Cover Image: Dead Inside

Dead Inside

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Member Reviews

Three men who are abusive predators, have been killed, beaten to death the same way that they treated their own victims.

DC Maggie Jamieson assigned to the case, has her worked cut out for her to solve this before another murder takes place.

Maggie’s friend Lucy Sherwood, a probation officer who has connections with these men, is hiding a terrible secret of her own. And when her own husband is murdered, Lucy becomes the prime suspect and the secret is out that she has kept to herself so carefully, that she has also suffered abuse at the hands of her husband for a number of years.

But is Lucy responsible for these murders?

Having been beaten to unconsciousness that fateful night, Lucy’s struggles to recall the details of her husbands murder and believes that she must be responsible, having been finally pushed to the brink and unable to take anymore of his abuse.

But a recollection of another person in the house that she thinks she saw leaving the room that night comes to light, but is this just Lucy’s mind playing tricks to on her to try and take the blame from herself.

Lucy’s recollection of the night doesn’t sit well with Maggie, and with time running out, she must trust her instincts and keep looking for the perpetrator before Lucy is charged with a crime that she may not have committed.

But are Maggie’s personal feelings getting in the way or will she have to come to terms with the fact that Lucy really is the killer!

As a first time author, Noelle smashes this one out of the park!!

This is a harrowing story which in times is hard to read due to the graphic descriptions of abuse but it is handled in a sensitive way. I really loved the character of Maggie and my heart broke for Lucy and the other characters who were treated in such a horrific way, by men who are meant to love them.

I loved the writing style and the short snappy chapters that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout wanting more.

I also liked how Noelle used the names of her friends who some I was familiar with from book blogging. I really enjoyed that personal touch.

I have followed Noelle’s award winning blog Crime Book Junkie for awhile now and I was so inspired by her and her blog that I have recently become a blogger myself so thank-you for that Noelle. I love that you taken that passion to create your own work, and a fantastic job has been done.

I am thrilled that a second book is in works and I look forward to that and more from DC Maggie Jamieson in the future.

Thank-you to NetGalley, Killer Reads and Noelle Holten for allowing me to read an advanced copy of Dead Inside in exchange for an honest review.

All opinions are my own and are not biased in anyway.
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Incredible debut novel. Lots of character development and twists and turns. The police officers and their stress and responsibility not only in the murder case but attempting to help the domestic violence victims are apparent in this novel.Unfortunately, these topics are not usually stressed as much in murder mystery novels. We were also able to read about the probation side once the convicted are released from prison. I did not see the ending coming which I credit the author because in this case there were so many possible suspects. I hope Book 2 is available very soon.Thanks to NetGalley, the Publishers and the Author for allowing me to read and review this book.
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This is definitely one hot debut novel.  The characters have such depth and the story has such promise.  I love the way that the story unfolds and truly think one of the better debut novels I have read.
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This is a debut novel telling the story of three domestic abuse offenders found beaten to death. 
DC  Maggie Jamieson is tasked with solving the cases. Police suspect Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood being connected to all the victims is hiding some salient facts 
Then a fourth victim is uncovered and it is Lucy’s husband. 
It took me a little while to get into the story as there were different characters being introduced with each new chapter.  Gradually I got hooked picking it up every chance I got. 
Lucy has a hard life and I was interested to find out what would happen. It must have been doubly difficult for her when in her work life she was monitoring domestic abuse offenders whose actions mirrored her personal life experiences.  
It was interesting getting to know DC Maggie Jamieson and her Police team. In fact work wise Maggie and Lucy were linked working in Domestic Violence field with Maggie investigating and Lucy managing the offenders. 
It was near impossible for me to feel any empathy for the murder victims. 
I did guess the perpetrators as the case progressed and was glad that justice was served in the end. 
I thought the writing style was sharp with short chapters and positive character interaction. For me this was an excellent debut and I would recommend it. I will get the next book in the series when available.
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Wow from first page to last a fantastic compelling read.This is Noelle Holden’s first book and it is a truevpage turner I am already looking forward to the next in this series.Add this authors name to your must read list,Congrats .#netgalley #harperimpulseandkillerreads
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Lucy is a probation officer who works mostly with men on probation for Domestic Abuse. But her home life resonates all too well with her work life.
Maggie is a DC investigating the murders of convicted domestic abusers.....their two worlds collide with astonishing consequences.
An amazing book, with a deep insight into the mind of an abuser and his victim. A proper "could't put it down" read, with strong characters and a brilliant plot-line.
I can't wait for book 2!
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Just a WOW! Loved this. Thank you for this Netgalley ARC. Right out of the gate this story took off at a full run. 
I will definitely keep a FOLLOW on this new author. I thoroughly enjoyed this. The only thing I wish authors would do is have a character list as sometimes I have to remind myself about a character if it hasn’t been mentioned for a couple of chapters. It would make life easier. Could be just me.
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Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for allowing me to read this arc. But most of all a huge Thank You to Noelle Holten for an amazing debut novel!!
This is the first in the DC Maggie Jamieson series and I sincerely hope that the next one isn't far away!!
Lucy is the main character in this one and works in the domestic abusers probation sector. A job that is mentally tough and isn't helped by Lucy's home life!! 
Domestic abusers are being brutally murdered and DC Maggie Jamieson is newly appointed to a select team just set up to deal with just this. The team are under pressure to solve this one as the murders mount up!! And just what is Lucy's roll in it all???
A vast array of characters, but so easy to keep up with who is who!! 
This is a book you just don't want to end!! A firecracker of a read!!
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Now and then I get excited about reading a book written by a debut author, so I almost wet my myself with excitement when I was approached by Noelle Holten and asked if I would read her debut novel Dead Inside, it was literally a “hell yes and how soon can I get a copy?” Moment. From the shocking and disturbing prologue I knew this was one of those books I would get so caught up in, that god help anyone who disturbed me whilst I was reading it. Part Domestic noir, part crime thriller this novel was a cracker, when you read as many books as I do in these genres you are always looking for “that” book that offers you that something extra, something that makes it standout out from the crowd, and OMFG the author has certainly managed that.

Domestic abuse is not the easiest subject to write about, how do you convey the emotions, the abuse without overstepping the mark? This is a subject that’s emotive and very disturbing but Noelle Holten writes about the subject with a great deal of insight, understanding and sympathy.  One thing I noticed when I was reading this book is the author’s ability to write in such away you feel like you’re a voyeur watching from the sidelines, rather like a car crash you want to look away,  but you are compelled to read on as the characters move from one crisis to another. The writing is gritty and pulls no punches, although this can feel uncomfortable it makes the read all the more shockingly credible, I should point out though the violence isn’t gratuitous and is very much in keeping with the plot and subject.  

The author has created an array of characters some are much more likeable than others, you will love them, you will hate them, you will hope some of them get their “just desserts” but each character brings something different to this riveting  tale. You will feel their emotions, their despair and their anger, you need to read on as your desperate for at least a couple of the characters to find an escape from their very unhappy and violent relationships. I thought this book was original as not only do you get the POV of the abused and the abusers but also the many agencies who are involved, supporting the victims and in some case their perpetrators. As I mentioned this is part crime thriller, and again the author keeps you riveted to the pages, as crimes are committed and the suspects mount, never giving away too much detail to spoil the read, at times the tension and suspense reached fever pitch. 

There are a huge amount of fictional books that deal with domestic violence on the market, so what makes Dead a Inside any different? I hear you say It’s original, highly engaging, the writing is confident and bold with memorable characters and add in a compelling plot, and you have a the perfect mix.
The one thing I wasn’t expecting was the raw emotion within the pages, as I reached the last page I felt emotionally drained. Personally I’m already excited for second book from the very talented Noelle Norton, in my opinion she is an exciting and refreshing voice in fiction and one whose journey I will be following with a keen interest.

Review maybe altered slightly and edited prior to publication on my blog
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I would expect such a voracious crime book junkie like this author to know her stuff. It's proved right here. A great insight into the probation service gives this police procedural an original edge. Sharp writing, thrills and twists make this an easy five star rating.
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So... Well respected blogger - CrimeBookJunkie - has only gone and written a book! When I heard that news I have to admit that my interest was piqued although, once I got my hands on a copy I was a little scared to start it being as there was quite a buzz about it in the bookish world. But I have heard such good things about it from people I trust. So, fear aside, I dove in and... wowsers!
I read a lot of books - north of 300 a year - most in the crime genre, the majority of which are police procedurals. As you can imagine, they get a bit samey after a while so it was refreshing to see that this one featured a little used (in books) section of the justice system; the Probation Office. Not that this should be a surprise as the author used to work in this sector herself. This novel and original (to me anyway) bent made reading this book a break from the norm and a breath of fresh air. 
So, domestic abuse offenders are being targeted and killed in nasty ways. Do we have a vigilante on our hands or is the culprit a bit closer to home, even within the Probation Office itself? Enter DC Maggie Jamieson into the investigation. Can she, along with her very able team, cut through the noise and bring the perpetrator to justice before the count raises further?
I've already said I loved this book. Even with my trepidation, once I started I literally couldn't put it down. Good job I read it on a weekend when I had little else planned. One thing that really stood out for me was that although there were a lot of characters, each had their own "voice" and it was very easy to remember who was who and what part they were playing in the whole. Something I often struggle with with big casts. Interaction between them was also good and there was a healthy dollop of banter which everyone who knows me knows I do live a bit of that in a read! 
The style of writing also suited me as the author seems to have a no nonsense attitude to superfluous padding; there wasn't any! Also she uses proper words and phrases, and by that I mean that, unlike some debut books, she hasn't reached for the thesaurus to try and be too clever. I found that very refreshing and probably why the words literally flew off the page for me. 
To be honest though, I'm not surprised I loved this book so much as the author definitely knows her crime books so well she's hardly going to write a duff one! That said, she also has to have the talent to pull it off and, believe me, she has that alright. I can even forgive the slight cliff-hanger ending she snuck in! (The main story is self- contained and complete, don't worry).
All in all a cracking debut that left me hankering for the next book in the series. A good job very well done. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
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Absolutely gripping debut book from Noelle, I flew through this story, so fast I was glued to the pages! love the twists and turns in the book. The characters were so developed throughout the book they felt like actual people! It definitely kept me on the edge of my seat for sure. Bring on the next book is all I can say... cannot wait!
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Firstly thank you to NetGalley and Harper Impulse and Killer Reads. This is the very first book by Noelle Holten and what a debut it is. An absolute page turner of a story. The story was fast paced, gritty and compulsive reading. I cannot wait for the next book in the series. Noelle has a long and successful career ahead of her, if her future books are as  good as this one, which I am sure they will be. I have no hesitation in recommending this book. Brilliant.
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I was gripped from start to finish. Dead inside is a debut novel of outstanding quality.
Lucy is a great character and has many dimensions to her, she is strong and assertive in her job as a probation officer. However this is not the case in her personal life. 
The story is powerful and the characters are brilliantly written. 
This is the first in a series and I can't wait for the second part. I enjoyed Maggie and I am eagerly anticipating where the next book takes her. 
Full review to follow as part of blog tour.
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Wow what a fabulous debut novel. I really enjoyed this book, although the subject is quite a difficult one the author covered it well and the characters were very well drawn. I can’t wait for the next book.
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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, as it triggered memories of an abusive past as I expect it will for others. 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 ever written 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. Rather than being characteristically invested in the police procedural scenes, I became more immersed in the domestic abuse and I think this was because we care for Lucy and we root for her. Taking notes helped me to keep up with all the characters. Not that there are that many, its 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. But let's just say the ending was one I didn’t see coming.

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.
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Wow this is such a gripping book that many will relate to how Lucy has to live with her abusive husband and work full time in the probation service that keeps control of abusive men after prison.Her life is a rollercoaster not knowing what will happen when she goes home but she does have Siobhan and Rory to keep her going.Then the deaths of Abusive Men start and the police are getting nowhere as there are so many people who would of happily killed them.Maggie is determined to catch the killer and to go back to her own job.I really have loved this book the first one containing domestic abuse as i suffered to and always found it hard to read books about it.I will be recommending Noelle's book and look forward to book two.I will say if she continues writing like this she will do very well in the future.5*
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4.5 Stars

What a debut this is, and I can easily say I'm looking forward to book 2. 

To start with I was struggling a bit as it seemed like a new character was introduced every chapter - and if you are a book blogger you may find a lot of the character names were incredibly familiar.   In fact that was possibly what I had the most trouble with initially, as every time a familiar name appeared, I felt pulled out of the book, and was just laughing. 

Well that lasted for the first stint of reading the book which took me to 30% and when I returned to it on the return train journey, I was fully into the story, and I had clearly taken in all of the background, and key scene setting, character introductions, as I found myself completely hooked by it. 

I needed to know what was happening in poor Lucy's lift, given the marriage she has and then the not overly easy day job. I enjoyed getting to know a new police team, and in particular DC Maggie Jamieson. 

It was interesting to see how her new team, the DAHU was working, its the team investigating Domestic abuse and homicide - while Lucy herself is a probation officer for domestic abusers. 

To say a lot of the subject matter is on the heavier side, would not be too much of an understatement, but it wasn't any more graphic than strictly needed in order to illustrate the horrificness of the situations. 

I felt no sympathy at all towards any of the murdered people, but I'll admit I was fairly positive who had done things relatively early on for me, and I was in some respects correct, but still even after the police worked that out there were still some shocks, that did surprise me. 

Written with a short, snappy writing style, I loved the very short chapters, the flicking of viewpoints between each one, and getting insight into a whole range of people's lives.  

This is the first book I've read in absolutely ages where I disregarded all my piles of work, in order to make sure I was able to sit and read the remainder of it in one sitting, with complete obliviousness to my surroundings. 

I wouldn't be surprised if elements of this book make it very hard for me to sleep this evening, and I suspect I could be thinking about Lucy for a good while longer.  In part because although the main character in theory is Maggie, as she is the detective,  I found I was reading more about Lucy, and getting to know her the best out of the whole myriad of characters. 

Noelle Holten is definitely a rising star in terms of crime books, and I honestly can't wait for book two to be released, to be able to hopefully jump straight in and feel at home with the writing, and some of the characters at least. 

Thank you to Killer Reads and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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WOW! Incredible debut novel. Lots of characters who have different roles in this story coming together. Besides the police we read about the probation side once the convicted are released from prison. I did not see the ending coming which delights me. I hope Book 2 is available very soon. Well Done!!! Thanks to NetGalley, the Publishers and the Author for allowing me to read and review this book.
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this book is a must read so  enjoyed the characters in this book and we gonna see more of Maggie she a sassy policewoman if you like gripping twisty Addictive this your book and sadly this does go on in the real world the author is a very talented lady Lucy is a probation officer but she hides her private life well not going to spoil this for readers but it is brilliant and it brought tears to my eyes so cant wait for book two highly recommend
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