Hi, guys! I hope you’ve had a good week. I’m breaking my hiatus to talk about a special book today!
To Noelle: I am sorry I wasn’t online for the paperback release, but I thought about you a lot! Congratulations, wonderful lady!
Title: Dead Inside (Maggie Jamieson 1)
Author: Noelle Holten
Date of publication: 22 August 2019 (paperback)
Publisher: Killer Reads
Number of pages: 293
A dark and gripping debut crime novel – the first in a stunning 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?
How does it feel to be dead inside? The fear, the resignation, the shame, the loneliness… They say you can’t know until you’ve been there. I disagree. Authors can take you there. Noelle Holten does it. She shows. Doesn’t tell. She doesn’t shy away. Exposes the rash eating some people and their victims.
Abuse has so many forms. Probation officer Lucy Sherwood only knows too well. Lucy is competent, strong, and great at her job. Lucy deals with abusers on a daily basis. Lucy sees the consequences of relationship’s toxicity every single day. Yet, Lucy is also a victim.
This choice of having your main character on both sides of the road is very clever and allows the author to truly explore what so many people fail to understand: no one is safe. Lucy knows it. She knows her personal life reflects those of the women she tries to protect. But she stays. We get reasons, we get glimpses of what life is, what it should be, and all the bitterness in between that makes everything so difficult to either leave or stay. The book makes it easy to not judge, but feel. I really appreciated the subtle way with which Noelle discuss this current and dangerous subject. She builds her plot around it, locking the characters in a dark room and locking it with a crimson ribbon floating around, threatening, heart-wrenching.
Even if this is the first book in the Maggie Jamieson series, she isn’t the sole focus on the novel, and this gives the book the chance to introduce an array of interesting characters. Now I must admit that their names got me confused at times, as Noelle picked blogger names to create life around. It was less easy for me to imagine them as I knew most of them! But it was fun to recognize fellow bloggers and it was a sweet gesture from the author. (ps, I am not on the list! I’m upset!! Haha, I’m kidding, lovely, Noelle!!)
The case itself? You need to experience it. Go through the motion. Embrace the taut pace. Dead Inside feels real because Noelle Holten draws from her experience as a probation officer and this is the scariest part. It adds an authenticity we would prefer not to see. But I like that it opens eyes and put words on a monster eating so many lives.
Dead Inside is a promising debut novel. I am looking forward to see what’s in store for us next!
Grab your copy here!
Thank you to the lovely Sarah at Books on the Bright Side for inviting me to be part of the blog tour, and to Killer Reads for my copy of the novel.