Saturday 1 June 2019

Dead Inside by Noelle Holten BLOG TOUR @nholten40 @BOTBSPublicity #DeadInside @KillerReads

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 by Noelle Holten was published by Killer Reads on 31 May 2019 and is the author's debut novel.  My thanks to Sarah from Book on the Bright Side Publicity who invited me to take part on this Blog Tour.

I rarely pre-order books, and I can't actually remember ever pre-ordering a debut novel. However, I've had this one on pre-order for six months, ever since it became available to order. I was really lucky to get a pre-publication copy too, signed by the author, which will be treasured.

I think it's fair to say that Dead Inside is probably one of the most anticipated crime novels of the year. The author, Noelle Holten is a well-known and highly respected crime fiction blogger and has supported crime authors, and bloggers for years. Everyone wants her to succeed. However, that does pile on the pressure just a little bit, as all of us want to write an honest review of a book and not be compromised by who the author is.

Hallelujah! It really hasn't been an issue, it's not hard to shout loudly about Dead Inside because it's damn good read, and the cover quote from Martina Cole (Queen of Crime) says it all; it really is 'an excellent read'.

Dead Inside is book one in a police procedural series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson from the Domestic Abuse and Homicide Unit; a new department within the Staffordshire police force.
Whist Maggie is the lead character and this is her series; this first instalment features Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood as one of the main characters too, and for me, her story was more compelling than Maggie's.

As a probation officer working with men convicted of domestic violence, Lucy is used to dealing with the more seedy side of life. She faces up to dangerous, angry men every single day. She issues warnings, she sends them back to prison. She's good at her job, and doesn't back down when faced with an intimidating client. Sadly, her home life doesn't mirror her professional career, and when she steps into her house every evening, she becomes a victim. She becomes another women who is frightened to open her mouth until she knows what sort of mood her husband Patrick is in. She cowers when she smells the alcohol on his breath. She covers up the marks and the bruises from his fists. She stays though. She stays because of Patrick's daughter Siobhan who has no other constant in life. How can she leave?

Back to Maggie who finds herself investigating the murder of a known offender; another violent man, similar to Patrick. Maggie's past experience in the force makes her a little nervous of the case, but it's not long before she's firmly stuck in and asking questions. This soon turns into a serial-killer case as three more men are found murdered, and each one of them are clients of Lucy. The story gets even closer to home for Lucy when a fourth man is killed.

It is clear that this author spent many years working in the criminal justice sector. Her knowledge of probation service issue adds such depth to this story, and is a welcome change to the usual police team investigation novels which rarely refer to outside agencies at all.

The plot is fast-paced, gritty and realistic, with twists and unexpected events every now and again to keep the reader on their toes.  However, I really think that this author's real talent is in creating character and giving her readers a real insight into the effects of crime, especially domestic violence. It's a dark and often painful subject to read about but the author deals with it with such empathy and sensitivity whilst not holding back with the realism and tragic effects at all. She touches on the nature v nuture element of learned behaviours too, and it is done elegantly.

Dead Inside has it all; police, probation, murder, grit and a cast of amazing characters. I'm looking forward to the next in the series and will be interested to see how Maggie and her team develop.

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at
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

Twitter @nholten40

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