Dead Inside

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Member Reviews

It is with bated breath that I attempt to write this review. As I was reading the pages of this book I felt like I was experiencing what I was reading, although nothing in this book has ever happened to me. However, for some reason, I was amazingly affected by Dead Inside. How an author, a debut author at that, could pen words that could tear my soul apart is one I am honored to read. I did have to take a break from reading for several hours. To say that this touched a cord with me is an understatement.

I find this book by Noelle Holten to have two primary characters. For starters, it is the first book in the DC Maggie Jamieson series, so she is the first. In addition, there is Lucy Sherwood, a probation officer who proved to be the catalyst for the story.

Lucy works with violent domestic abusers with hopes of keeping them in line and away from their former victims. She deals with some very rough men on a professional basis. However, it is what is happening in her private life that is a deep, dark and well-kept secret. Her marriage is not what it seems, so Lucy is forced to have two personas, and manages to live this life for quite a long time.

With regard to Maggie, she has begun a new job in a newly formed unit. After dealing with a gruesome murder case, working with domestic situations might be a bit easier for her to deal with. However, as she immediately begins her first case, it is that of a man violently murdered. In short order, other murders occur, and Maggie and her team have a difficult battle on their hands finding the killer before yet another person dies. 

Meanwhile, things are happening with Lucy - and her awful husband Patrick - that begin to shed light on some awful scenarios. As mentioned, Lucy's home life was a secret. None of her colleagues were aware of the horrors she was experiencing. Ultimately, Lucy is faced with a murder charge. Has her job, and her personal life become too much? Has she finally cracked?

As mentioned, this story was intense. It was dark, haunting and heartbreaking. The fact remains that women experience the horrors of domestic violence each and every day I applaud Ms. Holten for writing such an effective story. As the book ends, readers are left eagerly anticipating the next book.

Many thanks to Harper Impulse, Killer Reads and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.
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A good thriller with well developed characters that kept me turning the pages! Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the advanced review copy.
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I was really looking forward to this book,but I was slightly dissapointed with it. Apart from the last few chapters,the story seemed to drag on and on and I found myself skipping pages just to get the end.  The storyline was interesting, and I dint guess the culprit at all which is always good. I would give this author another go at some point in the hope of a slightly better read.
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Promising debut! The author's expertise in abuse really adds authenticity. I was a bit lost with the fact the characters bore bloggers' names.
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Noelle Holten has joined my short list of authors to always read.  This book will have an emotional impact on the reader as well as a very good mystery that you are not sure should be solved.  Abusive husbands are being killed.  The multiple murders mean a serial killer with a conscience is on the loose.  As the story progresses, Ms Holten adds more excellently defined characters that add more back story to the already well written community of investigators.  When one of the probation officers is found to be an abuse victim and then her husband is killed, it seems as if the murders are solved.  NOT SO FAST...there are a couple of twists that I did not see coming even though clues were given.  I'm really looking forward to Ms Holten's next book.
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What do you get when you cross Martina Cole with Mel Sherratt? Well, you get one of the best debut novels I’ve read this year! Noelle Holten has produced a debut novel with the brutal realism of both those authors and then added her own life experience to the mix to create a terrifying and darkly disturbing read that introduces the wonderful character creation DC Maggie Jamieson.

Now Maggie is definitely a woman you want on your side, alongside Dr Kate Maloney, her stylish and understanding gothic sidekick. But to be honest this first outing for Maggie is really Lucy’s story and so much of the story is woven around Lucys job as a probation officer which stands at odds with her personal life where she is married to a nasty piece of work who is a domestic abuser.

Noelle is a very popular and talented crime book blogger who has combined her years of experience as a probation officer and her love of crime fiction to create a believable crime thriller with a very likeable protagonist. I was kept guessing throughout as to who had murdered these men and I had no idea until it was presented to me, even with the clues that I realised in hindsight had been always been hiding there.

This is a gritty start to what promises to be an addictive new series for me to follow. And so it is therefore very highly recommended by me!
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This is a debut novel and the first in a series starring DC Maggie Jamieson.   There is a killer who is murdering domestic abusers and the domestic abuse and homicide unit are tasked with finding the killer.
I enjoyed the premise and Lucy a probation officer who is also being abused by her husband was a believable character.  It did read like Lucy was the main character though and not Maggie Jamieson.  The whole area of domestic abuse was very well written and it was clear the author had researched this.  
I would read the next book as I’m intrigued to find out more about DC Maggie Jamieson but I also liked the other characters so hope some of these will reappear in book two.
Thanks to NetGalley and Harper impulse for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Dead Inside is the first book in a new crime fiction series following Detective Constable Maggi Jamieson and her team at the Domestic Abuse and Homicide Unit (DAHU).  The author has a background working as a Senior Probation Officer and it is obvious that the author is writing about what she knows. There is great sense of authenticity to this story.

The first point to mention is the character development. The main character is Lucy, probation officer and abused wife. It’s difficult to imagine someone with such inner strength of character suffering at the hands of an abusive husband and yet, it felt real. I felt a real connection with Lucy’s character. Whilst I have always had sympathy for victims of domestic abuse, for the first time I felt that I understood how those victims allow themselves to remain in such horrendous situations, despite otherwise being strong, intelligent and logical people. Lucy’s relationship with Patrick was fascinating and thought-provoking, albeit somewhat upsetting. It worries me to think that I might know people in a similar situation who don’t feel that they can ask for help.

The addition of PC Kat Everett as a secondary character was a good move by the author. PC Everett adds a few dashes of humour to the story, with her bad language and ill-judged comments. I imagine that dealing day in and day out with victims of such crimes must sometimes make it difficult for police officers to strike the right balance between their official duties and their emotions. Gallows humour must be a common way of diffusing some very emotive situations. I felt that the author dealt with this issue subtly and sympathetically.

The second point to mention is the two-pronged plot. The first plotline is a psychological drama focusing on domestic abuse, an emotive and hard-hitting subject. It provides some insight as to how abusers get away with their actions – the psychological grip they have over their victims and the gradual increase in violence. The second plotline is a traditional murder mystery focusing on DC Jamieson’s efforts to locate the murderer of several local men.  The story quickly reeled me in and the great pace kept me hooked. It is well-paced and very tightly plotted. I must admit to being completely baffled as to who the perpetrator was. I had a few theories as the book progressed, however the ending did prove somewhat of a surprise. 

I know this review is quite short, however I am loathe to give away any details that may spoil the story – this really is one book you should read yourself!  It is a clever, tense and thought-provoking book. A dark, gritty and absolutely gripping story, with a very satisfying ending. I would happily recommend Dead Inside to anyone who enjoys a psychological drama, a gritty murder mystery or a police procedural. A brilliant debut from Noelle Holten and definitely an author to watch out for in the future – in fact I believe book 2 in the series, Dead Wrong, is due for release in November 2019!
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This was a really enjoyable book, told from different perspectives.
Lucy Sherwood is a probation officer who hides an unpleasant secret, she is a victim of domestic abuse but doesn’t feel she can leave her violent husband. DC Maggie Jamieson has been seconded to DAHU following a harrowing case she’d been dealing with.
A man is found murdered and he has a history of abuse towards women - his death is closely followed by others, all people known to the police and prison service, what is the link and who is the killer?
It was refreshing to read a police procedural story with a difference and it was a great to see the links between the services. I’m already looking forward to the next book!
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Thanks to NetGalley for an early copy in return for an honest review
A very good read and one I can highly recommend to others. 
I could not put this down.
Thoroughly enjoyable with an amazing cast of characters that you cannot help but engage with.
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As well as being an excellent shouter and promoter of books on all social media platforms,the wonderful Noelle Holton is a cracking good writer as well!

She is genuinely someone who makes you smile when you see her pop up in any timeline and you kind of want to not like her, because she is so good at what she does, but this is IMPOSSIBLE!!! She is just so lush, a genuine and compassionate woman who goes all out to be the best she can be on a daily basis and inspires constantly.

She has skills aplenty and this comes to the fore in 'Dead Inside' the first of her DI Maggie Jamieson thrillers.

She teases the facts of the case out, taking a two pronged narrative then neatly dovetailing them together as her female protagonists take centre stage.

First you have Lucy, probation officer and abused wife of the odious, vile Patrick. She knows and is aware of every single trick that men use to control, manipulate and abuse the women in their lives yet she has ended up in exactly the same situation.

The sticking point for Lucy is that without her, Patrick's daughter , Siobhan, will be left unprotected and unsupported by either of her parents.

So Lucy deals with the nightmare at work and comes home to an even worse one.

DI Maggie Jamieson comes into the story as the new detective on the block, having had a horrendous experience, hinted at in the beginning, which has left her with recurrent nightmares and PTSD.

Her new role plunges her into a violent murder on day one, but is this person's removal from this plane something that benefits society? An abusive man who kept his partner in a state of terror when she wasn't in a hopsital bed, is this really a loss to society?

And here is where Noelle really plays her trump cards-not only does she have an in depth knowledge of how probation works, how offenders are treated and the justice system's role, she shows exactly what it is like and how easy it is to fall into an abusive relationship no matter how you try not to.

She lays bare the charming way that men inveigle themselves into your life, cut off your support, your safe spaces, your finances and use your children as a weapon against you.

She also shows great skill in getting you to think about the concept of justice-whilst so many would say that the world is a better place without them, don't these men deserve to be treated the same?

Are all murder victims created equal?

A rip roaring thriller with memorable female leads, I cannot wait for book 2, ''Dead Wrong'' which is available to pre-order now.
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Great book, really kept my interest all the way through.  Lucy is a probation officer and DC Maggie Jamieson is trying to solve the murders of three wife beaters.  Lucy's home life is not a happy one, her husband is a wife beater too.  I highly recommend this book.
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An absorbing and realistic book that draws you in. It has a wide cast of characters that is initially challenging to keep up with (especially as many of the characters use names of respected book bloggers). As the book unfolds and the one of the main characters Lucy is on the receiving end of domestic abuse both at home and at work, this host of characters provides insight into the challenges faced by people in the most horrendous circumstances.

The storyline weaves its way around three unpleasant men who are abuse perpetrators. Whilst this is badged as Maggie Jamieson book 1, I felt that she got very little airtime compared to many of the other characters or even the police characters- which was a shame as I’d have liked to have seen more from her.

All in all an interesting read from a crime author with a good pedigree. 4*
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I feel like I have wrote hard to read but that is only because of the domestic violence side of it as it is something I have lived through. The mystery was good and the storyline was well written. Worth a shot.
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The narrative and style of this book provides an authentic feel for this topic of domestic violence and I was convinced of the difficulties the characters experience. It was not necessarily an easy read but there were twist and turns enough to keep up the pace.  
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the review copy.
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This is the kind of book that would make award winning blogger CrimeBookJunkie say 'holy flaming sh*tballs', however, Noelle won't be reviewing Dead Inside because she wrote it!  That's right, top blogger CrimeBookJunkie has turned into bestselling author Noelle Holten.  I can say bestselling with some degree of proof as Dead Inside was THE top selling book at Newcastle Noir 2019.  Luckily, I grabbed a copy on day one of the festival as I saw the pile rapidly depleting.

I've followed Noelle Holten on social media for quite some time and, having read her amazing book reviews, I knew I was in for a gripping and hugely entertaining story but to be honest, every single thing about Dead Inside exceeded my expectations.  The characters themselves are a who's who of the blogiverse, named after some of the best book bloggers out there, and the plot itself is simply stunning.  

I'm not giving away any of this amazing story, other than to talk a little bit about what is already in the blurb.  It is a story about domestic violence so it is sometimes difficult to read; as a former probation officer, and through her own personal experiences, Noelle has a gritty and no holds barred style of writing which adds to the authenticity of the story.  The domestic abuse gets turned on its head as the beaters become the beaten and, even though it's fiction, it's so realistic that I actually felt a little guilty enjoying the wife-beaters getting their comeuppance.

Dead Inside is a phenomenal debut and I was gripped from start to beyond the end as a little thread of intrigue is left dangling to lead us very nicely into book 2.  Dead Inside is definitely the book to read this year and I'm wishing the year away already as I can't wait for Dead Wrong, the next DC Maggie Jamieson instalment to be released in November 2019.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
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Sorry couldn't remove from my shelf until I rated it. Hard-hitting, authentic and compelling have been some ways this book has been described. It was an incredible journey behind the scenes of the various agencies involved in solving crimes.
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The multi-viewpoint narrative makes for an interesting read and the plot is twisty and thought-provoking with some interesting insights into the working partnership between the police and probation services. Overall, Dead Inside is a promising series opener and I look forward to reading the next instalment.
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I like to read fiction by debut authors and give them every chance, however NetGalley require me to give an honest review. Firstly, it was a sobering insight into domestic abuse and a difficult topic to address and for that the book has my praise. Unfortunately I found the book rather disjointed and at times read rather like a manual for professionals rather than an interesting and thought provoking story. The knowledge of the probation and police professions was obviously understood but the procedures were sometimes too detailed to make for interesting reading. It was as though each stage had to be clarified in order to make the uninformed reader understand whereas some more subtle writing would have achieved this without the unnecessary embellishments. I assumed the main character was Lucy and was surprised to realise some way through the book that it was actually Maggie who I found to be arrogant at best. She seemed to think her opinion and insights were far better than those of her superiors and I certainly didn’t warm to her and do not feel I could read another book involving this detective. I didn’t enjoy writing this negative review but hope the author will accept the constructive criticism.
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Great debut by a skilled storyteller who clearly knows her stuff regarding the probation service. Authentic, chilling and nail biting.  Despite the large cast of characters, the plots weaved nicely together. Looking forward to number 2
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