a parallel track but the story is much more than a murder mystery.

The writing was compelling and Lucy’s story was especially disturbing. The author did well to merge both the storylines with Lucy at the center, in a very unique manner.

The story moves ahead slowly and there was a lot of chapters dedicated to getting to know new characters. The large cast of characters often slows down the story. There was not enough of the murder investigation as it remains limited mostly to some interviews and team meetings. Even Maggie Jamieson had precious little to do in the story. Instead, the story focuses a lot more on the characters and their relationships with each other. In a way, It was disappointing because the murder mystery track had much more potential.

Overall, Dead Inside is a dark thriller which tackles a really important social evil. The engaging storyline will make you want to read until the end. 

Many thanks to the publishers Harper Impulse and Killer Reads and NetGalley for the ARC.
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Let me start by stating this is the first and old cover of this book so don’t be confused, it now has a new gorgeous cover. This is a brilliant debut and start to a new series which I am looking forward too – DC Maggie Jamieson series.

This story will have you guessing and turning those pages to find out answers. A great team working together to solve the mysterys. Fast paced. I enjoyed reading it. There is plenty going on throughout which draws the reader in. A real who dunnit story. Brilliantly written.

A well deserved four stars from me, highly recommend. I cannot wait to see where the rest of this series takes us.
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I really liked this book quite a bit and was not familiar with the author at all. I am looking forward to reading more by her in the future
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Right from the start of Dead Inside I was pulled into a dark story which made me sit up and take notice. I especially loved the short and to the point chapters easily keeping my attention and eager to read more. You really do get a rounded experience with this story as you get to see everything from all sides. Dead Inside shows the probation service, a range of dangerous characters right through to the detectives hunting a killer. There are quite a few characters to follow but to be fair they all had varied personalities so pretty soon it made it easy to separate them. I think in a way you have the best of both worlds in this book as I experienced the investigation following DC Maggie Jamieson along with a more intense and at times harrowing perspective from Lucy Sherwood. I thought this combination was refreshing and worked really well!

With Lucy’s character you get a much more personal touch as we see her keeping secrets and struggle with her home life all the while trying to keep it together professionally. You do get to see more of Lucy’s perspective however whenever Maggie appears she is a strong enough character to make her mark and I look forward to seeing more of her personality and back story revealed in the next book. There’s a depth of knowledge that Noelle Holten put across which helped to make everything even more engaging and was brilliant to see in a debut! The threads running throughout Dead Inside all come together to create a dark, emotional and twisty story. A very strong start to what promises to be a brilliant series!
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Well, Dead Inside had me completely captivated from page one! If I didn’t know already there is no way in a million years that I would have thought this is a debut novel. Noelle Holten obviously has a natural talent for writing. 
Dead Inside features a diverse number of characters, some much more likeable than others. I love that some of them have names very familiar to me in the book blogging world! They must be over the moon to be immortalised forever within this story.
Lucy is a very likeable character and one who I really felt for. Her husband, Patrick, is a proper nasty piece of work. Having never been in an abusive relationship it’s difficult to understand why some women stay with these men. Lucy especially, given her job as a probation officer dealing with domestic abuse offenders. I understood her love for the children though, even though she isn’t their mother, and the responsibility she feels for keeping them safe. 
Patrick is one of a few characters who seem to think that women are there to serve whatever purpose they desire. These men truly made my skin crawl and to be honest they don’t really deserve to be called men. They are despicable excuses for human beings.
When these men end up dead, brutally murdered, DC Maggie Jamieson and the team are tasked with finding out what connects them all and who might be capable of such horrific violence. 
When it’s realised that Lucy is connected things just go from bad to worse and the story becomes even more intriguing. 
I can’t begin to tell you how fast-paced and tense this story is. The short chapters add to the tension and the need to read just one more (or two, or three, or twenty!). Raw emotion pours off the pages and the ending just blew me away. It’s completely heart-breaking. I have no doubts that the story will stay with me for a very long time to come. 
Such an excellent start to a new series. I can’t wait to read book two!
Many thanks for the opportunity to join in with the blog tour to celebrate the paperback release of Dead Inside. I can’t recommend highly enough!
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I feel like I have been waiting so long to write this review! I read this book almost as soon as I received a copy as I was eager to find out what Noelle had written, knowing as I did that her personal experience as a probation officer had fed into the plot of her debut novel, and I have to say I was not disappointed.

This is the first in a projected series following DC Maggie Jamieson, and it was a great set up for this character. Noelle revealed just enough about her to whet our appetite and make her someone whose story we would want to follow through future books, but still left a lot to be developed as far as she was concerned and an interesting hook to entice the reader in to the next book. However, this story was not really Maggie’s but Lucy’s.

Lucy was a fascinating character, and the perfect one to carry the story and deal effectively with the issues that Noelle wanted to raise. She is a woman with a foot in both camps of the narrative, firstly as a probation officer having to deal on a day to day basis with the perpetrators of domestic violence, and secondly as a woman who is herself a victim. The idea that someone who so clearly sees on a daily basis the reality of these men and the harm they cause to their victims and, at the same time, be able to justify to herself in her personal life putting up with this exact same treatment herself was devastatingly effective in illustrating just how hard it can be for women to break out of these situations. I thought the premise and execution were genius, and it really made me confront the reality of the problem, as someone who has no personal experience herself but who might have thought it was something I could never put up with. It is clear, reading this, that none of us should be complacent and we should all educate ourselves and have sympathy and understanding for women who find themselves in impossible situations.

The writing in the book is affecting and immersive. Noelle has a very interesting and unique style, an individual author voice that I found refreshing. The short chapters and unflowery style were perfect for the story, maintaining the tension and bringing into relief the starkness of the situation the characters were facing and it was a read that propelled me through the pages without any wasted words or break in impetus. I found the descriptions of the symbiotic relationship between the different agencies involved in the criminal justice process fascinating, and a very different take than we often see in crime novels. The focus on probation as much as the initial investigation was really interesting to me and definitely something I would like to see more of.

This is a great debut, with a fascinating premise, compelling writing, a unique perspective and a fresh, individual author voice and we should all be excited about this interesting, new author in the genre. I would highly recommend this book for crime fans looking for something new and a little bit different to read. It is well worth consideration and I am looking forward to the next in the series.
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I'm always honoured to be involved in reading and review any book for a blog tour but there's no denying that this one is something special.  Noelle is an amazing book blogger and a brilliant publishing PR and is now stirring up our darkest thoughts with her amazing debut novel - Dead Inside.  She draws on all her professional experience and has created a terrifying and thought provoking novel.

At work as a probation officer, Lucy is strong, calm and brave but once she is at home with her abusive husband this seems to disappear.  DCI Maggie Jamieson (good friend of Lucy) has just started working with a new team, investigating domestic abuse.  When four domestic abusers are found dead, one of them Lucy's husband then all fingers and evidence seems to point to her.  Is it coincidence or is she a vengeful killer?  

I love a crime novel and for me the darker the better.  Dead inside is superbly written and delves inside the world of domestic abuse in a very brutal but honest manner.  I will say the descriptions and abuse scenes are hard hitting and eye opening but I strongly feel this is something that people need a more realistic and honest awareness of.   The biggest thing that struck me about Dead Inside was the personal questions it raised in my own head.  There were times when I wasn't sure whose side to be on if I'm honest.  when is it okay to fight back?  How much provocation can one person take before they retaliate? Is it really murder if it's retaliation for years of abuse?  Are we better off with some people not on this Earth?  And the scariest thoughts of all for me were about the human rights of criminals and their equal treatments. 

Phew! My poor brain!

DCI Jamieson is the main protagonist and I love how Noelle has written a strong female detective into her novel.  However I feel that Lucy's story is the main arc here and her character has the most depth and complication.  Both are great characters and I am pleased to see a novel where the leads are mainly female.

Overall this is a cracking debut from Noelle Holten and I am so excited after seeing the cover for her second Maggie Jamieson novel. 

A brutally honest insight into domestic abuse and a brilliant police procedural.
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Dead Inside is a debut novel and I thought it was a really good one with plenty to offer the reader.

There are two key characters: DC Maggie Jamieson and Lucy Sherwood/Quinn, a probation officer. I really liked the focus on the two jobs, the police and the probation service, and how they worked together and I thought this was a really strong and interesting aspect to this book, something that made it stand out from the police procedural crowd.

The plot centres around domestic abuse. Four abusers are murdered in a brutal way. Maggie is investigating and Lucy is linked to them all. But who is the killer? 

I enjoyed the very short chapters which made this a snappy read and I thought the story overall was fast-paced and kept up my interest levels. I liked the two main characters but I absolutely loathed the awful men who perpetrated such horrible acts of violence and abuse. The characterisations are strong and I felt I could really picture the people as well as the settings. 

The author was a probation officer for many years and it's clear she knows what she's talking about. It does make me wonder how on earth anyone can do a job like that, dealing with those horrid people! I'm sure there are good bits to counteract the bad ones though (I hope so, anyway).

There are a few red herrings as to the murderer and I kept thinking it was obviously so-and-so, only to change my mind a few chapters on. In the end, it wasn't anyone I thought it was going to be so that was a nice surprise. I read another review in which the reviewer guessed who it was early on - I'm not sure how but maybe they should join the police themselves!

Dead Inside is an accomplished debut, definitely one for all crime fans. Oh and I loved the way it was set up for a sequel at the end. It's a gritty and hard-hitting story which never slows down for a minute. Great stuff!
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When crime fiction royalty like Ian Rankin and Martina Cole recommend a book, aficionados of the genre sit up and take notice and that is certainly the case for Noelle Holten’s impressive and assured first novel, Dead Inside. Introducing kick ass DC Maggie Jameson, Dead Inside is dark, gritty and twisty crime fiction at its finest.

As a Probation Officer, Lucy Sherwood is used to dealing with lowlifes and criminals. At work she is strong, tough and does not suffer fools gladly. Nothing makes her flinch and nothing makes her cower in the shadows, however, Lucy’s personal life is as far removed from her professional life as it is possible to get. Her husband Patrick is an absolute monster who delights in terrifying, bullying and abusing her. The facade of the strong woman at work crumbles as soon as Patrick walks through the door and as Lucy feels her spirit and independence diminish with each passing day, she cannot help but wish that things were different. Working with perpetrators of domestic abuse, Lucy is sick and tired of her husband, her clients and of a system that makes the victims suffer time and time again. But just how far would Lucy go to break this vicious cycle of violence?

DC Maggie Jameson has just started a new job in a new police unit and she is keen to prove herself. Being a woman in the still male-dominated field of policing is tough, but Maggie refuses to be deterred. When three wife beaters are found beaten to death, Maggie knows that she is facing her toughest case yet. As the investigation begins in earnest, the police begin to wonder who might have been the killer. With each passing day, the pressure is one to ensure that justice is served and whoever perpetrated this act is thrown in jail. However, things get even more complicated when a fourth man is found. A man who was a known domestic abuser – who also happens to be married to the woman who has a connection with all the murdered wife beaters: Lucy Sherwood.

Is Lucy guilty or innocent? Did she kill all four men? Or is there something far more sinister and menacing than the police have imagined going on? Time is definitely not on Maggie’s side, but she will leave no stone unturned to find out the truth about these four murders – even if it means a conviction for Lucy Sherwood…

Noelle Holten’s Dead Inside should come with a warning: if you go to bed at night with this book, you are will still be reading it by sunrise as putting it down is simply not an option. Shocking, harrowing, terrifying and so addictive you will lose sleep, Dead Inside is a crime novel that packs plenty of punch and keeps readers on a knife’s edge completely and utterly consumed by this fast-paced, brilliantly written and compulsively readable thriller.

Maggie Jameson is a phenomenal character who is impressive, intelligent and impressive and she is certainly a heroine readers will want to read more about.

A fantastic crime thriller from a writer who is sure to become a star in field, Dead Inside is a sensational debut that should not be missed
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A big thank you to Sarah Hardy and the publisher for issuing me with my review copy of the book and for inviting me to take part on the blog tour.

Wow – what an absolute belter of a debut novel. I’m still reeling from the ending! As this is the first in the series featuring DI Maggie Jamieson, I’m genuinely excited to read more (I’m pretty sure that I’ve read that Noelle has already finished book 3…..)

With Noelle herself being a former probation officer, her experience has clearly added a genuine authenticity to the story which is brilliantly interwoven but not overwhelming.

We follow a police investigation into a murder, who we later learn is a domestic abuser and are introduced to DI Maggie Jamieson. New to the area she is thrown straight into the investigation when more bodies are discovered and discovers they have all been released recently from prison – is there a vigilante on the loose? Or has one of their victims had enough and decided to take matters into their own hands? Although not an easy subject to tackle, Noelle does brilliantly in keeping you completely absorbed with the investigation.

To add another aspect to the investigation, we also follow Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood. Although Lucy appears to have it together in her career, she regularly deals with the most hardened of criminals, when she returns home on a night it is a completely different story. Lucy herself is a victim of regular domestic abuse from her husband Gary and she struggles to keep her lives separate.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and couldn’t wait to find out how things would end. It’s safe to say that I didn’t guess how it would really end! Noelle Holten completely kept me on the toes as I tried to second guess every action through her meticulate planning. I’m really excited to read more, if this book is anything to go by, and to learn more about Maggie Jamieson, a character that you come to be very fond of.

Highly recommended if you like a pacy, twisty thriller!
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